Actor Craig McLachlan has been found not guilty of all 13 charges of assault and indecent assault dating back to 2014.
The verdict was delivered today (December 15) in Melbourne’s Magistrates’ Court, by Magistrate Belinda Wallington.
The charges – six for assault and seven for indecent assault – all pertain to when McLachlan starred in the 2014 Australian production of The Rocky Horror Show.
The complaints were made by four women who, the court heard, accused McLachlan of a variety of acts. He was accused of kissing a woman without consent, pressing his genitals against another while in a “full-bodied hug” as well as touching another woman’s genitals on stage.
He was also accused of inappropriately tickling the inner-thigh of a woman, known as CC, on stage.
“I’m unable to exclude the possibility that an egotistical, self-entitled sense of humour led the accused to genuinely think that … CC was consenting to his actions,” Magistrate Wallington said, as reported by the ABC.
“The four complainants were brave and honest witnesses. I was not persuaded that there was evidence of collusion between the complainants. I was not persuaded that there was evidence of motive or that the complaints were made for reasons for career ambition or for any other such reason.”
Speaking outside of his lawyer’s office, McLachlan said he put his trust in the law.
“As you can imagine, we have a lot to say,” he said.
“We’ve maintained a dignified and respectful silence for the past almost three years and put our trust in the law.”
While McLachlan had previously said “horseplay”, kissing and hugging were common among actors backstage, he firmly denied that anything he did to other members of the cast had a sexual connotation or intention.