Canberra, March 3 : Australia’s Attorney General (AG) Christian Porter has identified himself as the government minister facing a historical rape allegation and fronted the media on Wednesday to deny the allegation.
The allegation came to light at the end of February in an anonymous letter sent to Prime Minister Scott Morrison and members of the Greens and Labor parties, reports Xinhua news agency.
The letter included detailed allegations that Porter raped a 16-year-old girl in Sydney in 1988, about 20 years before he entered politics in Western Australia and 25 years before he entered federal Parliament, at which time he was 17.
Porter said that it “simply did not happen”.
“Nothing in the allegations that have been printed ever happened,” he said on Wednesday.
“Because what is being alleged did not happen, I must say so publicly.”
The alleged victim contacted New South Wales (NSW) Police in 2019 but took her own life in 2020.
On Tuesday, NSW Police said there was “insufficient admissible evidence” to investigate the allegations and it was closed.
Porter said he would not stand down as AG but would take a “short period of leave” to improve his mental health.
Porter’s press conference on Wednesday came days after former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who said he learned of the allegations in 2019, publicly urged the minister accused of rape to “front up” to the allegations.
The government is facing increasing pressure to establish an independent inquiry into the allegations.
Porter on Wednesday apologised to his ministerial colleagues who have been the target of “allegations and speculation”.