Jarratt rape trial date set
star John Jarratt will have to wait until July next year to try to clear his name over a historical rape allegation following 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 at Downing Centre District Court yesterday.
But the judge was told prosecutors wouldn’t be ready to serve the indictment until 2019. The actor will now be arraigned on February 1.
A five-day trial has been set from July 1.
Jarratt pleaded not guilty in Downing Centre Local Court last week. Lawyer Bryan Wrench previously told a local court “nothing less than a not guilty verdict” at trial will satisfy his client.
The District Court was told yesterday the charge certification sheet hadn’t been prepared, with the prosecutor speculating it could be because staff were taking leave over the December-January period.
“I’m very disappointed the Crown is not ready,” Judge Helen Symes said. “I hope none of those crowns want to be judges one day because we aren’t taking leave.”
Setting a trial date can waive automatic sentence discounts available to an accused even if they plead guilty before that trial is heard. Mr Wench said the actor was “absolutely” aware of those risks.
Actor John Jarratt.