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Update: Entertainer Rolf Harris Found Guilty of Sex Assaults Today


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From the Independent (UK)

A woman has told a court that veteran entertainer Rolf Harris would give her 'creepy' hugs before indecently assaulting her during a holiday in Hawaii when she was 13.

The 49-year-old woman, who was giving evidence from behind a curtain at Southwark Crown Court in London, alleged the 84-year-old touched her without warning when she had just got out of the shower and was wrapped in only a towel, during the trip in 1978.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is the first witness to give evidence in the entertainer's trial.

She is a childhood friend of Mr Harris' daughter, Bindi.

She told the jury of six women and six men: "The way he hugged you and touched you all over, it was cringey.

"The way Rolf folded himself around you, he was a big man...he enfolded you in his arms and then touched you up and down over your body. He'd go 'ooh'." She claims he groped her.

After the claimed assault, the alleged victim said: "He... pretended as if nothing had happened and said 'See you downstairs'." She told the jury that Mr Harris told her she was "lovely".

Harris, sitting in the glass-walled dock, looked down at the floor as he listened to proceedings through a hearing loop.

The woman said: "I was shocked and panicked by it because I didn't know what to do. I thought 'I don't know quite what's happened here but whatever it is, it's not good'. I just sat on the edge of the bed in a state of shock, really."

The alleged incident is not included among charges that Harris faces, because it happened abroad before such offences could be prosecuted in the UK.

But the woman is named on seven of the 12 indecent assault charges against the artist and musician, all of which he denies. She claims that Harris went on to abuse her for a number of years.

The woman told the court that on another occasion during the same holiday Mr Harris abused her by fondling her crotch as he wrapped a towel round her on the beach.

She said the star's wife and daughter were sunbathing "a few feet away" when he put his hand inside the towel, and down her bikini bottoms.

Asked why she did not tell them or shout out, she said: "I was a very shy child, excruciatingly shy really, and I just hadn't got the guts to shout out and I thought, well, if you shout out it will cause mayhem anyway. It was Bindi's dad and Alwen's husband."

Later in the same holiday, she alleges she was again fondled by Harris while she was wearing her bikini.

The woman, who jurors have heard went on to have a number of sexual encounters with Harris until her late 20s, claims he told her later that the bikini she wore on that holiday had "always turned him on".

The court heard that on one occasion the woman woke up to hear the "clicking of a camera" and found Harris taking photographs of her.

She said that she "buried" the alleged holiday assaults after coming back to the UK, and later began drinking, "swigging" glasses of gin and tonic water when her parents were not around. The woman told the jury she was "a bit confused and angry".

She said of the alleged abuse: "It just made me panic more. I was anxious and very panicky and that's why I started to drink."

She told the court that it would make her feel "anxious and panic-stricken" when she knew she might see Mr Harris, and that his "sheer presence" worried her.

Mr Harris, from Bray in Berkshire, entered a not guilty plea at an earlier hearing. The case continues.

Additional reporting by the Press Association

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I guess he just couldn't 'tie his kangaroo down', eh sport'?!! .. a lawsuit against a man who canna remember his own name?

They say timing is everything .. they may be right ..

I always loved this guy .. but then as an 8-year altar boy, I could handle most anything .. :ph34r:

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Does anyone remember him? Rolf Harris was a staple on BCTV during the 1970's and 1980's, especially during the Variety Telethon, raising money for kids who were disabled. As I recalled, he was a popular childrens' performer who sold tickets to his show at the QE Theater. He was a very popular entertainer which I have not heard of for years. He was interviewed many times at CKNW. Actually I thought he was dead.

Who knew he was such a pervert. No wonder he was around kids all the time.

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  • 1 month later...

From CTV:

LONDON -- Television entertainer Rolf Harris, known to generations of children in Britain and Australia for his friendly screen presence, was found guilty Monday of a string of indecent assaults on young girls that took place from the '60s to the '80s.

The conviction marked a stunning reversal for Harris, 84, whose popularity on children's TV in Britain rivaled that of "Captain Kangaroo" in the United States. The judge said Harris should expect prison time when he is sentenced Friday.

The man who appeared in hundreds of TV shows and even painted an official portrait of Queen Elizabeth II will likely now be remembered chiefly as a sexual predator.

A jury found the Australian-born broadcaster guilty of 12 counts of indecent assault on four victims aged 19 or younger.

Prosecutor Jenny Hopkins said Harris' victims all reported a similar pattern of abuse by a man who believed he could act without fear of consequences.

"Rolf Harris used his status and position as a world-famous children's entertainer to sexually assault young girls over a period spanning 18 years," she said, adding that the victims had "suffered in silence" for decades.

Among the victims was a close friend of his daughter Bindi who told the court that Harris had sexually abused her numerous times when she was a teenager.

Prosecutors said Harris told police the relationship was consensual and only started after the girl reached 18.

The prosecution described Harris as having a "Jekyll and Hyde" personality divided between a generous, kind side and a dark side that believed he could get away with sex crimes against young girls because he was too famous and powerful to be brought to justice.

Prosecutors said the victims did not know each other and had come forward independently to report the abuse.

During the trial -- which saw Harris accompanied to court on most days by his wife Alwen and daughter -- six witnesses who were not part of the criminal case testified that Harris had assaulted them. One said she was 11 or 12 when Harris told her he wanted to be the first person to teach her how to tongue kiss.

Harris was well-loved in Britain, where he performed for the queen's Diamond Jubilee concert in 2012. He was also known for musical hits including the novelty song "Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport" and had performed once with the Beatles.

He is one of several veteran entertainers in the U.K. to face sex charges since TV host Jimmy Savile was exposed as a serial child molester after his death in 2011

Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/entertainment/tv-personality-rolf-harris-guilty-of-12-counts-of-indecent-assault-1.1892938#ixzz36AnfsYt7

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