Actor Jeremy Kewley outside the Melbourne Magistrates Court. Photo: Justin McManus
An actor with credits on some of Australia’s most popular television programs is alleged to have molested boys while on camera after inviting them to perform screen tests, a court has heard.
Jeremy Kewley, 56, who has appeared in Neighbours, Cop Shop, Patrol Boat, The Sullivans and the legal drama Janus, is charged with 103 counts of indecently assaulting a child under the age of 16, and a further two counts of possessing child pornography.
Mr Kewley was arrested in August and charged by sexual offence detectives on Thursday, Melbourne Magistrates Court heard.
Jeremy Kewley warming up The Footy Show audience.
Prosecutor Luisa Di Pietrantonio told the court Mr Kewley had the boys wear Lycra suits and appear on camera with him in June and July of 2011, during which he touched them, rubbed against them to simulate sex or kissed them on the lips.
Ms Di Pietrantonio said Mr Kewley had advertised for boys to appear in screen tests for a movie, and had 27 boys apply. The court was not told how many boys were allegedly indecently assaulted.
In charge sheets tendered to the court, police allege Mr Kewley touched boys on the groin and buttocks, pushed himself against them, kissed them on the lips and pulled their costumes away.
The charges of child pornography involve allegations he had images of children on his computer, showing them in an indecent sexual manner.
He was in possession of the images in August last year, the charge sheets allege.
Mr Kewley, of Brighton, appeared in court dressed in a white business shirt and dark pants.
The court heard the prosecution had no objection to Mr Kewley being granted bail, provided he surrender his passport, not leave Victoria and not have any unsupervised contact with children.
Magistrate Lance Martin granted bail.
Mr Kewley appeared as a child in Fred Schepisi’s 1976 film The Devil’s Playground and during a career spanning almost 40 years, has also had roles in other films and television series including The Young Doctors, Blue Heelers, City Homicide, SeaChange and Fat Tony & Co, in which he portrayed underworld figure Des Moran.
According to the Internet Movie Database website, Mr Kewley has a role in the Australian filmThe Legend of Ben Hall, a movie about a bushranger which is scheduled for release next year.
The website also attributes roles to the actor in a handful of other movies which are currently in post-production.
He has also worked as a warm-up artist on The Footy Show.
Mr Kewley was supported in court by one man, who left shortly before the hearing finished.