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Rolf Harris 'Used Fame To Mesmerise Women'
Entertainer Rolf Harris "mesmerised" his victims with his fame and talent before sexually assaulting them, a jury has heard.
Harris, 84, who is facing 12 counts of indecent assault, was described by prosecutor Sasha Wass QC in her closing speech as being a man of "deviant sexual behaviour".
Ms Wass told the jury of six men and six women that Harris' 50 years of celebrity status was no excuse for his behaviour.
Reminding them how he had burst into song during his evidence last month, she said: "All men are equal in the eyes of the law, you cannot buy your way out, you cannot bully your way out and you certainly cannot sing your way out of a criminal charge."
She said the police investigation into Harris had "uncovered more and more women" who had been abused in the "seemingly untouchable world of the famous children's entertainer".
Ms Wass said the prosecution had "no doubt" of Harris' guilt, adding the evidence against him was "compelling" and that the victims had "no motive in making it up".
She said: "It has never been acceptable for an older man, in particular one with responsibility over children, to abuse them.
"They suffered a dreadful set of experiences at the hands of Rolf Harris and neither fame, age, wealth or talent provide any excuse for this behaviour."
Ms Wass said Harris was "arrogant, brazen and didn't believe he would be challenged" as he carried out the alleged assaults over a period of almost 20 years.
She said: "There is a strikingly similar pattern of deviant behaviour. How he treats women of all ages as objects for him to abuse and take advantage of when trapped and they could not get away."
Earlier she had described his technique of molesting women, saying: "Mr Harris started with a bear hug and then rapidly moved his hands over their bodies.
"They were trapped and then the sexual assaults very suddenly and very swiftly took place."
Ms Wass said Harris' alleged victims had "all given chillingly similar accounts of sexual abuse and exploitation" as they experienced his "dark side".
Referring to the main victim, the best friend of his daughter Bindi, Ms Wass said there was "no place in which she felt safe, not even her own home".
Ms Wass dismissed Harris' defence as a "smoke screen and a red herring", labelling it as "spurious", in particular his claims that a make up artist could not have been groped by him because he is allergic to face powder.
Harris, dressed in a blue pinstriped suit and tie, listened to proceedings via a hearing loop as his wife Alwyn and daughter looked on from the public gallery.
He denies all 12 counts of indecent assault on four girls and women aged between seven or eight years old and 19.
The trial at Southwark Crown Court continues with the jury expected to retire next week.