The Who's Pete Townshend Cautioned Over Child Porn
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LONDON (Reuters) - British rock star Pete Townshend (news), arrested in January during a high-profile crackdown on Internet child porn, will be placed on a register of sex offenders after being formally cautioned on Wednesday, police said.
Police said a four-month inquiry by a special Child Protection Group found the 57-year-old guitarist from The Who visited a Web site containing child abuse images in 1999 -- but did not download any images.
"He has fully cooperated with the investigation and the decision to caution was made in line with police policy," London police said in a statement.
A police spokesman said a DNA sample would be taken from Townshend and he would be listed on the national Sex Offenders Register for five years.
Townshend, who believes he was abused as a child, publicly admitted viewing child pornography but said it was purely for research purposes.
The singer admitted using his credit card to access one site but argued he was merely carrying out research for a future book.
But police said that it was not a defense to access such images for research or out of curiosity.
Townshend was the highest-profile figure arrested in a nationwide crackdown on Britons suspected of illegally accessing Internet porn sites. Police involved in the investigation, code-named Operation Ore, have so far made more than 1,000 arrests.
Among The Who's many hits was the track "Fiddle About," which dealt with the issue of child abuse.