TV entertainer Rolf Harris allegedly assaulted seven girls and women in a series of “brazen” sex attacks that spanned more than 30 years, a court has heard.
One of the alleged victims was as young as 12, while the oldest was 42, a jury of seven women and five men at London’s Southwark Crown Court was told.
None of the assaults, which are said to have taken place between 1971 and 2004 when Harris was aged between 41 and 74, involved “penetrative activity”, the court heard.
Prosecutor Jonathan Rees told the jury: “Most of the behaviour complained of falls into a broad category that might be described as unwanted groping, and includes, for example, grabbing or touching breasts over clothing, or slipping a hand up or into a skirt to touch the vaginal area.”
He continued: “One notable feature of the case is that none these assaults is alleged to have happened in private; all appear, so it is alleged, to have occurred in public settings when there were other people in the near vicinity. And it may be that you will want to consider whether Mr Harris’s celebrity status played any part in making him apparently so brazen in what it is alleged that he did.”
Jurors were told that Harris was currently in Stafford Prison, serving a sentence for a series of offences of indecent assault carried out on four female victims.
The 86-year-old “continues to maintain his innocence” regarding these offences, the prosecutor said, and has pleaded not guilty to seven fresh counts of indecent assault and one alternative charge of sexual assault.
Each of the new alleged victims contacted the police or the NSPCC in the wake of the “widespread publicity” surrounding the first trial, he said.
In December last year, Judge Alistair McCreath ruled that the entertainer would not have to attend proceedings in person because of his age and health.
Harris, wearing a dark suit and dark grey patterned tie, watched quietly as he appeared on video-link.
Among the allegations are that Harris inappropriately touched girls on separate occasions when asked to sign autographs.
He is alleged to have pulled a 14-year-old girl on to his lap and put his hand up her skirt at a youth music event in London in 1971.
Mr Rees said the prosecution argues that, despite Harris’s assertion that he would not act in such a way, his previous convictions establish that he has “a propensity for indecently assaulting young females”.
In 1977 Harris is said to have put his hand up the skirt of a 12-year-old girl after saying “Let’s give you a little cuddle” when she went with her mother to get an autograph after the entertainer did a radio interview in Portsmouth.
Another “vulnerable” person, a blind, disabled woman, was allegedly groped by Harris at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London.
The woman, who was not at the time an in-patient at the hospital, recalled hearing a door to the room she was in opening and recognising the voice of the TV star whom she was expecting to meet.
Mr Rees told the jury: “She says he approached her and said ‘Has anyone told you what a good-looking woman you are? She put her hand out to shake his hand but Mr Harris said that he couldn’t be doing with all that.”
Then, he continued, “he crouched down, kissed the back of her neck and … began slobbering over her. She told him to get off, she says, but he put one hand down the back of her skirt while he placed the other under her bottom over the top of her skirt.”
Harris is then said to have taken off the woman’s dark glasses which she was wearing to protect her eyes, telling her that he wanted to see her face, before allegedly cupping her breasts and squeezing her nipples.
Paedophile Rolf Harris was jailed for sex offences after a trial in 2014
Disgraced TV entertainer Rolf Harris has appeared in court accused of molesting and indecently assaulting woman at the BBC Television Studios in White City .
The 85-year-old, who is currently in jail for a string of sickening sex offences against four girls, appeared via videolink at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on March 17 where he denied seven more attacks dating back to the 1970s.
The Australian convicted paedophile is alleged to have molested a girl younger than 14 at the BBC HQ in Wood Lane in 1983, before striking again at the same venue more than 20 years later in 2004, when he is said to have indecently assaulted a woman there.
Among the other charges he faced was an indecent assault on a disabled woman over the age of 16 at a London hospital.
The case was adjourned to Southwark Crown Court on April 14.
Harris is serving a sentence of five and a half years in jail for sex attacks, one on a girl who was seven or eight at the time.
Rolf Harris: The seven allegation
Indecent assault on a girl under the age of 14 at the Lyceum Theatre in London in 1971
Indecent assault on a girl under the age of 14 outside Radio Victory in Portsmouth in 1977
Indecent assault on a disabled woman over the age of 16 outside a London hospital in 1977
Indecent assault on a woman over the age of 16 at Jesus Green in Cambridge in 1978
Indecent assault on a girl under the age of 14 at the BBC Television Centre in Wood Lane in 1983
Indecent assault on a woman over the age of 16 at Terminal’s Studios in London in 2002
Indecent assault on a woman over the age of 16 at the BBC Television Centre in Wood Lane in 2004, and the alternate charge to this is one count of sexual touching on a female aged 13 or over at the BBC Television Centre in Wood Lane in 2004
The 85-year-old is alleged to have molested a 13-year-old girl in 1983
Rolf Harris receiving his CBE at Buckingham Palace in November 2006 – and (right) his police custody mugshot after being arrested for sex offences
Disgraced children’s entertainer Rolf Harris is expected to appear in court on Thursday accused of attacking a child.
The 85-year-old is alleged to have molested the 13-year-old girl at West London’s BBC Television Centre in 1983.
It is the first time the disgraced entertainer has been accused of carrying out a sex assault on BBC premises, according to the Daily Mirror.
The woman who made the claims is one of seven new alleged victims Harris faces court over.
One of them is reported to be disabled. Another has accused him of groping her at the BBC’s former White City HQ 12 years ago.
‘Sufficient evidence’ A Crown Prosecution Service Spokesman said: “We have carefully considered the evidence gathered by the Metropolitan Police as part of Operation Yewtree in relation to Rolf Harris.
“Having completed our review we have concluded that there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest for Mr Harris to be charged with seven counts of indecent assault. The alleged offences date from 1971 to 2004 and relate to seven complainants aged between 12 and 27.”
‘New charges’ Harris, who is serving five and a half years in Stafford jail for a string of sex attacks on girls as young as eight, will appear before Westminster magistrates in Central London on Thursday.
The first of the seven new charges relates to an alleged indecent assault on a girl under the age of 14 at the Lyceum Theatre in London in 1971.
Another woman has told detectives Harris sexually assaulted her at Radio Victory in Portsmouth in 1977 when she was 12.
He is accused of attacking a 27-year-old that same year.
And a girl of 16 claims she was assaulted in 1978 at Jesus Green in Cambridge.
The fifth alleged victim is the 13-year-old, who claims Harris targeted her in 2004.
And a sixth has accused him of attacking her at a London recording studio in 2003 when she was 19.
Rolf Harris charged with seven more counts of indecently assaulting victims as young as 12
The allegations relate to seven girls and young women, and date back to 1971
Rolf Harrisis to be charged with seven counts of indecent assault after new evidence was gathered in the continuing police investigation into historic sex abuse.
The allegations date back to 1971 and relate to seven girls and women aged between 12 and 27.
“We have carefully considered the evidence gathered by the Metropolitan Police Service as part of Operation Yewtree in relation to Rolf Harris,” a spokesperson for the Crown Prosecution Service said.
“Having completed our review in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors, we have concluded that there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest for Mr Harris to be charged with seven counts of indecent assault. The alleged offences date from 1971 to 2004 and relate to seven complainants aged between 12 and 27 at the time of the alleged offending.”
Harris will appear at Westminster Magistrates Court on 17 March.