John Grisham apologizes for defending child porn offenders 

click to enlarge In an interview published Wednesday, novelist John Grisham said that the United States is handing out unduly harsh prison sentences for child pornography offenses. - JOSE LUIS MAGANA/AP FILE PHOTO
  • Jose Luis Magana/AP file photo
  • In an interview published Wednesday, novelist John Grisham said that the United States is handing out unduly harsh prison sentences for child pornography offenses.

John Grisham, master of plot twists, should have seen this one coming. The best-selling author of airport bookstore paperbacks was forced to issue an apology Thursday for a rambling tirade against prison sentences for child porn offenders.

"My comments ... during an interview with the British newspaper The Telegraph were in no way intended to show sympathy for those convicted of sex crimes, especially the sexual molestation of children," he wrote in a statement on his website. "I can think of nothing more despicable."

Grisham told The Telegraph on Wednesday that the U.S. had "gone crazy" incarcerating people over the past few decades. More specifically, child porn users. Even more specifically, "60-year-old white men in prison."

Extremely specifically, his "good buddy from law school."

"His drinking was out of control, and he went to a website. It was labeled '16-year-old wannabee hookers' or something like that," Grisham told The Telegraph. "So he went there. Downloaded some stuff -- it was 16-year-old girls who looked 30.

"He shouldn't 'a done it. It was stupid, but it wasn't 10-year-old boys. He didn't touch anything. And God, a week later there was a knock on the door: FBI."

Even as Grisham bemoaned the fate of his incarcerated buddy and all other offenders in prison "who've never harmed anybody, would never touch a child," Salon.com tracked him through court records. Grisham's law school buddy served a little over a year and is practicing law again.

There was no update on the "16-year-old girls who looked 30."

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Giselle Velazquez

Bio:
Giselle Velazquez was born and raised in the shadow of San Francisco's Diamond Heights and now lives in the shadow of South San Francisco's Sign Hill. She has written for publications such as The S.F. Examiner, Ventura County Star, and the S.F. Bay Guardian.
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