Australia’s attorney general denies rape allegations after letter reaches prime minister saying lady he allegedly raped in 1988 has committed suicide
Australia’s Attorney General, Christian Porter is at the centre of a rape accusation that is threatening to end his political career.
A letter sent to the country’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison last week alleged Porter had raped a 16-year-old girl in 1988. The woman took her own life last year.
He has denied the allegations.
The attorney general said he had known the woman “for the briefest periods, in debating competitions, when we were teenagers, about 33 years ago”. She had been one of his teammates, he added.
Asked by journalists, he said he did not think he had ever been alone with the woman and had had no contact with her since January 1988.
Porter said Morrison had given him his “full backing” to remain as attorney general.
“If I stand down from my position as attorney general because of an allegation about something that simply did not happen, then any person in Australia can lose their career… based on nothing more than an accusation that appears in print,” he told reporters in Perth on Wednesday
But he would take two weeks of leave for his mental health, he added.
“The things that are being claimed did not happen,” .
“Nothing in the allegations that have been printed ever happened.”
The alleged victim reported her complaint to New South Wales Police last year but did not make a formal statement. The investigation was suspended after she died last June, aged 49.
But last week a letter was sent by friends of the woman to Prime Minister Morrison and opposition lawmakers, bringing the allegations to the fore.
The letter accused him of raping the girl at a high school debating tournament at Sydney University in 1988.
A former crown prosecutor, Porter entered parliament in 2013 and became attorney general in 2017.