Skalkos on indecent assault charge

Controversial printer and publisher Theo Skalkos is in court, charged with indecently assaulting a teenager in Sydney.

Appearing in the Downing Centre Local Court, Skalkos pleaded not guilty in to assaulting the 19-year-old girl in Mascot on February 4 between 10am and 10.10am.

The 83-year-old owns Sydney company FL Press, which publishes and prints ethnic newspapers and magazines including the Greek Herald. He was formerly the owner of 40-year-old Media Press which collapsed a decade ago with $10m debts.

Media Press was probably the biggest ethnic printer and publisher in Australia at the time, printing more than 70 local and international titles.

[Related: See you in court!]

The indecent assault charge is the latest in a string of legal and financial mishaps for the colourful businessman, who has been in the print game for decades after emigrating from Greece in the 1950s.

Following the Media Press collapse Skalkos was bankrupted in 2004 with debts of $25m, owing money to not only trade creditors and the ATO but prominent members of the Greek community who won defamation suits against him.

He was also sued by his longtime barrister Stuart Littlemore over $300,000 in unpaid fees.

In 2012 Skalkos was again in legal trouble, but was acquitted of assault for threatening a plumber with a shotgun when the tradesman asked for payment for a job.

The plumber James Hasapis alleged Skalkos paid only $4000 of a $25,600 plumbing fee and after a demand for $10,400 went unpaid he went to Skalkos’ house to ask for it.

Skalkos allegedly pointed the shotgun at him and said ‘if you come back I will cut your legs off’.

The magistrate found Skalkos ‘probably’ did commit the assault, but it had not been established beyond reasonable doubt and he could not be convicted because he was ‘a person of otherwise excellent good character’.

He was, however, convicted and fined $1200 with $81 court costs for a firearms charge regarding the shotgun.

Then in the same year Skalkos was pursued by the Fair Work Ombudsman for allegedly underpaying a journalist writing for one of his newspapers $90,723, and then threatened, coerced and sacked him after he made a complaint.

Skalkos will reappear on the latest charge on September 14.

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