2006_12_beast.jpgAn actor who starred on the Great White Way as Mr. Rochester in Jane Eyre and as the Beast in Beauty & the Beast will be in Manhattan Criminal Court facing charges of sexual misconduct towards a minor. James Barbour has been charged with five felony counts of criminal sex acts from an incident five years ago. From the NY Post:

Prosecutors say that the victim was then an out-of-state, star-struck theater lover from a high school somewhere in the New York area. Her drama teacher knew Barbour, prosecutors say, and arranged for her and her parents to see him in the leading role.

After the performance, the girl and her parents went backstage - and she was invited in alone, to his dressing room, to talk to the star.

But instead of just talk, the barbarous Barbour took advantage of the teen, groping her and seducing her into groping him back, she said.

Amazingly, Barbour then took the girl out to dinner with her parents - and continued sexually touching her under the table throughout the meal, prosecutors say. That incident allegedly took place at the Jack Rose restaurant on Eighth Avenue.

Barbour invited the girl back one more time, the next month, to see his friend perform in a play. After the performance, Barbour took her to his apartment on West 98th Street, where they exchanged oral sex, the prosecutors claim.

According to the Daily News, Barbour, who had been in Los Angeles preparing for a role in Camelot, will be pleading not guilty. His lawyer says, "This is a young lady who has waited five years from the time of the incident she alleges to come forward. We dispute these charges, [and] he will be vindicated at a trial." The woman's claim comes within the five year statute of limitations, and prosecutors say she was concerned Barbour might have preyed on other young girls.

Here are Barbour's Broadway credits from IBDB.