Monday, November 09, 2015

Roy Harper Cleared of All Sex Assault Charges

British folk icon Roy Harper has been cleared of all charges associated with an alleged sexual relationship with a 12 year old girl in the mid-70's.

In late 2013, Harper was charged in Hereford Magistrate's Court with nine counts in relation to an offense dating back to between 1975 and 1977 and involving a girl who was 12 at the time of the first incident. Specifically, he is charged with two counts of unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl under 13, three counts of indecent assault on a girl under 14 and four counts of gross indecency with a girl under 14.

At the time, Harper's management said "Roy vigorously denies the allegations that have been made against him and looks forward to clearing his name."

Unfortunately, the clearing of his name took almost two years and a great deal of his money. Two of what eventually became only seven counts were dismissed earlier this year and, on Monday, the Worcester Crown Court dropped all of the remaining charges.

A spokesperson for the court said "We keep all our cases under constant review and in this case it was decided that based on the strength of the evidence there is no longer a realistic prospect of a conviction. We will be meeting with the complainant and her family in order to fully explain our decision."

Harper lashed out at the situation in the Guardian after the court hearing, telling them "I have now been acquitted on all the charges that were brought. This case should never have gone as far as this, or taken so long to resolve. The psychological and personal cost to my wife and myself has been enormous and the financial cost hugely unfair. I lost my livelihood and I spent my savings, and more, on my defense. Despite coming out of this without a blemish on my name, I cannot recoup my costs and that’s left me incredibly angry.

"I’m now going to restart my working life where I left off nearly three years ago. I’d like to thank everyone who’s continued to support me. Thank you, all of you."

Since 1966, Harper has released 24 studio albums including his acclaimed 2013 effort Man and Myth.