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Friday 19 September 2014

Actor cleared of gay sex attacks

Published 26/03/2013 | 12:16

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A jury has cleared a young television actor of sexually assaulting a teenage boy

A young television actor has been cleared of sexually assaulting a teenage boy.

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London's Blackfriars Crown Court heard claims that the star, who cannot be identified because of his age, "bullied" his alleged victim and used him "for a sexual game".

He was said to have attacked the boy to prove to his girlfriend that he was bisexual. But the defendant claimed their sexual activity was consensual.

After four-and-three-quarter hours of deliberation, the jury cleared him of the charges he faced, which were three counts of sexual assault and one of oral rape.

The court heard claims that the actor twice attacked the teenager at a theatre, once while his girlfriend was present. It was also alleged that he held the complainant's hands together with just one hand while they were in a toilet at school and performed a sex act on him.

The complainant, who was 14 at the time of the alleged incidents, collapsed in the witness box as he gave evidence last Monday.

Prosecutor Timothy Forster, in his closing speech, asked the jury to consider why the alleged victim would make up the sexual assaults, considering the visible strain he went through while giving evidence.

Defence counsel Judith Khan QC said in her speech: "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."

Judge John Hillen told the jury that the actor had no convictions recorded against him. "It is for you to decide whether, in the matters you are concerned with, he was behaving out of character," he said.

Relatives of the accused wept as the jury foreman delivered the not guilty verdicts but had no comment afterwards.

Press Association

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