McLachlan not guilty of indecently assaulting co-stars
Aussie actor Craig McLachlan has been cleared of all allegations of indecent acts against four female co-stars on The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Magistrate Belinda Wallington found the Gold Logie-winning star not guilty on all 13 charges during a virtual hearing in Melbourne Magistrates Court on Tuesday.
Ms Wallington said the prosecution had not proven beyond reasonable doubt key elements in the charges, including that McLachlan did not know the women were not consenting and whether the acts were indecent.
Referring to an allegation he touched and tickled up the leg of one woman while she was performing, Ms Wallington said it was McLachlan's "egotistical self entitled sense of humour" that led him to believe "she would either not mind or find it funny".
She noted the bravery of the complainants for their testimony, remarking each of them were credible and sincere witnesses.
She was not persuaded they had any motive, particularly ambition to advance their careers, by coming forward with the allegations.
Ms Wallington also often favoured their version of events against McLachlan's.
But the experienced magistrate said there was a high criminal standard to be met.
She said had the alleged offending taken place more recently, under new laws, the outcome could have been different.
"The law requires me to apply the law that stood at the times of the offending," she said.
"The laws have since changed. The law on consent has been replaced.
"If the current law had been applicable, the outcome may have been different."
The Gold Logie-winning actor was playing Frank-n-Furter in the Rocky Horror production when he is accused of indecently assaulting four female co-stars on and off stage.
Among the allegations were that he exposed himself in his dressing room, inappropriately touched a co-star's genitalia live on stage and gave unwanted and unscripted kisses and hugs.
Giving evidence last month, McLachlan said: "They are lying."
The former Neighbours and Home and Away star said the onstage allegations were "physically impossible" as he had a script to follow, and cues would be missed.
He also spoke of how he was "devastated" and "deeply distressed" on hearing the women's claims.
McLachlan said all cast and crew were involved in "all the shenanigans and tomfoolery backstage".
Her 105-page written decision will be published later this afternoon.
Originally published as McLachlan not guilty of indecently assaulting co-stars