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Pete Townshend Cleared Of Child Porn Charges

Who guitarist must register as sex offender, though, for paying to access illegal Web site.

Following a four-month investigation, Who guitarist Pete Townshend has been cleared of child pornography charges.

However, London's Metropolitan Police have taken the precaution of placing the rocker on a national register of sex offenders for paying to access a child pornography site in 1999. The process will involve taking the guitarist's fingerprints, a DNA sample and a photograph.

Townshend was arrested January 13 for plunking down a credit card to view the child porn site, but he said he did so only as research for his autobiography (see [article id="1459501"]"Pete Townshend Arrested In Child Porn Investigation"[/article]). He claimed he may have been sexually abused as a child and that he hoped the images might help jog his memory.

In a press statement, Townshend said, "The police have unconditionally accepted that these were my motives in looking at this site and that there was no other nefarious purpose. I accept that I was wrong to access this site and that by doing so, I broke the law."

Police cleared Townshend on Wednesday (May 7) after a thorough examination of computer equipment seized from Townshend's home and office in January revealed no downloaded images of child abuse.

Townshend was the highest-profile figure busted in Operation Ore, the British arm of a worldwide FBI crackdown on Internet child pornography.