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Lawyer: Performer Harris to deny UK sex charges

Monday - 9/23/2013, 2:06pm  ET

Veteran entertainer Rolf Harris, center, leaves Westminster Magistrate's Court in London, Monday, Sept. 23, 2013. Harris faces nine counts of indecent assault on victims aged 14 and 15 and four counts of making indecent images. Harris, 83, has had musical hits, hosted television shows, painted an official portrait of the queen for her 80th birthday in 2006, and performed at the monarch's Diamond Jubilee concert last year. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

LONDON (AP) -- Veteran entertainer Rolf Harris intends to plead not guilty to indecent assault and child pornography charges, his lawyer told a London court hearing Monday.

The 83-year-old performer faces nine counts of indecent assault on victims aged 14 and 15 and four counts of making indecent images of children. The alleged incidents stretch back to the 1980s.

Harris, who was accompanied by his wife Alwen, spoke only to confirm his name, address and date of birth during the brief pre-trial hearing at Westminster Magistrates' Court.

Defense lawyer Sonia Woodley said Harris would deny the charges when asked to enter a formal plea at a later hearing.

Australia-born Harris has been a British broadcasting stalwart for decades. He has had musical hits with "Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport" -- which he once performed with The Beatles -- and "Two Little Boys."

He also has hosted television shows and painted an official portrait of Queen Elizabeth II.

Harris was released on bail and his next court appearance was set for Oct. 7.


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