Man tried for sexual assault after brushing off actress
An artist falsely accused of sexually assaulting a well-known movie actress has described his nightmare 12 months.
Mark Pearson was alleged to have attacked the female “for two or three seconds” after brushing past her during rush hour at London’s Waterloo station.
He told the Irish Daily Mirror: “For me, half a second turned into a year of hell. I feel I have undergone a form of mental torture sanctioned by the state.”
The 51-year-old is receiving treatment for anxiety attacks due to the stress brought on by the accusations.
There were neither witnesses nor forensic evidence produced in the case, while the elderly actress (who can’t be named for legal reasons) was unable to select Mr Pearson from a lineup.
There is not proof that he even made contact with the woman, who is in her 60s and has won awards for her work in film, TV, theatre and radio.
All that is known through CCTV footage is that the two individuals walked past each other.
Images of Mr Pearson show him walking with a newspaper in his left hand, the hand which he allegedly used to attack the actress.
He was arrested at his London home on February 5, 2015, two months after the “incident”, and the Crown Prosection Service decided to proceed with the case.
Mr Pearson said in court: “I would have had to crouch down, put my hand up the woman’s skirt, take my hand out again while holding the paper and walking.
“It’s preposterous, against everything that I believe in as a human being. I did nothing.”
After a three-day trial, a jury took 90 minutes to bring back a unanimous not guilty verdict.
Mr Pearson, cleared of the charge, added: “One of the many frightening aspects is that this could have happened to anyone.”
Author Erin Prizzey, one of Mr Pearson’s supporters, said: “The CPS had no business going after him because there wasn’t a case there from the very beginning.
“At the moment, women seem above the law. They can simply pick up the phone, no evidence required, and have a man removed from his family and his children.”
The CPS stated that “there was sufficient evidence for this case to proceed to court and to trial.”