Rolf Harris, children's show host, found guilty of sexually assaulting young girls over 20 years

By Daniel S Levine,

Rolf Harris, a children’s show actor who was popular in the U.K. and Australia for decades, has been found guilty on 12 charges of indecently assaulting young girls. Prosecutors said that he sexually abused his daughter and three others over a period of two decades.

Harris is the most well-known star to face trial on child sex abuse charges following an investigation into Jimmy Saville’s alleged crimes. Saville allegedly abused at least 500 children, but died in 2011 and was never charged with a crime.

According to Reuters, a jury unanimously convicted Harris on Monday for abuse that took place between 1968 and 1986. Some of the girls were as young as seven at the time.

“Rolf Harris used his status and position as a world famous children’s entertainer to sexually assault young girls over a period spanning 18 years,” Jenny Hopkins, Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor, told reporters after the verdict. “The victims in this case have suffered in silence for many years and have only recently found the courage to come forward.”

The BBC reports that during the trial, the jury heard from women who recounted abuse in Australia and New Zealand. While Harris has yet to be charged for those cases, the women’s testimony was still allowed as evidence of his behavior.

Harris, 84, who played a “Jekyll & Hyde” character on TV, will be sentenced on Friday.

image courtesy of INFphoto.com

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