Actor John Jarratt arrives at the Downing centre. Picture John Grainger.
Actor John Jarratt arrives at the Downing centre. Picture John Grainger.

Wolf Creek star faces court on rape charge

ACTOR John Jarratt has faced court for the first time on a historical rape charge.

Mr Jarratt, 66, appeared in Sydney's Downing Centre Local Court on Tuesday where his lawyer Bryan Wrench reiterated he would be defending the charge.

"Nothing less than a not-guilty verdict will satisfy him," Mr Wrench told the court.

"No discount could change his plea."

The court has previously heard that Mr Jarratt plans to enter a plea of not guilty.

Mr Jarratt, best known for playing serial killer Mick Taylor in the 2005 movie Wolf Creek, was charged with rape in August this year. The woman, who can't be named, alleged the assault took place in September 1976 in Randwick, a suburb in Sydney's east. She reported the incident, which is alleged to have taken place when she was 18 and Mr Jarratt was 23, to police in December 2017. She later told Fairfax that she had been inspired to speak out about by other women in entertainment and the global #metoo movement.

Court documents allege that Mr Jarratt raped the alleged victim "between 3am on 1 September, 1976 and 4am on 30 September, 1976".

Actor John Jarrett leaves the Downing centre after facing historical sexual assault claims. Picture: John Grainger
Actor John Jarrett leaves the Downing centre after facing historical sexual assault claims. Picture: John Grainger

At a hearing in October, Mr Wrench told the court he wanted to take the "express lane" to trial and that delays were affecting his client.

Earlier this year, Mr Jarratt described the allegations as "ridiculous and untrue". "Mate, it's fine, because I'm innocent" he said when confronted by Channel 9.

"I'm good because I'm a good man."

In November last year, Mr Jarratt's talent agency Ignite Elite Artists said the actor "emphatically and completely denies the allegations of sexual assault".

"These allegations are completely unfounded and untrue," Ignite Elite Artists said in a statement.

Actor John Jarrett leaves the Downing centre after facing historical sexual assault claims. Picture: John Grainger.
Actor John Jarrett leaves the Downing centre after facing historical sexual assault claims. Picture: John Grainger.

Mr Jarratt's lawyer Chris Murphy tweeted in September that his client was a "victim" of delays in the legal process.

"Reputation, career, family, kids, stress … whole life on hold. Actor John Jarratt is desperate to face court, be heard," he wrote.

"Have no doubt whatsoever my client John Jarratt is ready to present himself to a court and give sworn testimony. He will call witnesses. He would step into the witness box tomorrow and present his case. He offered to undergo a lie-detector test. He is a victim of court delays."

John Jarratt as Mick Taylor in Wolf Creek season two, which airs on Stan in December. Picture: Stan.
John Jarratt as Mick Taylor in Wolf Creek season two, which airs on Stan in December. Picture: Stan.

Mr Jarratt is a household name in the Australian entertainment industry, having starred in Picnic at Hanging Rock, Australia and Little Boy Lost. His most high profile role was in Wolf Creek as Mick Taylor, a serial-killing pig-hunter who detained and tortured three backpackers in the Australian outback. He took on the role a second time in Wolf Creek 2 and again in a television series based on the film. He has worked alongside some of the country's biggest stars including Hugh Jackman and also starred in soap box favourites including McLeod's Daughters, Blue Heelers and A Country Practice.

Mr Jarratt will next appear for a confidential case conference on November 26.

He is then expected to formally enter a plea when his case returns to the Downing Centre Local Court for a committal hearing on November 29.

Actor John Jarratt’s first court appearance on historical rape charges. Picture: John Grainger
Actor John Jarratt’s first court appearance on historical rape charges. Picture: John Grainger
John Jarrett pictured at the opening night of the 2017 Sydney Film Festival held at the State Theatre. Picture: Richard Dobson.
John Jarrett pictured at the opening night of the 2017 Sydney Film Festival held at the State Theatre. Picture: Richard Dobson.

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