Ben Ungermann masterchef news verdict, cleared of sex assault

Ben Ungermann was acquitted of three sexual assault charges in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Friday, leaving only one charge of common law assault, for which he was sentenced to a diversionary sentence after "accepting responsibility."

Mr Ungermann has indicated a willingness to accept responsibility for the charge, according to his attorney, Abbie Roodenburg.

Ungermann will not face a conviction or formal finding of guilt as a result of the diversion order, even though he accepts responsibility.

He must pay a $1000 fine to White Ribbon, write an apology letter to the victim, and seek mental health treatment.

Ben Ungermann (left) has admitted to being charged with assault.
Ben Ungermann (left) has admitted to being charged with assault.

He remained silent outside court on Wednesday, deferring to his lawyer and fellow MasterChef contestant Ben Bullock, who stated that "Benny's" name had been cleared following the dismissal of the sexual assault charges.

“Benny has been battling these charges for more than a year,” he explained.

“We applaud the dismissal of the sexual assault charge, which has been denied throughout the proceedings.

Additionally, we welcome Benny's opportunity to clear his name. It's really just about him moving forward with his life now.”

According to the court, Ungermann assaulted a 16-year-old girl on February 23, 2020, while he was in Melbourne filming a MasterChef series.

'The two Bens' from MasterChef's 2017 season, Ben Ungermann and Ben Bullock, exit the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Friday.
'The two Bens' from MasterChef's 2017 season, Ben Ungermann and Ben Bullock, exit the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Friday.

Ungermann grabbed the girl, who was 16 at the time, and drew her towards him in a hotel room.

She fled the room while on the phone and was seen on CCTV leaving the hotel in a distressed state shortly before midnight.

The teenager had "comforted" the celebrity chef following his breakup with his fiancee, South African media personality Leigh-Anne Williams.

Ms Williams submitted a letter of recommendation to the court on Ungermann's behalf, and Ms Roodenburg stated her support for him.

Ungermann and his victim had spent the evening drinking sake at a Japanese restaurant before retiring to a hotel room and sharing a glass of white wine and a cigarette on the balcony.

Prosecutor Peter Murphy stated that the 16-year-old "began to feel the effects of her alcohol consumption" after drinking the sake.

Ben Ungermann, a MasterChef contestant, was dumped by his fiancee Leigh-Anne Williams, a South African media personality, the night he assaulted a 16-year-old girl.
Ben Ungermann, a MasterChef contestant, was dumped by his fiancee Leigh-Anne Williams, a South African media personality, the night he assaulted a 16-year-old girl.

He "became distressed," and the adolescent "comforted" him.

“I'm about to be s**tfaced,” he informed her.

Later, he patted his chest, inviting her to hug him, but she declined.

Prosecutor Kevin Murphy stated that he then "pulled her down onto his chest" without her consent.

Magistrate Mia Stylianou stated that the "impact on (the victim) cannot be overstated" and that it "weighed heavily on her" to be undergoing the court process while completing her senior year of high school.

She requested that Magistrate Stylianou read a letter aloud but was denied.

Ms Roodenburg, Ungermann's attorney, stated that he had suffered a stress-induced heart attack and attempted suicide following his arrest.

She stated that being arrested and placed in a divvy van on March 6 was "incredibly shocking" and caused him anxiety and stress.

Ben Ungermann admitted to assaulting a teenage girl following the dismissal of three sexual assault charges against him on Friday.
Ben Ungermann admitted to assaulting a teenage girl following the dismissal of three sexual assault charges against him on Friday.

She stated that police held him for four hours in the interview room before releasing him into the street at 1 a.m.

She stated that the celebrity chef had lost sponsorships and ambassadorships as a result of being charged, which was his sole source of income.

“Immediately upon being charged, he was given one hour to pack his belongings and depart from the MasterChef show,” she explained.

“All of his sponsorships and ambassadorships have been rescinded. “His family has been assisting him in financing his legal defense.”