Rolf Harris Alleged Victim Waives Right To Anonymity

Rolf Harris fondled a “petrified” Australian schoolgirl when she came to the UK on a theatre trip, his sex offences trial has heard.

Tonya Lee, 43, who has waived the usual right to anonymity given to alleged sex offence victims, claims Harris touched her after she travelled to Britain for the tour in 1986.

Harris, who denies 12 counts of indecent assault he faces, met the group when they landed at Heathrow Airport, and later went for dinner at a pub with them.

rolf harrisRolf Harris denies 12 counts of indecent assault

Lee, then aged 15, said she was invited to sit on the entertainer’s lap, and that his hand began to creep up her thigh.

She said: “I could feel that there was some movement happening beneath me. He was moving back and forth rubbing against me.

“It was very subtle, it wasn’t big movements. Everything just seemed to be going on as normal.”

The jury at Southwark Crown Court was told that Harris started to pat her on the thigh, and then: “He began to move his hand up my inner thigh.”

She said she felt “very uncomfortable” as Harris touched her genitals over her clothing, and “started to panic” before rushing off to the toilet.

“I was wondering what to do, ‘How can I get out of this?’, and also I was confused. The whole time this was happening just normal interaction was going on,” she told the court.”

The alleged victim said Harris continued “laughing” with other people while touching her.

rolf hairrisHarris, pictured earlier in the trial in a court sketch

Lee said she did not tell anyone because theatre director Kathy Henkel was friends with Harris and she felt confused.

When she came out of the toilet, Harris was waiting outside, the court heard.

The alleged victim said: “He came up and I don’t know the exact words but it was something like ‘I just want to chat to you some more’.

“I was intimidated because I felt quite claustrophobic.”

The jury heard Harris got her in “a big bear hug”, and put his hand down her top and fondled her breast.

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Lee said: “I was petrified… I was in shock.”

She added: “I felt stuck. I felt like I couldn’t move. I was petrified, I froze. I was against the wall and a pot plant and he had one arm around me so it looked like a hug.”

Harris then touched her intimately, the court heard.

Lee said: “I just wanted to burst into tears at that stage, and I just wanted to run.”

She added: “I was gobsmacked, I was shocked. Completely in disbelief.”

Three of the 12 charges, which took place between 1968 and 1986, relate to Lee’s claims.

Lee said after the alleged assault she rushed back into the toilet.

“I was quite emotional, so many thoughts were running through my head. I couldn’t believe what had happened. I felt disgusting. I did not know who to talk to.”

She said she thought no-one would believe her “because it was Rolf Harris”, but that she became “an empty vessel” after the alleged abuse.

She developed an eating disorder, losing weight during the tour, and said she blamed herself for the alleged assaults.

“I was wondering why I was picked out of all those other people,” she said.

After the trip, she stopped going to the theatre group because she had “lost that passion”, and her schoolwork suffered, the jury was told.

The trial continues.

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20 May 2014 | 2:09 pm – Source:

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