NSW Police have revealed the timeline of their engagement with Christian Porter’s accuser, revealing why they didn’t pursue the investigation.
The woman who alleged she was raped by Christian Porter told police she did not want to proceed with the complaint just days before taking her own life.
NSW Police have released a statement on the historical rape allegation levelled at the Attorney-General, which he vigorously denies, confirming they were in contact with the woman on at least five occasions before she died.
The statement said the woman emailed NSW Police on June 23, 2020, “indicating she no longer felt able to proceed with reporting the matter, citing medical and personal reasons”.
“The woman very clearly articulated in that email that she did not want to proceed with the complaint,” it said.
“She also thanked investigators in this email. She was very grateful for the time and support the investigators provided to her.”
They were then informed by SA Police on June 25, 2020, the woman had taken her own life.
A letter was sent to the Prime Minister last week, including an attachment apparently from the woman alleging she was raped by a senior cabinet minister during a debating competition at Sydney University in 1988.
Mr Porter outed himself on Wednesday as the man at the centre of the allegation but said the incident “simply did not happen”.
NSW Police said they only came into possession of a personal document apparently made by the woman, outlining the allegations, after her death.
Detectives first met with the woman in February that year at Kings Cross Police Station in Sydney, where she was accompanied by a friend.
The woman told them she “dissociates” and wanted to ensure she was “coherent and as grounded as possible” while making the statement.
“At this time the primary concern of investigators was victim care and welfare. The woman indicated she had support from a number of sources, including both professional assistance and family support, including her partner,” the statement from police said.
“Investigators had ongoing contact on at least five occasions with the woman over the next three months.
“During the contact had with her, her ongoing welfare was discussed along with a plan for how and when her statement would be taken.”
Mr Porter claimed on Wednesday he did not know why the woman would have made the accusation.
He told reporters he had been “aware of a whispering campaign” for months, but was only privy details of the allegation which had been outlined in media reports.
“Had the accusation ever been put to me before they were printed, I would have at least been able to say the only thing that I can say … that nothing in the allegations that have been printed ever happened,” he said.
But police said approaching Mr Porter with details of her accusation without having obtained a formal statement “would have an impact on any future investigative strategies”.
“Investigative strategies need to be considered as part of this best practice model,” they said.
“It is current standard practice in sexual assault investigative training that upon all of the available information being obtained (in statement form) that the formal allegation can and should be provided to the person of interest as per the procedural fairness principles for investigators, to be able to determine prima facie and whether charging of the person is appropriate.”
With police unable to pursue the case following the woman’s death, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has rejected growing pressure to launch an independent probe into the matter.