Craig McLachlan indecent assault case reaches court

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Image caption,
Craig McLachlan is a veteran of the Australian entertainment industry

Prosecutors have outlined multiple charges against actor Craig McLachlan in Melbourne Magistrates' Court after four women alleged he assaulted them.

The claims, which include indecent assault, allegedly took place when Mr McLachlan, 54, worked alongside the women in a musical in 2014.

The prosecution say the alleged events occurred both on and off stage during The Rocky Horror Show production.

The former Neighbours and Home & Away star denies all the charges.

The contested hearing is expected to last three weeks and will be held in private.

A contested hearing is held in front of a magistrate when the accused pleads not guilty. It is for the magistrate to decide whether the defendant is guilty or not.

Image source, Getty Images

Prosecution lawyer Matt Fisher outlined the case on the first day in court on Monday.

He alleged Mr McLachlan "went beyond the role he was directed to perform [on stage]" in relation to the allegations.

One of the allegations claims Mr McLachlan pushed his groin into the stomach area of a woman and also tried to kiss her, without being directed to do so.

Mr Fisher told the court the woman had allegedly said to Mr McLachlan: "Don't you ever do that to me again."

Mr McLachlan allegedly replied: "Don't you dare speak to me like that. You are nothing, I will end you."

Mr McLachlan's lawyer, Stuart Littlemore, will argue some of the alleged incidents did not occur, while others were not indecent.

He said when Mr McLachlan had given a woman an unexpected kiss on stage, he had the "licence and discretion to ad lib".

After the women's allegations were originally published, Mr McLachlan initiated defamation proceedings against Fairfax Media, the Australian Broadcasting Corp and a former co-star. That case has been delayed until after the criminal charges are resolved.

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