Maggie Kirkpatrick: Australian actress in “Prisoner” charged with child abuse

Actress convicted of child abuse : Maggie Kirkpatrick found guilty of sexually assaulting teenage fan

Maggie Kirkpatrick has been convicted of molesting a 14-year-old psychiatric patient more than 30 years ago.

The 74-year-old, who played prison warden Joan “The Freak” Ferguson in nearly 400 episodes, was found guilty of two counts of indecent assault and one of gross indecency on a person under 16.

She had denied the charge at Melbourne Magistrates Court but the magistrate said he believed the victim to be a truthful witness.

The woman said she was molested at the actress’ home in 1984.

Kirkpatrick met the teenager through a colleague who was a patient at the same psychiatric facility as the victim.

The actress, who also appeared in 18 episodes of beachside drama Home And Away in separate stints in 1991 and 2004, is unlikely to face prison because prosecutors agreed she could receive a non-custodial sentence.

She will be assessed for a community corrections order and return to court on Friday.

Kirkpatrick is the third Australian television star to be found guilty of child sex abuse in the 1980s.

Last year Robert Hughes, the star of sitcom Hey Dad! was imprisoned for at least six years, after being found guilty of sexually assaulting minors, including cases on the set of the show.

Rolf Harris was sentenced in the UK to almost six years for indecent assault of four young girls from 1968 to 1986.