Not guilty verdict for Craig McLachlan

Actor Craig McLachlan has been cleared on all 13 charges of indecent and common assault.

Magistrate Belinda Wallington cleared him of charges relating to 4 co-stars in the Melbourne Magistrates Court.

McLachlan faced six counts of indecent assault and seven of common law assault for alleged incidents in Melbourne between April and July in 2014 during The Rocky Horror Show stage production. He denied all allegations.

Ms Wallington found while the incidents probably occurred, she was not satisfied the incidents were indecent. She found the women were “brave and honest witnesses”, but said the prosecutors had not met the required standard for her to find Mr McLachlan guilty of the allegations.

She also labelled the actor’s behaviour as “egocentric” and said his “self-entitled sense of humour” may have led him to believe the victims were consenting to his acts. She also lashed McLachlan’s lawyer for his use of “troubling and outdated” stereotypes in his questioning.

McLachlan was not in court today, watching the Melbourne proceedings via link from his barrister’s Sydney office.

But he did speak to awaiting press, promising he has more to say in the new year.

Separate defamation proceedings against ABC, (former) Fairfax newspapers and a former co-star were halted after Victoria Police laid criminal charges.

Initial allegations against McLachlan were first aired in January 2018, in a drawn-out saga which saw Seven amend its plans to continue The Doctor Blake Mysteries. A sole telemovie, The Blake Mysteries with Nadine Garner, aired in 2018.

McLachlan continues to attract support from a passionate worldwide fan base, The Blake Army, which is petitioning to revive the show, at over 6000 signatories.

This post updates.

NB: After some consideration I feel the tone of comments, referring to all sides of this story, is getting a tad toxic. There is also a pending defamation case, which is usually a no-go zone for comments. It’s an important news story but anonymity is not an open invitation to lower the level of respectful discussion.

Source: The Age, news.com.au

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