Christian Porter: Irreconcilable teenage memories

Christian Porter: Irreconcilable teenage memories. By Jamie Walker.

The woman who accused Christian Porter of raping her at a ­debating tournament in 1988 went on to spend the next day with him, according to her ­detailed retelling of the incident, believing they had a long-term ­future together despite the savagery of the alleged attack.

Her detailed account of what she described as an eight-year ­involvement with the future federal Attorney-General, documented in a 25-page unsigned statement she planned to give to the police, is deeply at odds with his declaration that he knew her “for only the briefest periods” when they were teenagers and had no contact he could recall after the night of the alleged rape. …

The woman said they ended up at the Hard Rock Cafe, an impossibility given the venue did not open until 1989. More likely it was the Oz Rock Cafe, a popular nightspot in Kings Cross. They were drinking heavily, and the woman was drunk. Mr Porter said it was possible he walked her back to her room, though he had no recollection of this. “Was there a sexual involvement with anybody on that trip?” he was asked. “No,” he said. …

Mental illness:

While her peers prospered, she never rose to the heights that those who knew her at high school had expected. She suffered mental illness and attempted suicide on a number of occasions, prompting her parents to worry that she would be found to be an unreliable witness if Mr Porter were ever brought to trial.

Recovered memories:

Her statement describes how she gained a better understanding of her fragmented memories of the alleged rape when she was referred by her psychologist to the research of Bessel van der Kolk, a devotee of discredited recovered memory therapy. …

In the media conservatives are always guilty, even if (oh the irony) they are the Attorney General:

Mr Porter on Wednesday … appealed for the benefit of the doubt, citing his experience as a prosecutor before he entered politics. “There are circumstances where someone might absolutely believe something, but it might not be a reliable account,” he said.

Presumption of innocence is so old fashioned. Modern education ensures that hardly anyone knows the long history of how that came to be the best way to go. A fresh generation of know-nothings can thus be persuaded that the latest conservative hate figure is guilty.

Bettina Arndt, from her latest newsletter where she canes the ABC for the latest ideological hatefest:

No matter that the police then announced the case was closed since there was not enough admissible evidence. And that the alleged victim had withdrawn her initial complaint before she tragically suicided. And that her poor parents had not wanted her to proceed with the complaint, warning their daughter suffered mental illness and expressing concern she might have “confected or embellished” the allegations. And that her accusations against Porter emerged after recovered memory therapy, including hypnotic techniques subject to evidentiary restrictions in Australian courts because of their potential to affect memory.

It’s the ABC that is the problem here.

Chris Kenny:

George Pell wasn’t prosecuted for alleged molestation; he was prosecuted for being George Pell. Luckily for him the haters overreached and they couldn’t quite get away with it.

Yep, it was the ABC that was the problem there too.