Australian actor Maggie Kirkpatrick, who starred as “The Freak” in the hit television show Prisoner, has been found guilty of child sex offences committed 31 years ago.
Kirkpatrick, 74, had denied the two charges of indecent assault and one count of gross indecency with a person under 16.
The court was told on Wednesday that the victim, who cannot be named, was abused at Kirkpatrick’s Prahran home in 1984.
Kirkpatrick was well known for her role as a prison warden in the popular 1980s television series Prisoner.
Today, Magistrate Peter Mealy found her accuser was “a witness of truth”.
Kirkpatrick will now be assessed for a Community Corrections Order instead of a prison term.
The court had earlier been told the victim had not reported the abuse until 2013 because she thought everyone would think she was crazy.
It was told the teenager had organised a meeting with the actor in 1984 through a person she met while admitted to a psychiatric hospital in Kew, in Melbourne’s inner east.
Kirkpatrick collected the girl from the hospital and then the pair went back to the actor’s home and shared a meal.
The pair then ended up in Kirkpatrick’s bedroom, where the alleged abuse took place, before the girl was taken back to the hospital.
Kirkpatrick told police charges were ‘false and malicious’.
In a recorded police interview shown in court, Kirkpatrick said she had taken the girl home for dinner but did not abuse her.
She said she was giving the teenager “a day out” in an act of “kindness”.
She told police she had sent the girl away in a taxi after she caught her raiding her alcohol cabinet and “felt I should put a stop to it”.
Later in the interview said she “did not have anything to say other than they’re false and malicious in my mind”.
“These [accusations] are making me feel quite ill,” she told police.
A high school friend of the victim told the hearing that the girl was a “big fan” of the TV show at the time.
The husband of victim said his wife had raised the abuse after she became uncomfortable during an “intimate” conversation.
“She told me that she’d been invited to a person’s place or a lady’s place and that person was the nasty one on Prisoner … she just said that … some sexual things happened but she didn’t elaborate,” he said.
This post originally appeared on ABC News.
© 2015 Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved. Read the ABC Disclaimer here.