Concert Pianist Jailed for Luring Boys Via the Internet

Gretchen Gallen
LONDON – A concert pianist on tour in South Asia was jailed this week for using the Internet to solicit sex from young Sri Lankan boys.

The man, 66-year-old Brian Parnell of London, was arrested under British sex tourism law after Sri Lanka's National Child Protection Authority caught the man posing as a young boy in chatrooms. He allegedly engaged in numerous exchanges with underage boys via the Internet while on tour with the opera company in 2002.

An undercover agent for the NCPA began corresponding with the pianist, and after Parnell emailed the agent explicit photos of himself, he was approached by Sri Lankan authorities. Although he could not be arrested because soliciting sex from a minor is not against the law in Sri Lanka.

The case involving Parnell was eventually passed on to British authorities who arrested him in 2003 under the 1996 Sex Offences Act, a sex tourism law that gives British authorities jurisdiction against citizens who commit crimes outside of the country.

Parnell denied all charges but he was found guilty this week under British law of soliciting sex from underage boys. He was sentenced to two years in prison and will put on Britain's sex offender list. Parnell has also been asked to surrender his computer equipment.