Coroner rules out inquest into death of woman who claimed she was raped by former Attorney General Christian Porter – at her family’s request
- No Inquiry into Death of Woman Known as ‘Kate’
- Woman claimed she was raped by Christian Porter
- Mr Porter strongly denied the allegation
A coroner has decided not to open an inquest into the death of a woman who was at the center of historic rape allegations against former Attorney General Christian Porter.
Coroner David Whittle said an extensive investigation had been completed into the death of the woman, named Kate, in June 2020.
However, he declined to elaborate on exactly what led to her death.
“I have made a finding of Kate’s cause of death and have determined that no inquest will be held,” Whittle said in a statement Thursday.
“This is in accordance with the wishes of Kate’s family, who have asked that their privacy be respected.”
The woman had accused Porter of raping her as a teenager at a debate conference in the 1980s, which the former attorney general has vehemently denied.
Former Attorney General Christian Porter fought back tears at a 2021 media conference where he confirmed he was charged with the historic rape, which he denies
The woman took her own life in June 2020, shortly after being discharged from a mental health facility and making the allegations.
Mr Whittle, as state coroner, said he was bound by confidentiality obligations and no further information would be provided regarding the decision not to conduct an inquest into her death.
“As of February 2021, there has been extensive media coverage of the 2020 death of a woman referred to in the media as ‘Kate’ and allegations of past sexual assault,” he said in a statement.
An exhaustive corona investigation has now been completed.
“I have entered a finding regarding Kate’s cause of death and have determined that no inquest will be held.
“This is in line with the wishes of Kate’s family, who have asked that their privacy be respected.
“The state coroner is bound by confidentiality obligations and no further information will be released.”
It was previously revealed that NSW police detectives met the woman in Sydney in February 2020 and interacted with her at least five times over the next three months.
On 23 June of the same year she indicated in an email that she did not want to proceed with the complaint and two days later the SA police said she had died.
The ABC subsequently reported the allegations in February 2021, but did not name Mr Porter.
The former attorney general identified himself and retired from his ministerial position.
He strongly denied raping the woman when they were both teenagers in 1988.
He resigned as Federal Industry Minister in September 2021 and did not run in the 2022 federal election.
He also launched slander against the ABC over the article which was published in 2021.
In response to the coroner’s statement, friends of Kate criticized NSW police on Thursday.
Mr Porter was resigning from his ministerial position at the time of the allegations and strongly denied raping the woman when they were both teenagers in 1988.
Jo Dyer, Nick Ryan and Jeremy Samuel issued a statement on behalf of a group of Kate’s friends.
“We are grateful for the thorough and respectful investigation by the South Australian coroner into Kate’s death,” it said.
“We remain disappointed that NSW Police have not conducted an equally thorough investigation into the crime allegedly committed against her by Kate.
“We continue to believe there were tragic failures in Kate’s trial.
Although it is too late for Kate, if these failures are properly acknowledged, researched and understood, it could help others who find themselves in a similar position of hopelessness and despair in the future.
“We fully understand and respect Kate’s family’s wish for privacy. Our ongoing relationship with them is cherished.”