On Feb. 27 in a London, England, courtroom, former 1970s glam rock star Gary Glitter was sentenced to 16 years in prison after being found guilty of a string of child sex abuse charges that dated back to the 1970s and involved three young girls, according to CNN. The 70-year-old Glitter was found guilty on Feb. 5 “of one count of attempted rape of a girl under the age of 13, one count of having sex with a girl under the age of 13 and four counts of indecent assault against girls.”
Although the sexual assaults occurred between 1975 and 1980, England does not have a statute of limitations when it comes to child sexual abuse. The three girls that Glitter was found guilty of sexually abusing were between the ages of 8 and 13, according to NPR.
All in all, Glitter got off easy with today’s sentencing of only 16 years. The maximum penalty for his offenses could have been life behind bars. But the judge imposing the sentence instead resorted to the more lenient sentencing guidelines that were in effect back in the 1970s and 1980s. NPR provided the example that although the charge of having sex with a child under 13 carries a life sentence in 2015, it only carried a seven year prison term back in the 1970s and 1980s.
Born Paul Francis Gadd, Glitter was originally arrested in London in 2012 in connection with a case involving allegations that BBC children’s television host Jimmy Savile had sexually abused some 300 youngsters over a 40 year period. Glitter was also imprisoned back in 2006 for child sex offenses.
According to the BBC, Scotland Yard tracked down at least 400 leads that Savile, who died in 2011 at age 84, sexually abused hundreds of young girls and some boys. According to the London Police, Glitter fell into the investigation of the case that police called “Savile and others.” Police described Savile as a “predatory sex offender”. One witness in the case claimed to have seen Glitter having sex with a schoolgirl in Savile’s dressing room at the BBC.
“Paul Gadd abused his access to young fans in order to give himself the opportunities to assault and abuse his victims,” Chief Crown Prosecutor Baljit Ubhey said. “Crimes such as these have repercussions for victims that can last for a lifetime.” ~ USA Today
Glitter had 26 hit singles from 1972 to 1995, including: “Rock and Roll, Parts One and Two,” “I Love You Love Me Love,” “I’m the Leader of the Gang (I Am),” “Hello, Hello, I’m Back Again,” and “Another Rock n’ Roll Christmas.” His already slowing career took a sharp downward spiral in 2006 after a court in Vietnam found him guilty of committing obscene acts with minors, which was followed by a 1999 conviction for possession of child pornography in England. For more on Glitter’s conviction and sentencing, see the video accompanying this article.