Singer’s ‘indecent liberties’ with 14-year-old girl — pardoned by Jimmy Carter — get him nixed from folk music festival


An 81-year-old member of the 1960s folk group Peter, Paul and Mary has been disinvited from a music festival to be held in upstate New York this fall over his 1970 jail sentence for taking “indecent liberties” with a 14-year-old girl, the festival board announced Tuesday.

Peter Yarrow — whose offense was later pardoned by former President Jimmy Carter — was removed from the lineup at the Colorscape Chenango Arts Festival. The board announced its decision Tuesday, citing negative reactions on social media to Yarrow’s inclusion. The singer was to perform Sept. 8.

“When booking this artist we were not aware of news stories about an incident involving Yarrow in 1970,” Colorscape’s board president Melissa DeCordova told the Press & Sun-Bulletin, a newspaper based in Binghamton, N.Y.

“Some members of our community expressed concern, and after further investigation and careful consideration, the decision was made to remove Yarrow from the music schedule,” DeCordova said in a statement to the newspaper.

Yarrow was sentenced to three months in jail in 1970 for taking “indecent liberties” with a 14-year-old girl after she and her 17-year-old sister went to his hotel room in Washington in 1969 to ask for an autograph and Yarrow answered the door naked. Former President Carter pardoned Yarrow in 1981 the day before Ronald Reagan succeeded him in the Oval Office.

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