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Rolf Harris Hit With More Abuse Claims As Class Action Looms

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Following what many called a lenient sentence for indecent assault charges, lawyers are looking into whether a class action suit can be pursued against Rolf Harris. Since charges were first brought against the entertainer, more women have come forward claiming they were abused.

As The Age reports, Barrie Woollacott, a Melbourne-based lawyer with the firm Slater & Gordon, has said they are exploring the possibilities of pursuing a class action suit against Rolf Harris that is based on claims of abuse by Australian, New Zealand, and British women in the United Kingdom.

Woollacott says that while this strategy has been ruled out in Australia, they are hopeful the British legal system will accommodate such action. “There is plenty of precedence where an action is brought by foreigners to a country where the perpetrator now lives,” Woollacott told the paper.

Among the women who have come forward since a case was first brought against Harris is British media personality Vanessa Feltz. According to The Australian, Feltz says she was assaulted by the disgraced entertainer while interviewing him on live television in 1996 and as his wife was nearby.

“He was carrying on talking as though nothing was going on, smiling and joking as he moved his hand [up my skirt]. I was shocked. This was Rolf Harris. I could clearly see his wife. How could this be happening? But of course, as he knew perfectly well, I could not say anything,” Feltz recounted.

Meanwhile, the 84-year-old Harris’ jail term of five years and nine months could be increased if the UK attorney-general sends the case to the Court of Appeal. It has been confirmed that Harris’ sentence was brought to the attorney-general’s office under the unduly lenient sentence scheme.

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