Lostprophets frontman Ian Watkins has been sentenced to 29 years in prison for crimes of child abuse. Additionally, he has been given “an extended license of six years,” the Mirror reports, meaning his total jail time will be 35 years. Watkins must serve two-thirds of his sentence before he is eligible for release. The judgment was announced on December 18.
Watkins was on trial with two women for “conspiring to engage in sexual touching with two young children.” The women — both mothers to the abused children, according to the BBC — have been sentenced to 14 years and 17 years in jail, respectively.
Speaking in court, the judge told Watkins: “You are a sexual predator. You are dangerous. The public, and in particular young females and children, need protection from you.” The judge also said: “I am satisfied that you are a deeply corrupting influence. You are highly manipulative.”
Back in November, the 36-year-old U.K. singer pleaded guilty to attempting to rape a one-year-old girl, and several other sex offenses. At the time, the prosecutor told the court that Watkins “accepts he is a determined and committed pedophile.” The Lostprophets leader pleaded not guilty to rape, but entered a guilty plea on three counts of sexual assault involving children, six counts relating to child pornography, and one count of possessing “extreme” animal pornography.
Several months earlier, a lawyer for Watkins said his client “furiously denies” all of the accusations.
Lostprophets have opened for the Deftones and Linkin Park in the United States, and their 2004 album Say Something sold more than a half-million copies here. They regularly topped the U.K. album charts, including with last year’s Weapons.
In an October Facebook post, the other Lostprophets members called it quits and distanced themselves from Watkins. “After nearly a year of coming to terms with our heartache, we finally feel ready to announce publicly what we have thought privately for some time,” they wrote. “We can no longer continue making or performing music as Lostprophets.”