Former pop star and music industry entrepreneur Jonathan King has been sentenced to seven years in jail in England for a series of sexual assaults against schoolboys. A jury at the Old Bailey in London today (Nov. 21) heard that the 56-year-old, from Bayswater, West London, had “used his celebrity status” to lure teenage boys to his home between 1983 and 1989. He was found guilty of six offenses of sexual assault involving five boys aged between 14 and 15, and charged under his real name, Kenneth King.
The British pop mogul, who broke into the music industry with his worldwide hit single “Everyone’s Gone to the Moon” in 1965, is recognized as having discovered and named such successful acts as Genesis and 10cc. He subsequently launched his own label — U.K. Records — and forged several successful business ventures, including the annual “Record of the Year” music program and U.K. music trade publication The Tip Sheet. King recently relinquished all ties with the latter publication.
During the sentencing, Judge David Paget told King, “This is a serious breach of trust. You used your fame and success to attract adolescent and impressionable boys. You then abused the trust they and their parents placed in you.”
King had denied the charges throughout the lengthy trial and plans to appeal the verdict. “I’m not the first person to protest his innocence after a guilty verdict, but I may be the first to be convicted without a trace of evidence or proof against me, after an enormous burst of media publicity provoked all the false allegations,” he said in a statement.
King has been held at Belmarsh prison, south London, since he was found guilty in September of the charges. However, reporting restrictions were placed on the trial until today as King faced further trials for serious offenses against two boys in the 1970s. The subsequent trial collapsed yesterday after one of the plaintiffs admitted to having been over the legal age of consent at the time of the incident.
As a result of his conviction, King has been placed indefinitely on the sex-offenders register, has been banned from working with children, and was ordered to pay nearly $20,000 towards the prosecution costs.