He has also been charged with possessing a firearm, prohibited drugs and a prohibited weapon.
The father of three appeared on audio-visual link at Central Local Court on Wednesday, wearing the same multi-coloured t-shirt and grey trackpants he was wearing at the time of his arrest.
Mr Lister’s defence lawyer Joe Blackshield, from Levitt Robinson Solicitors, did not apply for bail before Magistrate Robert Williams, but asked for an adjournment to seek advice from his client.
Bail was formally refused by the court.
“I anticipate hopefully making [a bail application] next week, but we’ll have to see how things go,” Mr Blackshield said outside court, adding that Mr Lister would be defending “most of the charges”.
Earlier he told the Herald that his client was “seemed to be doing well”. Levitt Robinson Solicitors have acted for Mr Lister in various legal matters for many years.
Mr Lister’s arrest follows an investigation launched by detectives from Surry Hills Police Area Command in January after multiple reports of sexual assault in the local area, which they believed to be linked.
Police will allege one of the women was awake but heavily intoxicated when she felt Mr Lister tattooing her body.
In court documents police allege Mr Lister “did tattoo the torso” of one of the women “without her consent”.
On Tuesday detectives executed two search warrants at Mr Lister’s home in Darlinghurst and an industrial space at Marrickville, seizing four replica pistols, knuckle dusters and a number of prohibited drugs, including methylamphetamine, cocaine, MDMA and cannabis.
Computers, mobile phones, digital cameras, SD cards, and other electronic equipment were also seized.
Mr Lister was taken to Surry Hills Police Station and refused bail ahead of his court appearance on Wednesday morning.
The women linked to the investigation did not know each other and all reported the alleged assaults to police independently of one another between 2015 and 2018.
In May Mr Lister was scheduled to host a free stencil and collage workshop at the Wollongong Art Gallery. The Herald has contacted the gallery for comment.
As one of Australia’s best known street artists, Mr Lister’s work has featured worldwide on streets, in galleries and decorating high-end fashion boutiques such as Hermes.
In a recent exhibition last year his artworks were selling for amounts between between $150 to $17,500.
Mr Lister is next scheduled to appear at Central Local Court on May 7. However, he is expected to return to court to make a bail application next week.
Lucy Cormack is a crime reporter with The Sydney Morning Herald.