Folk singer Peter Yarrow of has been accused of raping an underage girl in his hotel room in 1969.
The Peter, Paul and Mary star was slapped with a lawsuit that was brought to the New York Supreme Court through the Child Victims Act, which allows victims to file claims against their alleged abusers regardless of how long ago the incidents occurred until August 14, 2021.
Yarrow, now 82, has been accused of sexual abuse of a child, negligence, assault, battery, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Deborah Martin alleges that she was a fan who met Yarrow several times at performances, and “took an interest in her,” in a manner she believed to be “paternal.” She now accuses him of “grooming” her to become his victim.
In 1969, Martin ran away from her St. Paul, Minnesota home and phoned Yarrow, who told her to meet him at a hotel on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The singer “booked and paid for” a room, then reportedly raped Martin, who was underage at the time, inside of it. The next day he bought her a plane ticket home.
“As a direct result of the Yarrow’s conduct, Martin suffered and will continue to suffer great pain of mind and body, conscious pain and suffering, psychological suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, severe and permanent emotional distress, physical manifestations of emotional distress,” the suit claims.
The lawsuit also names the the music group Peter, Paul and Mary as liable for neglecting their duty to “conduct appropriate and proper hiring, screening, and retention practices to prevent the hiring and retention of those who may pose a risk of harm, including but not limited to sexual abuse as well as emotional abuse, to minors.”
The allegations against Yarrow are seemingly not out of character. In 1970, he was convicted of taking “indecent liberties” against a 14-year-old girl in a Washington D.C. hotel room.