The main problem with the allegations is the lack of evidence.
What sexual abusers do is well understood. They gain the trust of the victim, sometimes of the victims family and friends, and they get to know the victim so that they can get them alone, and abuse them.
The women who accused Rolf Harris were not in a position to say Harris got them alone somewhere and molested them because they did not know him. Anyone could say he groped them in a public place and no one could ever prove otherwise. Hence the nature of the charges.
The CPS chose to move ahead with an uncorroborated complaint from 1969, involving a performance for which no evidence exists that it even took place. And Mr Harris was convicted on that charge. So what is the standard of proof?
Anyone can make this kind of allegation because it does not require that the accuser have any relationship with the accused or even know the accused. It is impossible to prove or disprove. If the alleged incidents occurred many decades ago then the difficulty of disproving it increases exponentially.
So what is the standard for proof?
A grope is about the only form of sexual assault that might be feasible in the circumstances, but also the only one that could plausibly be claimed. It’s also interesting that, despite the alleged gropers’ celebrity status, camera shutters are never clicking or films rolling when it happened.
One way of determining if a person is lying or is a fantasist is if their account is full of holes. For instance, the allegation of the assault in 1969 is full of holes. How did Harris molest someone at an event which did not happen? How could Harris molest someone in front of everyone without anyone noticing?
The criminal charges in a number of the Yewtree cases are distinctly similar. There are a rash of geriatric celebrities who are now revealed to have gone through their lives groping strange women and girls in public places. Hundreds of women have seen it in the media and have come forward to report themselves as victims.
When it came to allegations against celebrities, claimants and their lawyers protest that they didn’t come forward before because no one would believe them. This might be valid if there were no witnesses but the Leigh Park, Cambridge and Tonya Lee incidents supposedly happened in front numerous witnesses. Why did claimants who should have had so many witnesses to back their stories not go to the police?
Is that about sexual abuse? Not really. Is it true? I doubt it.
It’s up to accusers to substantiate their allegations, and that hasn’t been done. What evidence corroborates the testimony of the accusers? Aside from Harris’s stipulation to a single, ill-judged sexual relationship with a girl above the age of 18, there is no corroboration.
The allegations against Jimmy Savile gave people an idea what to say which meant witnesses did not need to collude to end up with similar stories. The stories told regarding the Leigh Park, Cambridge and Tonya Lee incidents were full of holes which indicated the claimants had lied. This proves multiple false accusations can happen.