Entertainer Rolf Harris groomed 13-year-old girl for sex, court told

Wed May 28, 2014 12:14pm EDT
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By Jack Stubbs

LONDON (Reuters) - Veteran Australian entertainer Rolf Harris groomed and psychologically dominated a 13-year-old girl before repeatedly sexually abusing her, a British court was told on Wednesday.

A mainstay of family television entertainment for decades, Harris is charged with 12 counts of indecent assault against four girls, some as young as seven or eight, between 1968 and 1986. Seven of the counts relate to one woman.

Harris, who denies all the charges, told the jury on Tuesday he had been in a relationship with the woman, but that this had started when she was 18, not 13, and that it had been an adult and consensual affair.

"This was not a consensual relationship, this was child abuse. Grooming. You effectively psychologically dominated that girl," Prosecutor Sasha Wass said, addressing the 84-year-old, in the dock at London's Southwark Crown Court.

"It just never happened," Harris replied.

Harris muttered to himself in court before his second day of evidence and first day of cross-examination. Wearing a dark pinstriped suit and red tie, he attended the indecent assault trial - now in its fourth week - with his wife, Alwen Hughes.

On Tuesday he told a series of anecdotes detailing his rise to stardom, and gave a rendition of his famous comic song "Jake the Peg".

"Yesterday you delighted us with a demonstration of your many talents," Wass said.   Continued...

Entertainer Rolf Harris arrives Southwark Crown Court in London May 27, 2014. Harris is charged with indecent assault, and denies the charges. REUTERS/Andrew Winning