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Legal

WRONG: Minister denounces The Age’s despicable attack from psychiatrically disturbed accuser

theagelies AAP reports that Victorian senior Minister Theo Theophanous has hit out at shocking claims made in The Age newspaper today.

He makes very clear a respect for the legal process and his outrage that the Age has published untested claims in circumstances where it might compromise, corrupt or interfere with a Police investigation.

In his first public comments since he stepped aside on Monday pending a police investigation into sexual assault claims, Mr Theophanous reiterated he had done nothing wrong.

He said the publication of the allegations in Fairfax newspapers today could jeopardise a fair process.

“I was shocked to read in today’s Age statements from a person accusing me of the most horrible crimes that are totally against all the moral and religious values I believe in,” he said in a statement.

“These accusations have never been put to me before, and to be put publicly in this way places me in the most difficult position. I have scrupulously tried to avoid making any detailed comment which would amount to interfering in a police inquiry.

“Again, I reaffirm my complete innocence of any wrongdoing.

“When I stepped aside from the ministry two days ago I put my trust in due process, and in the police dealing with this inquiry in a way that was fair to all parties.

“Instead, I have found myself subject to ongoing reports attributed to ‘sources’, and now I face the most distressing direct accusations through the press.”

Mr Theophanous is yet to be interviewed by police.

The alleged victim of the assault told Fairfax Mr Theophanous, 60, raped her after she accepted his offer to be shown around Parliament House late one night in 1998.

The alleged assault contributed to her nervous breakdown and forced her to leave Australia to live with her parents overseas, she said.

“All of these allegations and reports are unbelievably hurtful and devastating to me and to my family,” Mr Theophanous said.

“The public airing of these allegations prejudices what should be a fair process. This has occurred before I have had the opportunity to be interviewed by police.

“Rape is a horrendous crime. To be wrongly accused of such a crime is deeply harmful to me and my family.

“I would again urge the media, those making unproven allegations and whoever is providing leaked information to cease what they are doing, and to allow police to interview me, and go through a process in getting to the truth. I for one have nothing to fear from the truth.”

Premier John Brumby today said the allegations were “as serious as you can get” and said he was shocked by the woman’s story. (He also called on Victoria Police to promptly interview the Minister to resolve this matter)

Mr Theophanous, a 20-year veteran of the Victorian parliament, stood aside as the state’s minister for industry and trade, major projects and information and communications technology.

Discussion

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  1. The matter deserves to be settled in the courts. Not the media. The Age has done justice a disservice. Mr Theophanous deserves the same presumption of innocence that everyone else enjoys. The Age is not fair.

    Posted by Jack Jones | October 15, 2008, 19:22
  2. There is nothing graver then the false allegation of rape or pedophilia.

    Any false accusation makes life that much harder for those women that are in real need of assistance and those that have truly been victims of a serious crime.

    If the matter is proven to be false then the age should pay dearly for their mistake and they should also face their day in court.

    Posted by Gena | October 15, 2008, 19:56
  3. Methinks he doth protest too much.

    Posted by Guy Fawkes | October 15, 2008, 20:39
  4. Guy Fawkes, who does dis-service to his name sake, is of the opinion that anyone who has been wrongfully accused and protests about the injustice of the allegations against them is guilty by the mere fact that they protest their innocence. This is sad refection on the person behind the pseudonym.

    Posted by Peter | October 15, 2008, 21:31
  5. If Theophanus put his grubby hands on me, I’d be mentally ill as well.

    London to a brick other women come out andreveal their suffering at the hands of Theophanus.

    Posted by Mental as Anything | October 16, 2008, 8:10
  6. Anything is better than the Herald sun, that paper is nothing more than a picture paper tabloid for children. It does little more than numb the brain of everyone who reads it, i assume Mr Brumby gets it every morning by the terrible job hes done as premier

    Posted by Anon | December 15, 2008, 0:18
  7. You think the Herald Sun is bad, you should try reading The Age! Now there is a crap newspaper!

    Stick the The Australian. The Heart of the Nation and paper for patriots.

    Posted by Anon | December 15, 2008, 9:15