Renowned Australian artist Anthony Lister has appeared in a Sydney court over allegations he sexually assaulted four women and tattooed one without her consent.
Mr Lister, 40, was arrested on Tuesday morning after police raided his inner-city Darlinghurst home and an industrial space at Marrickville, in Sydney’s inner west.
He is accused of sexually assaulting four women on separate occasions between 2015 and 2018.
Three of the complainants were art students, NSW Police said.
He also allegedly tattooed three lines on one of the women without her consent.
Mr Lister appeared in Sydney’s Central Local Court via video link from Surry Hills Police Station.
Magistrate Robert Williams adjourned the matter until May 7 and Mr Lister’s lawyer Joe Blackshield flagged a possible release application next week.
Outside court, Mr Blackshield said he was yet to speak to Mr Lister.
“I believe at this stage the plan is to defend most of the charges,” he said, without elaborating.
Surry Hills Police Commander, Superintendent Tim Beattie, said the complainants were aged 18 and 19 at the time and alleged there were elements of grooming.
“That’s part of the allegation and that will come out, we will allege, through the court process,” he said.
“What we do know is we believe he has engaged these people through social circles in parts of the community.”
One of the alleged assaults is understood to have happened at a function in Redfern, while others allegedly took place at Mr Lister’s home.
Mr Lister’s charges include causing grievous bodily harm with intent, five counts of sexual intercourse without consent and using an intoxicating substance to commit an indictable offence.
During the searches, police seized four replica pistols, knuckle dusters and drugs including cocaine, MDMA and cannabis.
Computers, mobile phones and SD cards were also seized.
Mr Lister was born in Brisbane and has become one of the country’s most internationally-recognised painters, once included in a list of the 50 most influential street artists of all time.
The father-of-three has described his work as “bold, at times violent, definitely direct and intentional”.
His work has been collected by the likes of Hugh Jackman, Pink and Pharrell Williams.