29 Aug 2013

Rolf Harris charged over alleged indecent assaults

Rolf Harris is charged with nine counts of indecent assault, on girls as young as 14, and four counts of making indecent images of children, Metropolitan Police says.

Police were authorised to charge Mr Harris on Thursday after a file of evidence against the veteran entertainer was handed to the CPS earlier in August.

The alleged indecent assaults took place between 1980 and 1986, the CPS said. Six of the charges relate to a girl aged between 15 and 16, between 1980 and 1981. Three offences relate to a girl aged 14, in 1986.

The four offences of making indecent images of a child relate to March and July 2012.

A statement from the Metropolitan Police said: “Harris was interviewed under caution by officers from Operation Yewtree on 29 November 2012, before being arrested on 28 March 2013 and subsequently bailed to return pending further inquiries.

“Following consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service he has been charged today, Thursday 29 August.”

Operation Yewtree

Mr Harris was originally questioned as a part of the Operation Yewtree investigation, which was launched following claims of abuse levelled against Jimmy Savile.

The investigation is divided into three strands – claims against Jimmy Savile, claims against Jimmy Savile and others, and claims against others – meaning claims that are unrelated to Jimmy Savile.

Mr Harris is classified as “others”.

‘Fair trial’

Alison Saunders, chief crown prosecutor for CPS London, said: “Having completed our review, we have concluded that there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest for Mr Harris to be charged with nine counts of indecent assault and four of making indecent images of a child.”

Mr Harris will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 23 September 2013.

Ms Saunders concluded: “May I remind all concerned that Mr Harris has a right to a fair trial. It is very important that nothing is said, or reported, which could prejudice that trial. For these reasons, it would be inappropriate for me to comment further.”