Actor John Jarratt.
Actor John Jarratt.

‘I’m over the moon’: Jarratt not guilty of 1970s sex assault

WOLF Creek star John Jarratt has been found not guilty of raping his housemate in a Sydney share house in the 1970s.

The jury had retired earlier today and returned just after 2pm to give a not-guilty verdict.

The decision was unanimous.

John Jarratt and wife Rosa Miano leave court after the not guilty verdict. Picture: AAP Image/Peter Rae
John Jarratt and wife Rosa Miano leave court after the not guilty verdict. Picture: AAP Image/Peter Rae

Jarratt raised his hands in the air in celebration and his family members broke into tears after the verdict was read out.

The 66-year-old had pleaded not guilty to sexual assault of a woman in 1976 at the Sydney house they shared with his wife, Rosa Miano, and at least one other person.

Actor John Jarrett walks to the Downing Centre courts today. Picture: John Grainger
Actor John Jarrett walks to the Downing Centre courts today. Picture: John Grainger

The woman, who went to police in 2017, had testified she was woken about 3am when Jarratt ripped off her bedcovers and underwear, unzipped his fly, pinned her down, covered her mouth with his hand and raped her.

Jarratt on Thursday told the jury he was seduced into having consensual sex with the woman.

Under cross-examination from prosecutor John Bowers, Jarratt agreed he had not used the word "seduction" in the detailed statement he read to police in 2018.

Jarratt’s best known role, as Mick Taylor in Wolf Creek.
Jarratt’s best known role, as Mick Taylor in Wolf Creek.

The actor denied deliberately changing his account of how the sexual intercourse came about.

Mr Bowers said it did not happen as a result of any seduction initiated by the woman, but because Jarratt forced himself on her after going into her room with no warning, when she was asleep, ripping her clothes off and pinning her down.

"I didn't rape her. What you are describing is fantasy to me," Jarratt said.

A younger John Jarratt.
A younger John Jarratt.

 

As host of Better Homes And Gardens.
As host of Better Homes And Gardens.

Outside the NSW District Court, an elated Jarratt said he was "over the moon" and that the jury had only taken "15 minutes" to reach a verdict.

"I'm extremely grateful, I'm over the moon," he said.

"I've got a wonderful team here - this is my family, and I'm just so relieved.

"It took 15 minutes for them to make up their mind, it was unanimous - no man should have to go through what I went through.

"This (Ms Miano) is the love of my life, we'll see you later."

John Jarratt wife Rosa Miano, who he credited as “the love of my life”. Picture: AAP/Bianca De Marchi
John Jarratt wife Rosa Miano, who he credited as “the love of my life”. Picture: AAP/Bianca De Marchi

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