TV actor cleared of raping 14-year-old boy
A young television actor has been cleared of raping a 14-year-old boy.
Blackfriars Crown Court heard claims the star, who cannot be identified because of his age, "bullied" his alleged victim and used him "for a sexual game".
The prosecution said he attacked the boy to prove to his girlfriend that he was bisexual.
However, the defendant claimed their sexual activity was consensual.
After almost five hours of deliberation, the jury cleared him of the charges he faced, which were three counts of sexual assault and one of oral rape.
The court heard claims the actor twice attacked the teenager at a theatre, once while his girlfriend was present.
It was also alleged he held the complainant's hands together with just one hand while they were in a toilet at school and performed a sex act on him.
The complainant, who was 14 at the time of the alleged incidents, collapsed in the witness box as he gave evidence last Monday.
Prosecutor Timothy Forster, in his closing speech, asked the jury to consider why the alleged victim would make up the sexual assaults, considering the visible strain he went through while giving evidence.
Defence counsel Judith Khan QC said in her speech: "There is a natural reaction of sympathy to someone who reacts to giving evidence in that way.
"But it is important to bear in mind that that reaction is not an indicator of truthfulness. A witness who may be lying or dishonest may react in the same way."
She said the actor had told the truth in denying the charges.
"He volunteered the detail, it must have been excruciatingly embarrassing for him to give the detail, but give it he did," she said.