MasterChef assault accused's cook lawyer
Sexual-assault accused MasterChef runner-up Ben Ungermann is being represented in court by another ex-cooking show contestant.
Ungermann is charged with three offences stemming from an alleged sexual assault against a 16-year-old girl in Melbourne in February 2020.
He was represented by Western Australian-based solicitor and 2017 MasterChef contestant Benjamin Bullock during an online hearing in Melbourne Magistrates Court on Wednesday.
Ungermann, who is from Queensland and on bail, did not attend the virtual hearing.
It was revealed the alleged victim made an earlier statement to police about Ungermann that predated the current charges.
The court was told this statement was not and would not be the subject of any additional charges.
But prosecutors may still seek to rely on it for what's known as tendency evidence in the case against Ungermann.
Tendency evidence is used to prove a person has or had a tendency to act in a certain way or have a particular state of mind.
Lawyers for both the prosecution and defence said they needed more time to prepare for scheduled preliminary arguments.
Magistrate Mia Stylianou made it clear she was unimpressed, given all of Wednesday and Thursday had been cleared to deal with the issues.
Four child witnesses are expected to give evidence during a contested hearing to start on May 17.
Ms Stylianou will then determine whether there is enough evidence to find Ungermann guilty.
Ungermann was the runner-up in MasterChef in 2017.
He appeared in early episodes of this season's Network 10 cooking show last year before disappearing from television screens.
His case is due to return to court on May 5.
© AAP 2021