ACT prosecutors were warned fake rape accuser was unhinged

They decided to destroy a young man’s life anyway. She walked away. Alex Matters may sue.
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46 Responses to ACT prosecutors were warned fake rape accuser was unhinged

  1. C.L. says:

    ‘Cruel humiliation’: prosecutors rejected plea to spare rape complainant.

    Prosecutors in the ACT went ahead with the rape trial of a university student despite being repeatedly warned it would only end up humiliating and further damaging the young woman who had made the allegation because there was clear evidence she had lied.

    Defence barrister Steven Whybrow SC wrote to the prosecutor before the man’s trial in April pointing out that the complainant’s story was so wildly contradictory and at odds with the evidence that “even the gentlest cross-examination of this complainant is going to be devastating and humiliating for her”.

    “I am genuinely concerned about the effect running this case might have on this young woman,” he said. “Such a prosecution will not advance the position of persons genuinely subjected to sexual assault.”

    In the event, the prosecution rejected Mr Whybrow’s plea for the prosecution against 21-year-old Alex Matters to be discontinued and the trial went ahead.

    The jury found Mr Matters, an Australian National University student and former Labor staffer, not guilty of the charges.

    He and the complainant had been in a “friends with benefits” relationship but on one occasion, the woman said, he would not stop sex when she asked him to.

    She contacted police in 2021 after seeing media reports that Mr Matters had been charged with assaulting another woman. Those charges were later dropped, but Mr Matters was sacked from his job in the office of federal Labor MP David Smith.

    Mr Matters strenuously denies the allegations made by both women.

    During the April trial, mess­ages sent by the woman to her friends were presented in court, including one that said: “I slept with him multiple times … I don’t know if I got raped.”

    In recorded audio messages to Mr Matters the day after the ­alleged rape, the woman asked him for sex.

    “F..k me Daddy,” she texted.

    “I want you to f..k me so hard,” she wrote in another message.

    The woman, who had given evidence remotely from a separate room, could be heard crying as the audio messages were played.

    Months later, when the pair went for a walk, the woman asked Mr Matters to have no-strings-attached sex that night. Three days later, she reported him.

    Revelations about the Matters case come in the wake of findings against ACT Director of Public Prosecutions Shane Drumgold SC, who resigned after the Sofronoff inquiry accused him of “serious misconduct” during the investigation into and prosecution of Bruce Lehrmann for the alleged rape of Brittany Higgins.

    Police have expressed anger at continued claims by Mr Drumgold following the inquiry that police were undercharging in sexual assault cases.

    Mr Drumgold did not act directly in the prosecution case against the university student but Mr Matters has demanded to know whether the then-DPP was involved behind the scenes.

    In an email on May 19, 2023, just after Mr Drumgold had completed his five days in the witness box at the Sofronoff inquiry, Mr Whybrow told Mr Matters his case was “a pretty damning indictment (no pun intended) in my view as to the ‘run everything no matter what’ attitude that pervaded that office – both as at August 2021 but ongoing to now”.

    ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr has ruled out any investigation of cases conducted or authorised by Mr Drumgold during his term in office.

    Mr Whybrow says the Office of the DPP caused unnecessary harm to the young woman in the Matters case, as well as his client.

    After watching the evidence-in-chief-interview conducted by police with the woman, Mr Whybrow messaged the prosecutor before the trial requesting it be discontinued. “It’s going to be just humiliating for (the complainant) if this matter runs. Happy to take you through step by step 80% of what our xxm (cross-examination) will be – though it’s not rocket science,” he wrote.

    After going through some of the evidence, Mr Whybrow said: “Can I urge, if only for the sake of protecting (the complainant) from what on her own EICI and the added calls to Alex (Matters) will be nothing short of a cruel humiliation, that the prosecution reconsiders this matter. Sorry to rant but I genuinely want to try and have (the complainant) avoid what is coming if at all possible.”

    The prosecutor advised: “I will speak to the complainant in general terms about the court process, including cross-examination.”

    Mr Whybrow wrote back noting the woman’s “very unusual understanding as to the nature of consent … might explain why she has claimed to have been sexually assaulted by at least four others we have identified so far”.

    “Even within the EICI itself there are a number of statements that suggest a belief by the complainant that if she has sex that she subsequently regrets or was less than 100% enthusiastic about (notwithstanding she objectively agreed to engage in that activity), it nonetheless becomes non-­consensual at her election or discretion after the event,” he wrote.

    “The jury and wider world does not need to hear that (the complainant) asked Mr Matters if she could call him ‘Daddy’ while having sex … something she confirms the very next day when she sends him a voicemail saying ‘F..k me Daddy’.”

    The woman was highly active in the #MeToo movement and her friends had been aware she was in a casual sexual relationship with Mr Matters “which extended to propositioning him for sex only a few days before accusing him of raping her 4 months previously”.

    “Suggestions she has either made this complaint to (literally) #metoo herself on the bandwagon, or to try and address as what she sees as a massive risk to her image as an outspoken ‘victim survivor’ by regularly sleeping with someone now publicly named as an accused rapist – or both – will be difficult for the prosecution to refute.

    “The legitimate challenges that will necessarily have to be made to her credibility if this prosecution is maintained are going to be multiple and significant.

    “A simple Google search will show some of the multitude of prior claims of having been sexually assaulted with descriptions by her at times that are simply inconsistent with such allegations or any sensible understanding of what is consent – or personal responsibility and accountability for her own behaviour and choices.

    “I suggest there is neither reasonable prospects of obtaining a conviction nor any public interest in requiring (her) to be subjected to cross-examination on what are objectively inconsistent complaints which at their worst could be said to be fabricated.

    “We have identified four persons we are hoping to obtain statements from to the effect that they had consensual sex with (the complainant) and she subsequently accused them of sexual assault.”

    The prosecutor wrote back stating that “close regard has been had to the concerns raised by you … At the time of writing, there is no evidence that I am aware of that any prior allegation of sexual ­assault made by the complainant was demonstrably false.”

    The case would go ahead, the prosecutor said.

    Mr Whybrow told The Australian: “For good or bad, our criminal justice system is an adversarial one and if an accused person is not permitted (within appropriate bounds) to challenge the accuracy or veracity of a witness, even if the collateral effect may be humiliating or embarrassing, it’s hard to see how there can be a fair trial.”

    Mr Matters told Sky last week that while he would never regain the two years of life he had lost, he would be speaking to lawyers about potentially suing the ACT government.


    Janet Albrechtsen & Stephen Rice in The Australian

  2. Petros says:

    She should receive the same conviction that he would have.

  3. Tintarella di Luna says:

    She should receive the same conviction that he would have.

    Indeed what’s good for the goose should be good for the gander, equity and equality in equal measure. After all it’s about being fair, isn’t it?

  4. Cassie of Sydney says:

    “21-year-old Alex Matters “

    I watched the excellent interview Sharri Markson did with Alex Matters last week. Quite frankly, I found it both sad and distressing that a young man has had to go through this. Reading the above has upset me.

    Last night I posted a long comment on C.L.’s previous post about feminism, casual sex, false rape allegations and so on. Please read it. My comment applies to Alex, to Bruce, to all the other men, young and old, who have been falsely accused and who remain vulnerable to false and absurd accusations, thanks to this age of rampant casual sex. But it also applies to young women.

    “Months later, when the pair went for a walk, the woman asked Mr Matters to have no-strings-attached sex that night. Three days later, she reported him.”

    Ahh, you see, there’s a lot to be picked apart by the above. Firstly, it reeks of parallels with the Lehrmann imbroglio (yet to end). Secondly and most importantly, there’s no such thing as “no-strings attached sex”. But this thinking is now common among the young, both men and women. This is how debased and depraved the sacred and intimate act of sex has become in 2023. This “no-strings attached sex” is bad for both sexes, neither sex is ultimately satisfied by “no-strings attached” sex, and it leaves young men and women psychologically, emotionally and physically exposed, but in the case of men, t exposes them to a greater danger, and that is false accusations of sexual assault and rape.

    Can you imagine telling our grandparents and great-grandparents that they could have engaged in “no-strings attached sex”? Apart from their horror, they would have looked at you as though you came from another planet, because such a concept would have been inexplicable. Oh, and there’s no way, no way in the world that my grandmothers would have ever used such language as…“F..k me Daddy” and “I want you to f..k me so hard”.

    We’re told that as a society and culture we’re much more advanced than we were 100 years ago. The above texts suggests we are not. Here’s my final point, sex is “all strings attached”, and a young man named Alex Matters, and too many other young men are discovering that those strings are being used to destroy them.

  5. Texas Jack says:

    Five or so years back my niece (let’s call her Alice) shared a tiny campus dorm at a prestigious NY university. Her roommate came home late one night with a possible beau and asked if Alice could afford the new couple the privacy of the shared bathroom. Alice could make herself scarce for a few hours; a request she reluctantly acceded to.

    Having allowed what she felt sufficient time for the frolicking couple to enjoy themselves, Alice came home to find her roommate alone, tucked in and sound asleep.

    The next morning Alice’s roommate called campus police claiming rape. Fortunately, the police took the matter seriously and immediately interviewed both girls in separate interview rooms, allowing them no opportunity to interact while the interviews took place. Alice interview was all that stood in the way of a disgraceful act being played out.

    It was bad enough that the campus grapevine eventually conveyed the name of the male student who had been accused of rape.

  6. Buccaneer says:

    This is what happens when the cards get stacked so an ideological traveler can be appointed to a key position and that person turns out to be more concerned about a state statistic than the wellbeing of the actual people for whom the process was designed to provide a just outcome.

  7. Texas Jack says:

    My career has been driven by a fire burning within, lit by an early life spent surrounded by the pain of chronic intergenerational social injustice. This fire has fuelled a life that took me from a disadvantaged housing commission estate to an esteemed leadership role within the legal profession.

    Ideological traveller indeed.

  8. and says:

    OK. So Matters sues, Lehrmann sues. Will Heidi Hates-Menn publicly accompany each to court, lending moral support (and tea and biscuits)?

    The ACT justice system at least with regard to sexual assault is a basket case.

  9. rosie says:

    Police need to drop the all in victim centric approach, if they can’t be allowed to explain reality to people , the DPP should be blunt with complainants and tell them precisely what sexual assault is and changing your mind afterwards isn’t.
    It’s the DPP’s decision to prosecute, not the complainant’s.

  10. Buccaneer says:

    I’m guessing she’ll be accompanying Drumgold if he ends up facing the music.

  11. rosie says:

    Oh and sympathy to young men caught up in this, both young men and young women ought to get out of this risky promiscuous game playing.

    Young women thinking they exude power and make the play end up feeling like used dish rags.
    Someone should tell them.

  12. Dr Faustus says:

    Here’s my final point, sex is “all strings attached”…

    And an important point.
    One that we impressed on our boys (along with ‘no’ means ‘no’, regardless). Whatever you may think, whatever may have been said, there is no such thing as a casual shag…

  13. rosie says:

    Let men share some of the blame that too many young women are now very angry that the sexual revolution isn’t all it was stacked up to be.
    Yes it is shocking that some young men are being falsely accused of rape but there is also a lot of coercion and pressuring of young women, and all round pretty callous behaviour.
    Men not wanting to be sucked into the whirlwind could lead by example.
    Amazing this didn’t apparently stop one young man already caught up in a notorious case to get involved in another messy ‘one night stand’.

  14. Cassie of Sydney says:

    “One that we impressed on our boys (along with ‘no’ means ‘no’, regardless).”


  15. C.L. says:

    Meanwhile, feminists will present a report to NSW Parliament today whose recommendations will make it compulsory for all accusers to be afforded the status of “victims” and more or less ban any questioning of their claims:

    How do we make the justice system better for victims? This report offers some solutions.

    Note that the ABC repeats one of its favourite fake ‘statistics’ – namely, that “only” one in 10 sexual assaults is reported. Nobody can possibly know how many people haven’t done something or whether these phantom “assaults” were assaults.

  16. rosie says:

    Hoe do they know they weren’t reported, if they weren’t reported?

  17. Texas Jack says:

    How do we make the justice system better for victims?

    First, determine if someone is genuinely a victim.

  18. Franx says:

    Courts themselves need to uphold that it is the role of courts to determine whether there was a victim of a crime or an injustice. In which case, it can turn out that it is the accused and not the complainant who is the victim of an injustice. Aside from which, there is a great deal more going on with semantics in accusations, for not only is there an intention to presuppose a ‘victim’, but moreover there is the creepingly augmented presupposition of a ‘victim survivor’. Connotations of the sexual ‘victim’ being aligned to a Holocaust survivor.

  19. Christine says:

    For years I thought the sexual revolution was bad for young women, but came to see how it’s led to young men being affected by judgment/rejection from sexually-experienced girls.
    Anyone who argues for this liberty could factor in Nature’s unpleasant messages: sexually-transmitted diseases (the old ‘venereal disease’ has a more apt, unpleasant ring to it), all on the increase.

  20. C.L. says:

    Young women and girls are brainwashed into believing that the key to being a modern woman is to be as complete a knock-off as possible of a man. The jobs, the careers, the clothes, the boozing, the sex, the sport, the lot. Logically enough (in this ‘reality’), “trans-women” are increasingly seen as better women than women.

    The Albanese-class luvvies and the media are lionising the lesbian-overloaded Matildas precisely because they’re exemplars of perfect pseudo-males.

  21. John of Mel says:

    How do we make the justice system better for victims?

    Next they should get on to “How do we make the justice system better for victims of the said justice system”.

  22. Franx says:

    … exemplars of perfect pseudo-males.

    Yes, and pseudo-males are an emasculation of men, just as pseudo-females are a violation of women.

  23. Buccaneer says:

    If there is no test for whether or not a person who claims to be a victim, is actually a victim, then the system is being set up to advantage claimants not victims.

  24. Lee says:

    This fire has fuelled a life that took me from a disadvantaged housing commission estate to an esteemed leadership role within the legal profession.

    Until I got to the last two words, I thought it was the serial whiner, Albanese.

  25. C.L. says:

    In world terms, a “disadvantaged housing commission estate” in Australia is a pretty privileged background. If there’s one thing I cannot abide, it’s the middle-aged man who boasts about being poor for five minutes as a child. Drumgold has been living in clover for the majority of his life. Albanese too.

  26. Lee says:

    Albanese thinks that harping on with self-pity in this age of victimhood and grievance will garner him sympathy votes or support.

    But it is pathetic and very undignified.

  27. and says:

    The Albanese-class luvvies and the media are lionising the lesbian-overloaded Matildas…

    A recent goggle search

    Matildas team – 18 members shown

    New searches… each member + “partner”

    Result: 14 of 18 were given to lespiantics.

  28. and says:

    How do we make the justice system better for victims? This report offers some solutions.

    This is absurd. They’re wanting to trash critical edicts of the justice system… presumption of innocence, a fair trial. Attempting to reason with these miscreants is like trying to play chess with a pigeon – it knocks over all the pieces, craps on the board, and struts about like it’s won.

    Their “proposal” should be ridiculed for the stupidity and arrogance it represents.

  29. and says:

    Result: 14 of 18 were given to lespiantics.

    If anyone has time, could they fact check.

  30. Christine says:

    Someone may have written in support of Drumgold, but I haven’t seen this.
    He referred to his esteemed leadership role, so there should be a fair number of supporters. It’s such a big story …. oh but the Matildas

    Yet another report:
    The tricky use of the word “survivor” – simply wrong.
    One woman might in truth survive years of domestic violence.; but another who engages in, for example, sexting ‘come-ons’ , with unwanted consequences, is not a survivor.
    Crusading feminists won’t advise “change your behaviour”; what they want are the twins “hear me roar” and “watch me weep”.

    Most girls/women do know when they’ve been reckless; that’s why they’re reluctant to report.

  31. Old Lefty says:

    Splendid comment, Cassie.

    The whole mess in the Matters case does prompt the thought that the ‘purity’ and ‘chastity’ so reviled by the ABC in its nasty hatchet job on Opus Dei schools – and by the ‘progressive’ sexual lobbies the ABC parrots – have much to be said for them after all.

  32. and says:

    Plebersick keeps the crap flowing

    Tanya Plibersek dodges questions from Sunrise host Natalie Barr over Brittany Higgins’ $3 million compensation payout

    “I’m confident that the payment was made completely appropriately using all of the usual checks and balances that you would in such a circumstance,” Ms Plibersek said.

  33. Boambee John says:

    Plibbers speaking with her fingers crossed behind her back.

  34. SydGal says:

    Bruce Lehrmann was interviewed by Sharri Markson this evening and spoke about Brittany Higgins’ extended text communication with a PH security guard (apparently when questioned during the trial she explained that she and the security guard used to have coffee). BL said both BH and the security guard had deleted the texts from their phones.

    According to S Whybrow’s exhibit 1-25 on the BOI site, the security guard had entered PH about 8am, BH and he had texted the previous day, at 1pm the day she left PH and then a dozen or so more texts over the next few days. Whybrow had texted a police officer asking if anyone had spoken to the security guard (?presumably an important witness).

    BL told Markson that his team had been unable to obtain CCTV footage of the corridor outside L Reynold’s office after BL and BH had entered the office so were unable to verify whether anyone else may have entered the office that morning. The evidence at court was that she had woken at 8am and texted a friend and then left about 1030am.

    In relation to BH evidence at court, it’s interesting to re-read a story from 7 Oct 2022:

    “You recorded her on that call without her knowledge?,” Mr Lehrmann’s lawyer Steve Whybrow asked of the call with Ms Cash.

    “That’s correct,” Ms Higgins confirmed.

    Ms Higgins told the jury it was “the weirdest call of my life” as the Senator spoke about a security guard being the alleged perpetrator.

    Within 15 minutes of that phone call finishing, Ms Higgins sent that recording to friend Emma Webster, the court heard.

    “It was my word against a cabinet minister. The power disparity between them is ridiculous,” she said.

    Ms Higgins said the recording was sent to multiple friends for “safekeeping”.

    The following seems to contradict the 5 hour Lunch meeting in the Hotel:
    Ms Higgins was questioned under cross-examination about the timeline of when she engaged with police to bring forward her accusation against Mr Lehrmann and when she met with The Project’s Lisa Wilkinson to record an interview for the show.

    Ms Higgins said that she hadn’t had an in depth conversation with Ms Wilkinson about her accusation against Mr Lehrmann before she emailed two police officers on February 4, 2021, explaining her wish to move forward with her complaint.

    The court heard Ms Higgins say she had a phone conversation with Ms Wilkinson broadly about the culture of Parliament House before the police email.

    Mr Whybrow then produced a document signed by Ms Higgins stating she had recorded an interview with Ms Wilkinson for The Project on February 2, 2021.

    Ms Higgins said she didn’t “necessarily want to hurt” the Liberal Party by speaking to the media about her experience.

    “I wanted to address a cultural problem. I loved the Liberal Party,” Ms Higgins said.”

    The current stories don’t seem to have explored Emma Webster’s links with Higgins and Sharaz. Sharaz has tweeted that Webster is “basically part of their relationship” and the “bodyguard” at the March4Justice Event in Canberra (the day Higgins was supposed to give her statement to Police). Webster’s profile indicates she has worked for Julia Gillard, Andrew Barr and Dan Andrews.

  35. NFA says:

    thank you SydGal says 14 August, 2023 at 10:28 pm

    It becomes more disgusting the more is revealed.

  36. C.L. says:

    Why was she in a texting relationship with a security guard?


  37. SydGal says:

    In the BOI exhibit, on 9 Oct 2022 Whybrow texted the junior police officer asking if the security guard had fetched a jacket from M Cash’s office and given it to Brittany. She is on CCTV wearing the C Zampatti jacket as she leaves PH.

    Brittany told the court she got the jacket from a charity bin in L Reynolds office.

    L Reynolds confirmed on the Spotlight Program last night that the jacket was hers, she thought she had lost it. It has never been returned!

  38. SydGal says:

    Perhaps more will be revealed at an upcoming crim law conference (unless the topic gets “cancelled”!):
    Session 7: Public interest journalism vs Fundamental criminal law concepts
    Janet Albrechtsen, The Australian
    Steven Whybrow SC, Key Chambers (ACT)
    Greg Barns SC, Republic Chambers (TAS)

  39. NFA says:

    SydGal says 14 August, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    When is it scheduled SydGal?

  40. NFA says:

    Forgive me C.L., and SydGal, but judicial impropriety just seems so endemic in ‘these times’.

    New evidence shows just how biased Trump judge is in Jack Smith’s case

  41. Cassie of Sydney says:

    SydGal is this site’s forensic treasure.

  42. SydGal says:

    Thank you, Cassie of Sydney and NFA. NFA – it’s this one:
    Cassie of Sydney – perhaps I might see you at CPAC on Sat? (I usually browse the book table in the breaks).

  43. Cassie of Sydney says:

    “Cassie of Sydney – perhaps I might see you at CPAC on Sat? (I usually browse the book table in the breaks).”

    I’d like that. I will look out for you.

  44. NFA says:

    SydGal says:
    15 August, 2023 at 8:09 am

    Thank you, Cassie of Sydney and NFA. NFA – it’s this one:

    Thank you SydGal.

    Byron Bay!!!

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