“Allegations have been levelled at me, yes. Are they true? Absolutely not”
One of Australia’s leading actor’s Maggie Kirkpatrick is facing child sex charges after being accused of assaulting a 13-year-old girl in the 1980’s.
The 74-year-old star of Prisoner has been charged with two counts of indecent assault and one count of gross indecency with a person under the age of 16 by Victoria Police’s Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Investigation Team.
According to The Herald Sun the historical charges go back to the 1980’s and involve a 13-year-old girl, who, The Herald Sun reports, “was not connected to the entertainment industry.”
Maggie Kirkpatrick is best known for playing the character, Joan Ferguson or “The Freak” on hit 80’s TV show Prisoner. She recently performed in Wicked – and has had roles in Home and Away, Hey Dad! Blue Heelers and All Saints.
She told The Herald Sun the allegations were false.
“I need to go to court to have this ridiculous situation quashed. Allegations have been levelled at me, yes. Are they true? Absolutely not.”
The allegations against Kirkpatrick follow on from a string of high profile cases involving members of the entertainment industry.
Hey Dad! actor Robert Hughes was last year found guilty of 10 charges of sexual and indecent assault of young girls – his on-screen daughter and others, including friends of his real-life daughter – dating back to the 1980s.
He was jailed for up to 10 years and 9 months for the abuse of the girls who were then between the ages of seven and 15.
And also last year Australian entertainer Rolf Harris was found guilty of indecently assaulting four girls in the UK between 1968 and 1986.
Harris was sentenced to five years and nine months behind bars.
In June the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse called for anyone who has experienced, or has information regarding, child sexual abuse in institutions in the entertainment industry to come forward.
It is unclear whether the charges against Kirkpatrick stem from that inquiry.
Maggie Kirkpatrick will face court at the Melbourne’s Magistrates’ Court on August 19.
Lifeline: 13 11 14
Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800 (27/7 crisis support)
National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence Counselling service Information and support 24/7 – Call 1800 737 732
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