LONDON: Rolf Harris, the Australian artist and entertainer, has been charged with nine counts of indecent assault on two girls aged under 16, prosecutors in Britain said Thursday.
The 83-year-old has also been charged with four counts of making indecent images of children. He is due to appear in a London court on September 23.
Harris has been a popular figure on British television screens for decades. He painted an 80th birthday portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, took part in her diamond jubilee celebrations last year, and has been honoured in both Britain and Australia.
"The Crown Prosecution Service has today authorised police to charge Rolf Harris with nine counts of indecent assault, contrary to section 14 of the Sexual Offences Act 1956 and four counts of making indecent images of a child contrary to section 1 of the Protection of Children Act 1978," England's state prosecutors said in a statement.
Harris was initially arrested on November 29 last year. Police passed their evidence to the CPS on August 12.