Celebrity abuse cases get much more attention than the average crime. Especially when that abuse involves a child. We tend to glorify stars as a society and set them above everyone else. In extreme cases, stars are said to be set above the law. Dr. Wendy James, who focuses on the early diagnosis and treatment of psychological issues, said, “of course every situation is unique, but today when we look at stars...we hear it all the time, that they begin to abuse their positions.” James also goes on to say that she sees the narcissistic behavior in stars while others see them as doing no wrong. She said this can lead to stars acting out in sexually inappropriate ways, with child molestation being an extreme situation.
The drama surrounding the explosion of child abuse allegations can turn into a witch-hunt when a celebrity is involved. The events will be remembered whether the allegations are true or false.The abuse is often posted in the limelight which can hurt potential victims and the falsely accused.
Sometimes, when a celebrity is involved it is hard to tell wheaten they are really innocent or just using their fame and money to get out of trouble. Celebrity abuse and rape cases make it appear that our justice system is for sale. We have seen multiple times when law enforcement will turn a blind eye to celebrity misbehavior. When we see this happen we have to ask ourselves just how balanced our justice system really is.
15 Jeffery Jones
Jeffrey Jones is most well known for his role as the high school principal in Ferris Bueller. He played the creepy teacher role well because he is in fact creepy in real life. In 2002 Jones was charged with hiring a 14-year-old boy to pose for sexually explicit photos and possessing child pornography.
Sandi Gibbons, spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office said, “The charges do not involve any sex act being performed or any video being taken.”
The Los Angeles Times reported that Jones’ attorney, Jeffrey Brodey, said that the charges are “all about photos.”
Jones pled no contest and settled with his victim in a civil case. He is required to register as a sex offender for life. The Inappropriate photos of children are enough for this celebrity to make our list. Jones went a step beyond possessing photos and hired a young boy to create his own photos. In 2010 Jones was arrested for failing to update his information as a sex offender which resulted in an extra three years of probation.
14 Paul Reubens - Pee Wee Herman
Paul Reubens, best known as Pee Wee Herman, is said to be one of the original Hollywood weirdos. His crime was odd and maybe that is why it took the media by storm. Reubens was arrested and charged with exposing himself inside an adult theater in 1991. A detective arrested him in the lobby after he observed Reubens exposing himself.
Convicted or not convicted - the charge alone would ruin Reubens career. He had a Saturday morning comedy show called “Pee-wee’s Playhouse.” Reubens was involved with kids from all over the world. CBS cancelled the Emmy award winning show after the news broke.
In 2002 Reubens was arrested for possessing child pornorgraphy. The child pornography charge was dropped and Reubens pleaded to a charge of obscenity instead. During an interview with NBC News Reuben said, “I probably have become more infamous from two misdemeanors than probably anyone I can think of.”
13 Paula Poundstone
Paula Poundstone was one of the few women to break out of the nightly routine of playing small clubs during the stand up comedy boom in the 1980’s. She had a great career until it all changed in 2001. She was charged with lewd acts upon a child and child endangerment. Poundstone had three adopted children and two foster children ages 2-12 at the time of her arrest. She pled no contest to one count of felony child endangerment and one misdemeanor count of inflicting injury upon a child. The other charges were dropped.
Poundstone changed her plea from not guilty to no contest. In exchange, prosecutors dropped three counts of committing lewd acts against a child and added the misdemeanor count. As part of a plea agreement with Los Angeles County prosecutors, Poundstone was placed on five years of probation with no jail time. Had Poundstone been convicted on the original charges, she could have faced up to 13 years in state prison.
12 Michael Jackson
In November 2003, Fox News reported that Michael Jackson was handcuffed and booked on suspicion of child molestation charges. He posted a $3 million bail and was released. Jackson immediately returned to work on a music video after being released.
In 2005 a criminal trial was held. Jackson was indicted for four counts of molesting a minor, four counts of intoxicating a minor in order to molest him, one count of attempted child molestation, one count of conspiring to hold a boy and his family captive, and conspiring to commit extortion and child abduction. Jackson denied all of the allegations. He was found not guilty after the six month trial. Unfortunately, he was made out to be guilty by the media and public opinion. .
The child star turned pop king turned child molester died of cardiac arrest in 2009. He was busy rehearsing for an upcoming comeback tour when he suddenly passed. People magazine reported that a source close to Jackson said, “he is physically just not ready (for concerts). He weighs less than he did during his trial which was almost nothing.”
11 Rob Lowe
Long before Kim Kardashian there was an infamous sex tape. In 1988 Rob Lowe was involved in a scandal over a videotape of him having sex with two females, one of them was 16. E News called this Hollywood's first major sex tape scandal. The tape was made in Georgia where the legal age of consent is 16. Lowe claimed that he did not know the girl was underage. He agreed to perform 20 hours of community service and never faced criminal charges. It hurt his career, but only for a moment.
Lowe eventually bounced back from the scandal with his role in The West Wing and Parks & Recreation. In 2016 Lowe sparked controversy in a new “Sex Tape” promo for an upcoming roast on Comedy Central. Apparently, he appeared completely naked with a saxophone making light of the tape that tainted his reputation.
After the roast Lowe told reporters, “I’m just glad there's something left of me.”
10 Stephen Collins
TMZ obtained audio recording of the former 7th Heaven star, Stephen Collins, confessing to child molestation. Collins was confessing to his wife, Faye Grant, during a therapy session. They were going through a long drawn out divorce and Grant secretly recorded the therapy session in 2012. Although, she denies that she released the tapes to the media. Grant claims that she handed the tapes over to authorities per their request. On the tapes, Collins admits that he molested and/or expose himself to three girls ages 11-13.
New York police opened an investigation due to the tapes, however, Collins was not prosecuted. Law enforcement sources told TMZ that the cases would not go anywhere. They are decades old and the prosecution would be barred by the statute of limitations. Grant alleged that Collins molested a child while he was filming 7th Heaven between 1996-2007, but no victim has come forward.
9 Robert Sylvester - R. Kelly
In 2003, singer R. Kelly was arrested in Miami on twelve counts of possession of child pornography. Police said they found twelve digital images depicting sex with a female under the age of 18. In three of the photos Kelly is engaged in sexual conduct with the minor. The search was conducted after Kelly was arrested in Polk County on a warrant from Chicago. Kelly was indicted on twenty one counts of child pornography in Chicago. The Chicago charges came after a video surfaced showing the singer having sex with an underage girl. After Polk County searched Kelly's home they launched their own investigation, which resulted in the new charges.
Kelly denied any wrongdoing. This wasn't his first time fighting allegations about his sex life. He has been the focus in at least four lawsuits in which he is accused of having sex with a minor. He settled two of the lawsuits due to the advice of his lawyers. In the third lawsuit a woman claims that Kelly made her have sex and then get an abortion when she was a minor.
8 Corey Sligh
An actor who has appeared on The Young and the Restless was arrested in October 2016 in Georgia. Corey Sligh allegedly molested a girl younger than ten years old. A spokesman with Cherokee County Sheriff's Office in Georgia told PEOPLE that Sligh was charged with child molestation, posted a $22,000 bail and was released the same day.
Sligh apparently knew the victim and the victim's parents reposted the molestation to police. The abuse supposedly took place between April and September, however, there are no reports that show how many times the abuse took place. Sligh told TMZ, “I am innocent and fighting this until the end, and the truth will prevail.”
This isn't the first time Sligh is in the news. In 2014 he was hospitalized after being hit by a car. But the weird part is, the men who hit him went on to beat him up afterwards. We wonder if the attack had any connection to this or another child molestation accusation.
7 Woody Allen
In 2014 Woody Allen's adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, gave a detailed account of the 1992 sexual abuse to the New York Times. The accusations first arose in 1992 when Allen was accused of touching the seven year old Inappropriately. Allen responded to the allegations by saying his ex girlfriend made it up out of anger and prosecutors decided not to charge him.
Allen has never been convicted of child abuse, however, in 1993 a judge denied Allen visitation rights with Farrow. In an open letter Farrow claims that she was deeply impacted by the assault. She says, “that he got away with what he did to me haunted me as I grew up. I was terrified of being touched by men. I developed an eating habit. I began cutting myself.”
When Farrow heard about the Golden Globe award being given to Allen in 2014 she curled up in a ball and cried. Ultimately, the Golden Globes sided with Allen giving him the award and dismissing the allegations made by Farrow.
6 Paul Gadd - Gary Glitter
In 2014 former British pop star Paul Gadd, also known as Gary Glitter, was arrested and charged with eight sex offenses against two teenage girls more than three decades ago. Gadd was known as a “glam rocker” in the 1970s. The offenses happened between 1977 and 1980 when the girls were 12 to 14 years old. Gadd was charged with six counts of indecent assault, and one count of administering a drugs to facilitate sexual intercourse with a girl under 13.
This is not the first time Gadd was prosecuted on sex charges. In 1999 he admitted possessing child pornography and was jailed for four months. While he was living in Vietnam he was convicted of sex offenses against young girls and jailed nearly three years before being deported to England.
On February 5 2015, Gadd was found guilty of attempted rape, four counts of indecent assault and one count having sex with a girl under the age of 13. He was sentenced to sixteen years in prison.
5 Peter Yarrow
Peter Yarrow was a folk singer and a member of the legendary group Peter, Paul and Mary. Yarrow is a convicted sex offender who was accused of engaging in a sex act with a 14- year-old girl in a Washington, DC hotel room in 1970. The sex act happened in front of the young girls 17-year-old sister. Yarrow pleaded guilty to taking indecent liberties with a child and landed himself behind bars for three months.
In 2014, parents at La Guardia high school became enraged when they heard Yarrow would be honored for the Performing Arts at the school. A student wrote on the La Guardia schools facebook page stating that a teacher said whoever is uncomfortable performing on stage with Yarrow does not have to participate. Within 24 hours, 10 girls and 2 boys stated they did not want to perform.
Yarrow made a statement to the post stating that he was grateful for the pardon he received from President Jimmy Carter in 1981 and “I hope that my contrition and my efforts to help humanity over the years will allow me a measure of the public forgiveness.”
4 Roman Polanski
Film director, Roman Polanski, fled the United States after he pled guilty to having sex with a 13-year-old in the 1977. He fled to Europe after pleading guilty but before he could be sentenced. The victim publicly forgave Polanski in 1997 and asked that the case be dismissed. Polanski was arrested in Switzerland in 2009 based on a U.S. Fugitive warrant. The Swiss did not accept the American extradition request because the United States did not provide all the legal records Switzerland requested.
The director has both French and Polish citizenship. The United States sent a request to Poland wanting officials to arrest Polanski. He was finally questioned by Polish authorities in 2014, but he was allowed to leave after the interview. A spokesman from the Polish Prosecutor General's office said that authorities there didn't believe it was necessary to hold him in custody while the United States seeks to extradite him.
3 Jerry “The King” Lawler
Earlier this month the WWE Hall of Famer, Jerry “The King” Lawler, got body slammed on social media. He retweeted a picture of an old news story about his 1993 rape and sodomy arrest. WHY WOULD HE RETWEET THIS? Apparently, it was posted and tagged to him by a twitter username @Andy_Maiden. The picture included a close up of an article from Pro Wrestling Illustrated Weekly that was about Lawler's rape and sodomy charges. The caption with the photo read, “found some hilarious pro wrestling content from my childhood in my parents house.”
Lawler is a Tennessee native. He was accused of raping a teenage girl and intimidating a witness in 1993. The charges were eventually dropped. Conveniently, it was just 12 days before Lawler was scheduled to wrestle at Survivor Series. He was only briefly removed from television following the incident.
Some twitter users thought the wrestler had been hacked when he retweeted the article. Others think maybe he just didn't read it. Lawler eventually deleted the tweet after 15,000 views and numerous dig responses.
2 Remy Gonzalez
Remigio “Remy” Gonzalez is the brother-in-law of Buddy Valastro of the TLC reality show Cake Boss. Gonzales has appeared on the show as a cake decorator. He is currently serving nine years in prison for sexually assuring a 13-year-old girl in New Jersey. Gonzalez was arrested in 2010 after detectives met with two witnesses who claimed that Gonzalez admitted to them that he committed multiple assaults on a teen. The witnesses claim the assaults occurred in March of 2012.
Gonzalez admitted that he was guilty of some illicit acts in court. He later claimed that his lawyer pressured him into admitting certain acts that he did not do. Gonzalez attempted to withdraw his guilty plea. A judge refused his request and Gonzalez was sentenced to jail and he must register as a sex offender. Morris county prosecutors say that Gonzalez will likely be deported to Mexico once he's freed from prison.
1 Ian Watkins
Ian Watkins has been called the worst sex offender ever. In 2008, in one of the most twisted sex tapes ever, the pedophile rock star and his girlfriend spoke of having a baby just so they could rape and kill it “as soon as she is born” while they made love. Three years later in 2011 Watkins and his girlfriend took part in “disgusting and abhorrent” online sex chats. Watkins sent child pornography to his girlfriend and she replied “child molesters till we die.”
Watkins pleaded guilty to 13 child sex offenses including the attempted rape of a fan's 11-month-old boy. Of the 90 images of child abuse found on his computer, 24 were at level one, the most serious category of child abuse photos. The youngest child was only 2-years-old. Watkins is serving a 35 year prison sentence for multiple charges of child sexual assault, including attempting to rape a baby.
Sources: NBC News, Fox News, CBS News, TMZ, NY Post, CNN