Apparently, Scotland Yard took Pete Townshend up on his offer. After two statements this weekend in which the Who guitarist acknowledged that he'd visited online child porn websites but denied downloading images and invited police to search his computer, he was arrested Monday at his home outside London. ''He has been arrested under the Protection of Children Act 1978 on suspicion of possessing indecent images of children, suspicion of making indecent images of children and on suspicion of incitement to distribute indecent images of children,'' a police spokesperson told Reuters.
Townshend's initial admission of his Web activity came Saturday in the wake of a report in Britain's Daily Mail that a nationwide kiddie-porn probe that has yielded 1,300 arrests was targeting an unspecified well-known rock star. In a prepared statement on Saturday, and in an interview with British paper The Sun on Sunday, Townshend denied he was a pedophile and said he had visited the illicit sites only three or four times, and only for research on an autobiographical book that would draw upon his own hazy memories of being sexually abused as a child.
Townshend had said he would cooperate with investigators and invited them to inspect his computer. Following up, his lawyer, John Cohen, told the Associated Press on Monday, ''We approached the police this morning and said that we should meet.'' Police came to Townshend's home in suburban Richmond on Monday, searched for four hours, seized computers, and took Townshend into custody, AP reports. Under British law, however, he was not charged at the time of his arrest and may be released from the London police station where he's being held as soon as late Monday, Scotland Yard told AP.