Rolf Harris assaulted girl while parents downstairs, court hears

Mon May 12, 2014 12:00pm EDT
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By Jack Stubbs

LONDON (Reuters) - Australian entertainer Rolf Harris sexually assaulted a 15-year-old girl in her bedroom before going downstairs to laugh and joke with her parents, a London court was told on Monday.

Harris abused the girl for her entire teenage and young-adult life, first assaulting her at the age of 13 as she got out of the shower, prosecutor Sasha Wass told the jury. He also took photos of her as she slept and molested her within yards of other sleeping children, she added.

A global star of family TV entertainment for more than 50 years, Harris is the biggest name to go on trial since British police launched a major investigation after revelations that the late BBC TV host Jimmy Savile was a prolific child sex abuser, leading to the arrest of more than a dozen ageing celebrities.

The 84-year-old is charged with 12 counts of indecent assault against four girls between 1968 and 1986, the youngest of whom was aged just seven or eight at the time of the alleged offence.

Harris denies the charges.

Giving evidence behind a screen, the woman, now aged 49, said she was too scared and intimidated by Harris's fame to tell anyone about the abuse and he routinely sexually assaulted until she was 28 years old.

“I was just so scared of him, He was this big man on the telly and I thought no one would believe me anyway," she said. "He was this huge character and I thought I wouldn't stand a chance.

"I felt disgusted in myself for letting him do it.”   Continued...

Entertainer Rolf Harris arrives at Southwark Crown Court in London May 12, 2014.  REUTERS/Andrew Winning