Australia

'I'm over the moon': Actor John Jarratt found not guilty of 1976 rape charge

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The jury took just two hours to return the not guilty verdict on Friday.

Actor John Jarratt says no man should have to go through what he has been after being found not guilty of raping his housemate more than 40 years ago.

A NSW District Court jury took just two hours to return the not guilty verdict on Friday.

Speaking outside the court, the Wolf Creek actor said he was "extremely grateful" with the outcome.

"I'm over the moon, 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."

John Jarratt
John Jarratt leaving court on Friday after being found not guilty.
AAP

The 66-year-old star had testified before the NSW District Court jury he was seduced into having consensual sex with the woman in 1976 at the Sydney house they shared with his wife, Rosa Miano, and at least one other person.

The woman earlier told the court she was woken about 3am by Jarratt ripping off her bed covers and underwear before he pinned her down, covered her mouth with his hand and raped her.

But the jury took less than two hours to return the unanimous verdict on Friday afternoon.

As the verdict was announced, Jarratt lifted his arms in elation and his family burst into tears.

"Thank you," he said as he left the dock.

The actor maintained his innocence from the moment he was charged in August 2018.

John Jarratt on set.
John Jarratt on the set of one of his most famous roles in the Wolf Creek franchise.
AAP

The former housemate, who can't be named for legal reasons, went to police in late 2017.

She told the jury she didn't report the rape to authorities earlier because she feared she wouldn't be believed.

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