Welsh rock singer Watkins jailed for child sex offenses

Welsh rock singer Ian Watkins was jailed Wednesday for 35 years after pleading guilty to a string of child sex offenses, including the attempted rape of a baby.

Reading the sentence at Cardiff Crown Court, Judge John Royce said the 36-year-old former Lostprophets frontman had “plumbed new depths of depravity.”

Two women, the mothers of two of the victims, were sentenced alongside Watkins to 14 and 16 years for their part in the abuse. They cannot be named for fear of identifying the victims.

Watkins last month pleaded guilty to 13 child sex offenses including sexual assault involving children and making and possessing indecent images of children. He pleaded not guilty to rape of a child under 13.

But before sentencing, the court heard that Watkins had told a female fan the day after he pleaded guilty that he did not understand “what everybody was getting so freaked out about” and denied that he was a pedophile. “I’m going to put out a statement on the 18th just to say it was mega lolz,” he added, referring to a phrase used by the band on T-shirts. “lol” in text-speak means “laugh out loud.”


Resolution criticizes Iran for serious rights violations

The U.N. General Assembly has approved a resolution criticizing Iran for serious rights violations including torture and its “alarming” and frequent use of the death penalty.

The vote Wednesday was 86 to 36, with 61 countries abstaining. The resolution also welcomes pledges by Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, on some important human rights issues such as eliminating discrimination against women.

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