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Uncle of Boy George Imprisoned For Rape

November 9, 1988 GMT

LONDON (AP) _ A judge on Wednesday sentenced Kenneth O’Dowd, the uncle of pop star Boy George, to six years in prison for rape.

Prosecutors said O’Dowd punched and raped a 22-year-old the woman at her London apartment last Christmas Eve after locking her 3-year-old son in a bedroom.

O’Dowd, 41, changed his name from Vissard after his nephew, whose real name is George O’Dowd, rose to fame as the androgynous lead singer with the group Culture Club.

Kenneth O’Dowd, who had 44 previous offenses, including bigamy, pleaded innocent.

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He gained notoriety in 1984 by alleging that former Conservative Prime Minister Edward Heath had appeared in a pornographic photograph with a woman and a child. Heath denied the allegation and successfully defended his name in court.

O’Dowd was jailed in 1985 for two years for perverting the course of justice by faking the photograph, which turned out to be a photocopy of a collection of unrelated pictures stuck together.