Maggie Kirkpatrick, an actress known for portraying a warden in an Australian soap opera, pleaded not guilty to indecent assault of a teenager. However, a magistrate convicted Maggie on the charge of molesting a 14-year-old in her own home, reported the Associated Press via MSN.
Kirkpatrick molested the psychiatric hospital patient more than three decades ago. But the 74-year-old actress now has become the third Australian celebrity to receive a child abuse conviction in less than two years.
In addition to Maggie’s conviction, 66-year-old Robert Hughes received a sentence. After a leading role in an Australian TV comedy, Hughes will spend more than 10 years in prison. His charge involved molesting young girls.
A prison sentence of more than six years was given to Rolf Harris, an 84-year-old musician, artist, and TV celebrity. He was convicted for the indecent assault of four girls.
With regard to Kirkpatrick’s sentence, the court was requested to require community service instead of prison by Justine Hannebery, the defense attorney.
Maggie claimed that the abuse allegations are not true, labeling them as malicious.
The court agreed to issuing an 18-month community corrections order for Kirkpatrick, reported the Sydney Morning Herald.
That sentence will require Maggie to perform 100 hours of community service as part of her sentence for sexually abusing a mentally ill teenage girl. In addition, she will be treated as a sex offender and will remain for eight years on the sex offender registry.
Kirkpatrick’s lawyer may appeal the ruling. But the magistrate expressed his concern about the teenage girl after finding Maggie guilty of one count of gross indecency with a teenager younger than 16 and two indecent assault counts.
“The victim was a vulnerable 14-year-old child,” stated the magistrate. “The vulnerable in our society need to be protected.”
The teenage girl was worried that her account of the sexual abuse would not be credible, and therefore waited before sharing it with police two years ago.
The reason for not ordering Kirkpatrick to jail rested on the lack of allegations for 30 years, said the court.
Maggie recently finished acting in the musical Wicked.
In addition to the Australian celebrities, Josh Duggar recently was revealed to have molested several under-age girls, some of whom were his sisters, as the Inquisitr reported.
However, Jill Dillard and Jessa Seewald, two of the sisters who Duggar molested, spoke up in Josh’s defense in an interview on Fox News with Megyn Kelly.
“He made some bad choices, but really the extent of it was mild, inappropriate touching, on fully clothed victims, most of it while girls were sleeping,” said Jessa. “We’ve never claimed to be a perfect family.”
[Photo by Sergio Dionisio / Getty Images]