A university professor and Yes campaigner has been charged with assault after she was filmed spitting and slapping a No voter.
Emeritus Professor Denise Ferris of the Australian National University was charged with assault on Wednesday evening following confrontations she had with Andrew Thaler at Centennial Park in Cooma, south-east New Wales. South, September 17.
NSW Police confirmed Professor Ferris, 70, had been charged with common assault and was due to appear in Cooma Local Court on November 22.
“Officers from Monaro Police District were informed that three people had been involved in a physical altercation,” a police spokesperson said.
“No injuries were reported.”
Professor Ferris is an Emeritus Professor at the Australian National University, Canberra, in an unpaid position.
Andrew Thaler was at a Yes campaign event in Cooma, southeast NSW, when he filmed Voice supporter and ANU Emeritus Professor Denise Ferris allegedly spitting on him .
A video showing the alleged incident was widely shared on social media.
In the footage, Mr. Thaler can be heard calling Professor Ferris a “stupid guy.”
“Don’t… don’t you dare call me that,” she says, as her face moves close enough to the camera to fill the entire screen.
She then allegedly spat on Mr. Thaler.
Subsequently, Mr Thaler shared further videos which show him demanding to know from those in the Labor Party’s Yes23 tent who the “crazy bitch” who spat at him was.
Professor Ferris will appear in court at a later date.
Mr Thaler told the Daily Mail Australia on Wednesday that police had taken too long to lay charges against Professor Ferris.
“She should have been charged from the start and it took over three weeks and public pressure to get action because she is Labor, because she is yes, they get special treatment,” he said. he declared.
“This is complete bullshit.”
Andrew Thaler claims he was allegedly assaulted by another man in Yes23 tent after alleged spitting incident
READ MORE: ‘You’re disgusting, bro’: Fiery clash erupts over The Voice to Parliament on ABC’s Q+A
Mr Thaler criticized the way the investigating officer was placed on leave during the investigation.
“She should have been charged from day one,” he said. “Justice delayed is justice denied.”
NSW Police confirmed the officer had taken leave.
Professor Ferris, who holds an unpaid position at the university, had led the School of Art and Design since 2013.
She denied spitting on Mr Thaler after the incident.
In her statement, she claimed she “felt intimidated” by Mr Thaler because he held the camera “like a gun pointed at me”.
“I was beyond terrified, he was literally in my face, I had a visceral response, a panic attack, fight or flight,” Professor Ferris said.
Mr Thaler (pictured) accused police of dragging their feet in investigating clashes with Yes activists.
“I didn’t spit on him. I wanted to block his camera without initiating physical contact. Flight? Should I turn my back on him – no way, I’m too afraid of his actions, it was so traumatic.
Mr Thaler claimed he was heading towards the Yes23 tent when Professor Ferris tried to stop him from approaching.
He told Daily Mail Australia the tent housed a petting zoo with lambs and he believed it was a ploy to attract children and families to discuss Voice.
The altercation began when he tried to take photos of the lambs “to show that they (the Yes campaign) would do anything… even exploit the animals.”
In another video taken by Mr. Thaler on September 17, a man in Yes23 is seen pressing his face close to the camera.
‘Hey, mindfuck, fuck you. Damn mind, damn it, the man said.
“No, I stand by my position,” replied Mr. Thaler. “Stop pushing me. »
In another video, the man appears to hit Mr. Thaler who raises his right arm to try to push him away.
“One meter,” said Mr. Thaler.
‘Do it again.’
Police said they were investigating the second incident.
Mr. Thaler has sparked controversy over the past two years.
He was branded a “parasite” by 2GB presenter Ben Fordham after he claimed he spoke on behalf of the family whose grandmother, Clare Nowland, 95, was fatally shot by a Taser in a retirement home in Cooma on May 17.
He also ran for political office at different levels of government and pleaded guilty in 2022 to intimidation of a Rural Fire Service staff member four years earlier. He avoided conviction.