The Australian attorney general’s rape accuser, who recently took her own life, first sought help from a counsellor over the alleged rape in 2013, and had several sessions with her, it has been revealed.
Four Corners has been told that the woman first sought help from the counsellor in about 2013 and saw her about six times.
Christian Porter is accused of raping the woman in 1988, when both were debating teammates, she was 16 and he was 17 at the time.
Porter has strenuously denied the rape allegations, and said at a press conference, “I was 17 years old and the other person was 16. We were both selected, with two others, on the Australian Schools Debating Team and we went to Sydney University for an international competition. It was a long time ago and I’d always remembered it as a happy time,” Porter said.
“But I can say categorically that what has been put in various forms and allegations simply did not happen,” he said.
The alleged victim had dealt with mental health issues for many years, and placed her complaint about the rape with police in 2020, before then withdrawing it and taking her own life in June. Police then closed the investigation without any charges being laid.
The accuser’s allegation became public last month after Prime Minister Scott Morrison received an anonymous letter, which included a statement the woman had prepared for her lawyers in 2019.
The writer urged the prime minister to begin an independent parliamentary investigation into the matter.
“When news of [the complainant’s alleged] rape becomes widely known to the public (as it most likely will), legitimate questions will be asked as to who knew what, when they knew, and what they did,” the correspondent wrote.
“This is occurring today in relation to Brittany Higgins.
“In [the complainant’s] case, the loss of respect for our political institutions will be exacerbated by the aggravating factor of [the accused perpetrator’s seniority].
“There will be considerable damage to community perceptions of justice … and the parliament when this story becomes public if it is simultaneously revealed that senior people (like yourselves) were aware of the accusation but had done nothing…
“Failing to take parliamentary action because the NSW Police cannot take criminal action [due to the complainant’s death] would seem like willful blindness.”
The woman’s death means a criminal investigation into the politician can no longer proceed because the allegation cannot be tested.
She had been a brilliant and celebrated student at the time of the alleged incident, and had prepared a long statement for her solicitor at the end of 2019.
“This is my story, plain and simple. It’s not pretty, but it is mine,” she wrote in the statement, reported Four Corners. “And I stand by it, every single word and image in this document is true.”
In her statement, the woman alleged she had been anally raped by the man when she was aged 16.
“All I really want, in the end, is for this to have been reported to the NSW Police Force and to know that a copy of this document, and a transcript of any interview they might do with me, is in their archives …
“If this story does become public knowledge, I hope that it will encourage other women to come forward.
“Not for me, but for themselves … I also hope that other people who have endured similar traumas, should these facts become public knowledge, will feel less alone.”
The woman confided in many friends who had become leaders in business, politics, the law, and the arts and ABC has spoken to many of them.
“She was caught on a jag, in a very specific era, around a very specific incident. That really seemed completely consuming and completely debilitating to her,” one friend told ABC.
“She was consumed with a trauma, which she told me, deeply and consistently, was as result of an assault that had occurred, early in 1988, and her life at that point was really devoted to exploring how she could get some kind of justice, accountability, and peace from that.”
In a statement, South Australia Police[SAPOL] told ABC that a full report into the woman’s death is being prepared for the coroner.
“It is not completed yet and there is no timeframe provided. SAPOL will not be making any further comment as this is a matter for the coroner.”