Maggie Kirkpatrick, who played Joan “The Freak” Ferguson on cult Australian series “Prisoner,” has been found guilty of sexually assaulting a troubled teenage fan in the 1980s.
The 74-year-old Australian actress’ prison guard character was feared by viewers for her sadistic nature and habit of molesting inmates under the guise of conducting body searches.
In real life, Kirkpatrick was found guilty Thursday of two counts of indecent assault and one charge of committing a gross act with a person under 16, reported the Sydney Morning Herald.
A Melbourne Magistrates Court was told how Kirkpatrick met a 14-year-old fan in 1984 while the teenager was being treated in a psychiatric hospital for substance abuse and a personality disorder. She then invited the teenager to her home one night in June or July of that year, and shared a meal before the actress sexually assaulted the girl in a bedroom.
The victim was then given a yellow jumper and a signed photograph before being dropped back off at the hospital.
The girl did not report the assault to police until 2013 for fear that people would think she was crazy and not believe her, according to the Herald.
Kirkpatrick played the feared lesbian character on the long-running series, which is also known as “Prisoner: Cell Block H,” from 1982 to 1986.
She is also a strong supporter of gay rights, having made numerous appearances at “Fair Day” as part of the annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival, and was awarded the Sydney Gay Community’s DIVA award for her work.
The actress has appeared on Australian TV shows “Hey Dad!” “Blue Heelers” and “Home and Away,” and played the role of Madame Morrible in the Australian production of the musical “Wicked.”
Sentencing is scheduled for Friday, but according to the Guardian, Kirkpatrick is unlikely to serve time.