Craig McLachlan's four accusers want to face him in court

The Sydney Morning Herald Incident 1 month ago

Four people allege they were either indecently assaulted or assaulted by actor Craig McLachlan  want to sit in the same courtroom as the actor when they give evidence against him next week.

Mr McLachlan will front a contested hearing on Monday over allegations he either indecently assaulted or assaulted four complainants in Melbourne between April 26, 2014 and July 13, 2014.

Those dates coincide with the period the 54-year-old actor was performing in The Rocky Horror Show. He played the role of Frank-N-Furter during the stage show.

Craig McLachlan outside court earlier this year.

Mr McLachlan denies the allegations and will plead not guilty to seven charges of indecent assault, one of common assault and one of attempted indecent assault.

Complainants in sex assault cases in Victoria have the right to be in a remote room and give evidence via video link, but Melbourne Magistrates Court heard on Friday the four alleged victims want to sit in the witness box.

One of the alleged victims wants to sit behind a screen, which would prevent them being seen, but due to limited resources is likely to sit behind a whiteboard instead.

Magistrate Belinda Wallington said the court had a screen for use in hearings, but it was required for a family violence case in another courtroom.

"It will serve the same purpose," Ms Wallington said of the whiteboard.

"It just won't look terribly modern or appropriate. But it will do the job."

Prosecutor Matt Fisher did not outline why the alleged victims want to sit in the court as opposed to appearing via video link. The remote facility was still available, he said.

A young Craig McLachlan with Kylie Minogue in Neighbours.

The contested hearing is expected to run for three weeks, but will be closed to the public and media for most of next week while the complainants give evidence.

Mr Fisher said one day had been allocated for each of the alleged victims to give evidence and be cross-examined by Mr McLachlan's lawyer.

In the following weeks witnesses from South Africa, Abu Dhabi and interstate will give evidence via video link.

Craig McLachlan playing the role of Frank-N-Furter in The Rocky Horror Show.

Mr McLachlan, a Gold Logie-winning actor best known for stints on TV shows Neighbours, Home and Away and in The Doctor Blake Mysteries, must attend the contested hearing.

He has begun defamation action against The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, the ABC and an actress over news reports last year that alleged he engaged in sexual harassment and indecent assault during The Rocky Horror Show production.

The defamation trial has been postponed until the criminal proceedings are finished.


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