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Saturday, August 22, 2015

Maggie Kirkpatrick guilty of indecent assault

Actress Maggie Kirkpatrick 74, has been found guilty of two charges of indecent assault and one count of gross indecency with a 14 year old girl thirty one years ago.

She was best known for playing a vicious lesbian prison guard known as 'The Freak' in the Australian drama Prisoner.

The court heard that the girl was an obsessed Prisoner fan and had organised a meeting with the actor through a person she met while admitted to a psychiatric hospital in Melbourne.

Kirkpatrick collected the girl from the hospital and the pair went back to the actor's home and shared a meal.  They ended up in Kirkpatrick's bedroom where the alleged abuse took place, and then she was taken back to the hospital.

In a recorded police interview played in court, Kirkpatrick maintained she took the girl home for dinner but there was no abuse, she gave her "a day out in an act of kindness."

But Magistrate Peter Mealy wasn't convinced.

"The defendant has had the opportunity of watching the unedifying spectacle of the victim recounting the offences and being subjected to extensive and vigorous cross examination" he said.

The victim didn't report the abuse until 2012 because she thought everyone would think she was crazy and wouldn't believe her.

The actor was sentenced to an 18 month community corrections order involving 100 hours of unpaid work over 12 months and will also be placed on the sex offenders register for eight years.

Magistrate Mealy said a jail term would have been appropriate if not for the fact there had been no more allegations made against her since then.

Outside court, the victim said the thirty one years of silence had been traumatic but she now felt vindicated.

"I feel deeply grateful for this verdict, I feel believed, and can now finally begin the process of healing" she said. "I wish to thank my family and friends for their unwavering support and kindness through this traumatic process."

Kirkpatrick has been acting for 50 years and has just finished a seven year run of Wicked.  She has maintained her innocence throughout and intends to appeal the sentence.