A ‘predatory’ Cricket Australia executive groped the private parts of two male colleagues after a night of heavy drinking – leaving one with years of mental health issues – as he battles to avoid jail and “maintains his innocence”
Prosecutors have called for a former Cricket Australia executive to be jailed for his “predatory” touching of two colleagues.
Timothy Joseph Whittaker, 38, returned to Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Monday after being found guilty of two counts of intentional sexual touching without consent last Friday.
Prosecutor Sharn-Adelle Coombs told the court that Whittaker should be given a prison sentence for the offense and called on magistrate Timothy Gattuso to register him as a sex offender.
“These were two incidents of opportunistic and somewhat predatory behavior,” she said.
“Two completely vulnerable grown men… They had a right to feel safe in a trusted friend or colleague.
“A clear message must be sent to the community that this type of offense will not be tolerated.”
Prosecutors have asked that former Cricket Australia executive Timothy Joseph Whittaker be jailed for his “predatory” touching of two colleagues. He will be sentenced on Friday
Whittaker was charged after two men came forward, detailing to police similar experiences of waking up in bed after a night of heavy drinking to find the former communications chief touching their penises in 2016 and 2019.
In a victim impact statement read in court, a man said the sexual assault led to years of mental health issues.
‘I tried to convince myself that it wasn’t so [happen]. It was easier to do that than to deal with what happened,” he said.
“But the reality kept eating at me.”
Whittaker’s lawyer, Dermot Dann KC, argued that Mr Gattuso should impose a community correction order opposed to imprisonment.
“I cannot help you with the circumstances of this offense as Mr. Whittaker maintains his innocence,” he said.
“We understand Your Honor’s conclusion on touching and we do not dispute that, at this point.”
Whittaker, 38, returned to Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Monday after being found guilty of two counts of intentional sexual touching without consent last Friday.
He told the court the incidents were limited to a period in Whittaker’s life when he suffered from mental health issues and personal loss.
“He worked very hard for his rehabilitation despite setbacks such as losing his job,” Mr Dann said.
He said Mr Whittaker had developed an alcohol problem while working at Cricket Australia, due to the very stressful nature of the job and a ‘quite disturbing working environment associated with alcohol consumption’ .
Earlier, the court heard the first man complain to Cricket Australia’s human resources department in March 2019 following an end-of-season staff party.
He was among a group of employees who returned to Mr Whittaker’s flat in Abbotsford for a nightcap, where he fell asleep on Whittaker’s sofa.
At around 5:30 a.m. he woke up in Mr Whittaker’s bed with his pants off, feeling his penis being ‘jerked’.
Whittaker’s attorney has asked Magistrate Timothy Gattuso to impose a community correction order opposing jail time, adding that his client ‘maintains his innocence’
The second victim came forward in 2021, saying she woke up in Whittaker’s bed in January 2016 after a night of heavy drinking.
Whittaker had his hands in the man’s pants and was “rubbing” his penis.
In his testimony, he told the court that he initially gave Whittaker the “benefit of the doubt” and believed he was sleeping, but reconsidered after hearing rumors of similar events.
A Cricket Australia spokesperson said the organization was “appalled” by the breach.
“We will continue to support victims as we have done since these offenses came to our attention,” the spokesperson said.
“We salute their bravery in coming forward to report these crimes and hope today’s verdict gives them a sense of vindication and closure.”
Mr. Gattuso will sentence Whittaker on Friday.