MasterChef contestant Ben Ungermann faces charges he sexually assaulted a 16-year-old girl in Melbourne.
The 36-year-old Queenslander has been charged with two counts of sexual assault of a teenage girl on February 23 in Docklands.
Detectives from the Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Investigation Team charged him over the alleged incident earlier this year.
Ungermann has disappeared from this year’s season of the Network Ten cooking show, with judge Jock Zonfrillo acknowledging the accused’s absence on the episode which aired on Sunday night.
“So, before we get to today’s challenge, we’ve got some news. You’re probably wondering where Ben is, yeah?” Mr Zonfrillo told contestants.
“Due to a personal matter, Ben has had to leave the competition and he will not be returning.”
Ungermann posted on his Instagram on Monday that he had “launched a delicious Indonesian menu” along with Queensland venue Woodlands of Marburg.
He is on bail to appear at Melbourne Magistrates Court on June 25 for a mention.