Two charges, including one of indecent assault, have been dropped against award-winning Rocky Horror Show actor Craig McLachlan.
Two charges, including one of indecent assault, have been dropped against award-winning Rocky Horror Show actor Craig McLachlan.

Charges dropped in McLachlan case

Some charges have been dropped in the indecent assault case against award-winning Rocky Horror Show actor Craig McLachlan.

The Gold Logie winner still faces 14 charges of indecent, attempted indecent and common law assault against four women during a run of the popular musical, in which McLachlan played the lead role of Dr Frank-N-Furter.

Prosecutors have formally withdrawn two of 16 charges - indecent assault and an alternative charge of common assault - in relation to allegations McLachlan rubbed himself up against an actor during a warm-up session for a show.

One of his accusers alleges McLachlan traced his finger around the outline of her vagina during the performance of a "bedroom" scene.

The woman claimed she was trapped due to the nature of the scene but swatted his hand away.

It was not an accident and McLachlan must have known the actor was not consenting, prosecutor Matt Fisher told Melbourne Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

McLachlan is also alleged to have kissed a co-star's neck, breasts, stomach and buttocks on at least 20 occasions during performances.

This was not part of the role he had been directed to perform, according to prosecution documents.

In another instance, McLachlan is accused of kneeling before an actor in her dressing room, and telling her she was beautiful and he could not stop thinking her.

The woman claims McLachlan then kissed her on the mouth, and she was shocked and did not participate.

He later allegedly told her he was "so embarrassed" and had "made a fool of myself".

During one performance, McLachlan is also accused of kissing and forcing his tongue into the mouth of a co-star when it was not in the scene.

Afterwards, when the woman says she told him "don't you ever do that to me again", McLachlan alleged replied "you are nothing. I will end you".

The court has previously been told the Rocky Horror Show was a highly sexualised environment, both on and off the stage.

McLachlan's lawyers argue the allegations against the actor either didn't happen or didn't amount to indecent assault.

"The Australian cricket team is characterised by touching each other on the buttocks when they get a wicket," the actor's barrister Stuart Littlemore QC said during arguments about context, intent and changing societal standards.

Magistrate Belinda Wallington paused before replying: "The relevance of that being?"

She is due to hand down her ruling about certain evidence in April, before McLachlan's lawyers respond to the prosecution case.

The actor became a household name for roles in the Australian soap operas Neighbours, and Home And Away.

He has won various Logies and the Helpmann Award for Best Male Actor in a Musical.

McLachlan, aged in his 50s, previously launched defamation action in NSW against the ABC, a former co-star and the publisher formerly known as Fairfax Media.

This was delayed until after criminal proceedings against him had been dealt with.

*For 24-hour sexual violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636.

 



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