In 1970, a 14-year-old girl and her 17-year-old sister went to his hotel room after his concert to get his autograph. He came to the door naked and then sexually abused the 14-year-old in front of her sister. He was sentenced to a one-to-three-year prison sentence, but only served three months. Tonight he will be honored in New York City by the Parents Association of his alma mater, LaGuardia Arts High School (the FAME school). Al Roker and Deborah Roberts will co-host the fundraiser, and many stage and screen stars will perform.
The child molester is Peter Yarrow, of the Peter, Paul, and Mary trio. Yarrow, who was convicted of “immoral and improper liberties” with a minor, brushes off criticism by saying what he did was not uncommon.
- “In that time, it was common practice, unfortunately—the whole groupie thing.”
- “It was an era of real indiscretion and mistakes by categorically male performers.”
- “In Washington, it was considered a felony. In New York, it would have been a class B misdemeanor.”
In 1981, he was pardoned by President Jimmy Carter, a man who has spent much of this year hawking his book on the mistreatment of women by the clergy. At the time of the pardon, Yarrow was married to the niece of Democratic Senator Eugene McCarthy. Yarrow wants us to take note of his pardon: “With the mean-spiritedness of our time, it gets hauled out as if it’s [his sexual assault of the 14-year-old girl] relevant. You don’t get a presidential pardon if you’re not doing great work, have paid your debts to society.”
It just makes me want to reach for the vomit bag. Make that two vomit bags: one for him and one for those who will fawn all over him tonight.