In 1970, Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary fame pleaded guilty to taking "immoral and improper liberties with... a female child." The charge stemmed from an incident that took place the year before in a D.C. hotel room where Yarrow, then 31, allegedly had sexual relations (but not sex) with a 14-year-old girl.
As a result, the National Republican Congressional Committee is calling on 8th District Democratic U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan to cancel an April 25 Duluth fundraiser he's scheduled with the renowned folk singer/songwriter.
Here's a 1970 Chicago Tribune article about Yarrow's guilty plea:
Yarrow has repeatedly apologized for the incident, which landed him in jail for three months. (Yarrow later married the niece of Minnesota U.S. Sen. Eugene McCarthy and was pardoned by President Carter in 1981.)
Nonetheless, NRCC spokesman Tyler Houlton says the fundraiser, which will be held at Bowery Brothers Pub and asks for a $50 suggested donation, reveals a disconnect between Nolan and the values of northern Minnesota.
"Rick Nolan should immediately cancel his fundraiser with a convicted child molester and apologize to his constituents," Houlton says. "The fact that Rick Nolan even considered hosting an event with a child molester in the first place shows how wildly out of touch he is with Minnesota families."
Reached for comment this morning, Nolan spokesperson Steve Johnson characterized the NRCC's demand as "just a diversion" and referred us to a statement released by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on Friday.
"This is a desperate attempt from [Nolan's leading Republican challenger] Stewart Mills to distract from the fact that he is personally offended when millionaires like himself are asked to pay their fair share, putting him squarely in line with Congressman Paul Ryan's budget that would raise taxes on middle class Minnesotans in order to cut taxes for the wealthy," DRCC spokesperson Brandon Lorenz writes.