MasterChef star Ben Ungermann in court over teen sex assault claims
MasterChef Australia star Ben Ungermann appeared in court this week as he faced three charges of sexually assaulting a teenager.
Ungermann, who came runner-up in the 2017 series of the cooking show, is facing charges of three counts of sexual touching without consent, on February 23, 2020, in Melbourne.
On Wednesday, Ungermann appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court via video link from his home in Queensland for a ground rules hearing.
It’s alleged he ‘sexually touched her right breast skin-to-skin’ and ‘under the waistband of her pants’ against the teen’s wishes.
Ungermann, 37, has denied all allegations and will fight them in a contested hearing later this month.
Magistrate Mia Stylianou ordered appropriate procedures for lawyers cross-examining the witnesses for the contested hearing, and are not to ask complex questions, to use a neutral tone, not legal language, and for there to be regular breaks.
It’s also reported a body map will be used for the teen to show where she was allegedly touched to ‘dispel any ambiguity’.
The contested hearing is scheduled for May 17 and is expected to take seven days.
In a statement last year lawyer Adam Houda told Daily Mail Australia his client denied all charges: ‘My client is distressed by the charges, which came as a huge shock to him.
‘The allegations, I am instructed, are a complete fabrication and are denied.’
Ungerman was known as the ‘Ice-Cream King’ during his appearance on MasterChef.
He returned for last year’s ‘Back to Win’ spin-off, but he was later dropped when police filed the charges.