News World Rolf Harris ‘singled me out’ for assault, London court hears

Rolf Harris ‘singled me out’ for assault, London court hears

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A court sketch of Rolf Harris from the hearing into seven sexual assault allegations. Photo: ABC/Supplied
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A woman has told a London court Rolf Harris sexually assaulted her at a youth music festival when she was 14 after she sought an autograph from the entertainer.

“He singled me out, put his hand up my skirt and at one point he dragged me onto his knee,” she said in an abuse hotline recording that was played to the court on day two of the 86-year-old’s trial.

Harris is facing seven charges of indecent assault and one charge of sexual assault made by seven women.

The alleged offences are said to have taken place between 1971 and 2004 and relate to girls and women who were aged between 12 and 42 at the time. Harris is pleading not guilty to all charges.

The jury of seven women and five men heard that the woman, now in her late 50s, only found the courage to go to police after Harris was charged with other offences more than 40 years later.

The complainant’s long-term boss said she had previously disclosed what happened to her during a conversation at their workplace.

“When the Jimmy Saville case came up, we were in the office kitchen and she said ‘you know who will be next? Rolf Harris’. She said ‘I can tell you there will be more than me’.”

The woman, who gave evidence via video-link, denied she went to police after reading about Harris having to pay compensation to previous victims.

“I didn’t read about it, and it’s not the reason I’ve come forward,” she said.

A former school friend of the woman said she witnessed Harris dragging the 14-year-old onto his knee.

“I just have that snapshot in my memory because I knew it wasn’t right and I was glad it wasn’t me,” she said. “You don’t want to sit on someone’s knee who you’ve never met,” she said, “He was a gentleman, and we were young girls. That’s why it stuck in my mind.”

Another childhood friend recalled seeing the young girl crying in front of her parents on the day of the alleged assault.

He said the girl’s father appeared furious.

“He looked rather angry and red-faced,” he said.

The complainant told the court her father then approached Harris and gave him a “mouthful” but she did not know what was said.


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