The former lead singer of the rock band Lostprophets was sentenced Wednesday to 29 years in jail, with a British judge saying that Ian Watkins had “plumbed new depths of depravity” in committing a string of sexual offenses against very young children.
Watkins, 36, pleaded guilty last month to 13 charges, including trying to rape a baby, sexually touching a 1-year-old, encouraging a fan to abuse her child and making child pornography.
Judge John Royce called Watkins a manipulative and dangerous sexual predator who had abused his fame to help satisfy his “insatiable lust.”
“Those who have appeared in these courts over many years see a large number of horrific cases,” Royce said in sentencing at Cardiff Crown Court. “This case, however, breaks new ground.”
Watkins – who was visibly shaking during sentencing – must serve at least two-thirds of his 29-year term, then spend six more years on strict probation.
Lostprophets – which formed in 1997 and had a chart-topping album in 2006 with Liberation Transmission – announced it was disbanding after Watkins’ arrest.
Police are investigating whether Watkins had other victims elsewhere in the world, given his extensive touring schedule.
Detective Chief Inspector Peter Doyle said detectives were pursuing leads in Germany and the United States. He said police have been in touch with Interpol, the German Federal Police and U.S. Homeland Security.
Two female accomplices, described by prosecutors as “active participants in the most shocking abuse of their own children,” were jailed for 15 and 16 years respectively. They have not been identified in order to protect the identities of their children.