Teenage soap star cleared of rape charge
The soap star, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was cleared by the jury at Blackfriar’s Crown Court today.
It was alleged that he had conducted a three-month campaign of sexual abuse against his victim whilst the pair were students at the same theatre school. The accused was 15 at the time and the alleged victim 14.
The actor had pleaded not guilty on all four charges which included three counts of sexual assault and one of oral rape. He claimed that his sexual encounters with his accuser were consensual.
The jury cleared him after deliberating for almost five hours.
Timothy Forster for the prosecution had asked the jury to consider the strain on his client, after he collapsed in the witness box yesterday.
However, Defence counsel Judith Khan QC argued: “There is a natural reaction of sympathy to someone who reacts to giving evidence in that way. But it is important to bear in mind that that reaction is not an indicator of truthfulness. A witness who may be lying or dishonest may react in the same way.”
She added of her client’s testimony about the sexual acts: “He volunteered the detail, it must have been excruciatingly embarrassing for him to give the detail, but give it he did.”