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Folk Legend Booted From Fest Over 1969 Incident Responds

Peter Yarrow says he understands cancellation over decades-old 'indecent liberties' matter
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 5, 2019 9:42 AM CDT
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Singer-songwriter Peter Yarrow.   (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)

(Newser) – Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary fame says he understands why the organizers of a music festival don't want him around. The 81-year-old musician has responded to the news that festival organizers in Norwich, New York, canceled his upcoming appearance after learning he pleaded guilty decades ago to taking "indecent liberties" with a minor. Specifically, Yarrow answered his hotel door naked in 1969 when two sisters, ages 14 and 17, came for an autograph. President Jimmy Carter pardoned him in 1981, but the incident continues to surface, more so than ever in the days of MeToo.

“I fully support the current movements demanding equal rights for all and refusing to allow continued abuse and injury—most particularly of a sexual nature, of which I am, with great sorrow, guilty,” Yarrow says in a statement, per the New York Times. “I do not seek to minimize or excuse what I have done and I cannot adequately express my apologies and sorrow for the pain and injury I have caused in this regard.” He added: “However, beyond any of my words and feelings expressed, I will walk the walk, do all I can to make amends, and dedicate myself to helping bring more justice and peace to the world.” Yarrow is still scheduled to perform July 14 in Old Forge, New York, per the Observer-Dispatch. (Read more Peter, Paul and Mary stories.)

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