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Woman seeks compensation from pedophile Rolf Harris

A woman is suing convicted pedophile and disgraced entertainer Rolf Harris over an alleged sexual assault in 1982 when she was a child.

In a statement of claim seen by AAP, Harris, 92, is listed as one of three defendants along with the State of Victoria and child welfare organisation OzChild.

Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, acting for the woman who cannot be named for legal reasons, claim Harris molested her while she was in foster care at a camp on the Mornington Peninsula, in Victoria's southeast.

The pair allegedly met after Harris performed at Camp Manyung and he was helping remove wax from her clothing on a bench when the alleged assault occurred.

Harris is accused of lifting her skirt at the back and sexually assaulting her when she was 10-years-old.

"The plaintiff tried to call out and scream and she then ran away. The plaintiff told a staff member at the camp about the abuse but Rolf Harris called the plaintiff a liar," read documents filed in the Supreme Court of Victoria.

Harris then left the camp.

The woman further alleged she was molested in separate incidents while under the care of the State of Victoria and OzChild.

She said she suffered severe mental health and substance abuse issues as a result of the alleged assaults and is seeking damages and costs.

Maurice Blackburn principal lawyer John Rule said his client's quality of life declined after the alleged abuse and she was seeking unspecified damages for pain and suffering.

"It's fair to say it's had an extreme impact on her life in a range of ways ... when someone is abused at that sort of age in those formative years in a serious way and they're not believed when they talk to adults about it," Mr Rule said.

"We see in these cases that can have a really catastrophic affect on their development and personality and their relationships."

The woman struggles with a range of conditions including post-traumatic stress disorder and has little or no interest in sex.

Mr Rule said it was not uncommon for victims of sexual abuse to wait 25 to 30 years to come forward.

The Victorian government extends its thoughts to all victim-survivors of sexual abuse, thanking those who have spoken out. But a government spokeswoman wouldn't comment on the matter specifically as it was before the court.

OzChild chief executive officer Lisa Griffiths said the organisation supported all victims of abuse.

"OzChild is committed to supporting those impacted by our care throughout our history. This commitment was demonstrated by signing up to the National Redress Scheme in 2020," Dr Griffiths said.

"OzChild is deeply apologetic to any individuals who have experienced abuse, however cannot comment on individual matters."

In 2013 Harris was arrested in the UK and charged with the indecent assault of four underage girls dating back to the 1980s. He was jailed in 2014 for more than five years.

After three years behind bars, he was released in 2017 while facing a second trial for seven more charges. Acquitted on three, the jury was undecided on four.

The case was retried for three of the undecided offences, but the jury remained unable to reach a verdict.

The prosecution decided against another trial, and Harris returned to his home near London.

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