Four child witnesses to give evidence in MasterChef's Ben Ungermann's case

Four children are set to be called as witnesses when former MasterChef contestant Ben Ungermann challenges child sexual assault allegations.

The Queensland-based chef and reality show contestant is accused of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl in Melbourne in February.

Ungermann, 36, will challenge charges in a contested hearing, scheduled in Melbourne Magistrates Court on October 22.

Ben Ungermann appeared on the most recent series of MasterChef. Photo: Channel 10

Prosecutors said four children would give evidence in the matter.

A preliminary hearing was run online on Thursday because Ungermann has returned to his home state.

Prosecutors took no issue with the fact that despite being on bail he was not present for the hearing.

There appears to be no prospect of the matter resolving and a contested hearing would likely take between five and seven days, the magistrate was told.

RELATED: MasterChef star breaks silence after being charged with sexual assault

RELATED: MasterChef contestant wiped from family business’ website

Ungermann appeared in early episodes of this season's Network 10 cooking show, but disappeared from television screens in May.

"Due to a personal matter, Ben has had to leave the competition and he will not be returning," show judge Jock Zonfrillo told contestants.

Reporting by AAP

Sign up to our daily newsletter here to get all the latest news and hacks. Or get in touch at lifestyle.tips@verizonmedia.com.