Aussie cabinet minister at centre of rape allegation identifies himself

Joanna Estrada
Марта 3, 2021

Attorney-General Christian Porter has revealed he is the cabinet minister accused of raping a 16-year-old girl in 1988.

After seven days of headlines over the shocking claims, Porter today chose to relinquish his anonymity and categorically deny the allegations.

'As such, NSW Police Force has determined the matter is now closed'.

"And I hope that whatever else happens, from this point that you understand that in saying today that the things that have been claimed to happen did not happen that I do not mean to impose anything more upon your grief".

Mr Porter, 50, asked them to understand why he was refuting their loved one's claims of historic sexual assault which have come to light in the past week.

"It's the truth. Nothing that is in the allegations that have been printed ever happened".

"Staying silent. Following the rules". A very hard decision.

"You did not deserve the frenzied politicisation of the circumstances of your daughter's death for the past week".

"I have given the bulk of my adult working life to public service and the law".

Mr Wittle said the investigation is ongoing and once it is complete he will decide whether to hold an inquest.

"I remember the person as an intelligent, bright, happy person", he added.

"If that happens, anyone in public life is able to be removed simply by the printing of an allegation", he added. Every child we raise can have their lives destroyed by online reporting of accusations alone.

He said the "key issue" was whether Mr Porter could continue to be Attorney-General.

The defence minister took medical leave in the wake of the crisis.

"All of my life I have just pushed through, but for the many caring family and friends who have asked me that question over the course of the last week, "Are you OK?" I have got to say my. answer is I really don't know.

The allegation against Porter came weeks after Brittany Higgins, an adviser to the ruling Liberal party, alleged she was raped previous year by a colleague in the parliamentary office of the minister of defence. We met at debating competitions, when we were teenagers about 33 years ago. The woman took her own life a year ago.

Porter was forced to come forward after senior lawmakers last week received details of allegations that in 1988 Porter raped a then 16-year-old girl who committed suicide last year before making a formal complaint to police. Her family are believed to remain adamant they do not want her identified. Given it seemed inevitable that police would close their case, the government is facing calls to launch its own investigation.

"NSW Police have since sought legal advice in relation to these matters, " a spokesman said.

The 50-year-old former criminal prosecutor said he made a decision to speak out after police said Tuesday there was insufficient admissible evidence to proceed with a criminal investigation.

In a statement, Coroner David Whittle said an investigation file regarding the woman's death had been delivered to him by police on Monday. This again brings to the surface a wider debate about what many have described as a toxic work culture for women in Australia's corridors of power. We need to know what he knew about the complaint and when he knew about it.

But it's also the secrecy and opaqueness by which the prime minister and members of his cabinet have chosen to deal with the whole matter.

"He should require the minister to speak up".

Mr Porter, a former crown prosecutor, said if he was to resign there would be no need for an attorney-general because there would be "no rule of law left to protect in this country". "The prime minister is seeking to downplay and minimise the extraordinary nature of these allegations and the previous allegations of a rape down the hall from his parliamentary office", she said. Yes, I did. And he vigorously and completely denied the allegations.

The government has resisted calls by the opposition Green party and women's rights groups to establish an independent investigation into the allegations, saying it was a matter for police.

"It's a very unusual and unfortunate situation", Bradley said.

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