Big de­lay in top ac­tor’s rape trial

The Courier-Mail - - NEWS -

WOLF Creek star John Jar­ratt will have to wait un­til July next year to try to clear his name over a his­tor­i­cal rape al­le­ga­tion, be­cause of a de­lay by pros­e­cu­tors.

The 66-year-old ac­tor is ac­cused of sex­u­ally as­sault­ing a woman at a house in Rand­wick, in Syd­ney’s eastern sub­urbs, in Septem­ber 1976.

He has stren­u­ously de­nied the claim and was due to en­ter a plea yes­ter­day at Downing Cen­tre Dis­trict Court, but the judge was told pros­e­cu­tors wouldn’t be ready to serve the in­dict­ment un­til 2019.

The ac­tor – best known for his lead role as Mick Tay­lor in the film Wolf Creek and its TV spinoff – will now be ar­raigned on Fe­bru­ary 1. A five-day trial has been set from July 1.

Jar­ratt had pleaded not guilty, in Downing Cen­tre Lo­cal Court, last week.

The Dis­trict Court was told yes­ter­day that the charge cer­ti­fi­ca­tion sheet hadn’t been pre­pared, with the prose­cu­tor spec­u­lat­ing it could be be­cause of many staff tak­ing leave.

“I’m very dis­ap­pointed the Crown is not ready,” Judge He­len Symes said.

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