This Just In!
In February 2015, news broke that singer-songwriter and comedian Rolf Harris would be stripped of his Order of Australia honors amidst revelations that he is still under investigation for alleged sexual offenses. He has also had his two honorary doctorates rescinded, and he has been removed from the Australian Recording Industry Association Hall of Fame. These are just some of multiple honors he has been stripped of in the past year.
Just a week ago, we ranked Harris third on our list of “10 More Fantastic Novelty Songs” for his memorable “Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport” from 1960. Honestly, I am tempted to strike him from that list after reading today’s news…
Indeed, his legacy is now severely tainted. Prior to today’s breaking news, back in June 2014, Harris was found guilty of all 12 charges of indecent assault for incidents occurring between 1969 and 1986. His four victims were aged between 8 and 19 at the time. One girl, assaulted from 1980 to 1981, was aged 15 to 16 at the time and another girl, assaulted in 1986, was only 14. One of the girls was actually a friend of Harris’s daughter. Yet, perhaps the sickest allegation was that he assaulted an 8 or 9-year-old girl who asked for his autograph in the late 1960s! For these crimes, he was sentenced to a total of five years and nine months in prison. Whether he will be charged with any additional crimes remains to be seen.
Do you think celebrities should have honors taken away for crimes unrelated to what they professional careers? Will you ever listen to his music again? Finally, is five years “enough” of a sentence for sexual offenses against minors? If not, what sentence would you give such an offender? Please let us know in the comments below!