Veteran Australian entertainer Rolf Harris has pleaded not guilty in a London court to 12 charges of indecent assault on four girls from 1968 to 1986. He was remanded on bail and his trial date has been set for 30 April.
The 83-year-old arrived at court with his wife, Alwen and his daughter Bindi. The ABC reports Mr Harris was read allegations of the indecent assault charges, replying with a simple “not guilty” to each charge. He has yet to be arraigned on four other counts of making an indecent image of a child.
Two charges relate to the alleged indecent assault on a girl aged seven or eight in 1968 or 1969 and a girl aged 14 in 1975. Three charges concern a 14-year-old girl in May 1986. Six charges relate to a girl aged 15 between April 1980 and April 1981, and one relates to the same alleged victim in 1984 or 1985.
According to the BBC Mr Harris’ bail conditions stipulate that he does not contact prosecution witnesses, lives at his home address and does not spend time with anyone under the age of 18 without being accompanied by someone over 21.
On 29th March 2013, a Scotland Yard spokesperson informed the media that “an 82-year-old man from Berkshire was arrested by officers on Operation Yewtree on suspicion of sexual offences”. Less than a month later, Harris was named by British tabloid The Sun as said man.
Operation Yewtree was set up in the wake of revelations that the late BBC star Jimmy Savile was a sex offender. Harris, who has been a mainstay on British television for decades, is one of several well-known figures arrested by British police under the operation.