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Australia’s Attorney-General denies 1988 rape accusation

Sydney, Australia, March 3 (efe-epa).- Australia’s Attorney-General Christian Porter defended his innocence Wednesday against an accusation of rape, allegedly committed in 1988, and which was archived by police over lack of evidence.

Porter appeared for the first time before the media after a complaint was made public Friday against a member of the executive, whose identity had not disclosed until now to preserve the principle of the presumption of innocence.

“The things that have been claimed to have happened, they did not happen,” Porter said at a news conference in the city of Perth, adding that he briefly met the alleged victim in Sydney during a competition when he had 17 years.

“I have not slept with the victim. There was nothing of that nature between us,” Porter insisted, a day after New South Wales police in Sydney said they had closed the case for lack of evidence.

The accusation was revealed by the public network ABC when it said Prime Minister Scott Morrison and other parliamentarians received an anonymous letter detailing the alleged 1988 rape of a woman who was then 16 and committed last year.

The case, which coincides with other complaints of sexual abuse in the sphere of parliament and dent the image of the government, had already been shelved by authorities when the alleged victim died in 2020, without making a formal statement about the incident.

Porter said that before allegations were published, Australian authorities never brought an accusation against him, adding that they were aware that “rumors” had spread against him in recent months.

The attorney general also said he will take a few weeks off, on the recommendation of his doctor, but will not resign from his position, since in his opinion it would open the door so that “anyone in Australia can lose their career, their job, his life only because of accusations that appear in print.”

The government has faced strong criticism since mid-February when a former adviser to Morrison’s Liberal Party reported having been raped in 2019 by a former co-worker in parliament, followed by three other complaints against the man and a later one against an opposition member. EFE-EPA


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