Veteran entertainer Rolf Harris goes on trial in London accused of indecent assaults on girls

The Associated Press
May 6, 2014 07:42 AM

Veteran entertainer Rolf Harris and his wife Alwen Hughes, left, arrive at Southwark Crown Court in London, Tuesday, May 6, 2014. Harris is charged with nine counts of indecent assault and four counts of making indecent images of children. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

LONDON - Jury selection began Tuesday in the trial of veteran Australian-British entertainer Rolf Harris, who is accused of indecent assault.

The 84-year-old is charged with indecently assaulting four girls between 1968 and 1986.

The girls ranged in age from 7 or 8 to 19. Harris denies the charges.

Potential jurors were quizzed about the case. Testimony is expected to begin later this week.

Harris was a British broadcaster for decades and had chart success with songs including "Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport."

His wife Alwen accompanied him to Southwark Crown Court in London as proceedings began. The trial is expected to last until late June.

In a case involving similar charges, veteran BBC broadcaster Stuart Hall pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting a girl. The 84-year-old went on trial Tuesday for 20 other sexual assault charges.

Many of the accusations against Hall date back to the 1970s.

Prosecutors also announced Tuesday that charges will not be brought against comedian Freddie Starr, who had been arrested in 2012 on sex crime allegations as part of the investigation that followed revelations about widespread sex abuse committed by the late entertainer Jimmy Savile.

Prosecutors said there was not enough evidence to charge the 71-year-old Starr.


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