Major win for high-profile Australian accused of rape

Controversial win for high-profile Australian accused of rape as the secretive case against him returns to court

A Queensland magistrate has denied or adjourned applications by major media companies to reveal the identity of a high-profile man accused of rape.

The man, facing two charges of raping a woman in October 2021, had his case mentioned for the second time in Toowoomba Magistrates Court on Thursday.

Solicitors for News Corp, Seven and Nine networks, and the ABC applied to magistrate Kay Philipson to use her discretionary powers to grant an exemption to Queensland’s Sexual Offences Act that prohibits naming people accused of rape unless and until they are committed to stand trial.

A high-profile man accused of rape has had a second hearing before a Queensland court

Ms Philipson said it was written in the ‘strict construction’ of the law that she could not use those powers unless the matter proceeded to a committal hearing.

‘I’m doing no more on this mention that determining where proceedings are at and what the next step is. I’m not holding a committal today, I’m not taking witnesses today,’ she said.

The high-profile man was excused from appearing in person and his barrister Andrew Hoare said there had been issues with some elements of the prosecution’s electronic brief of evidence not functioning.

Mr Hoare said prosecutors had sought a forensic download of evidence and his client’s legal team would need six weeks to examine the prosecution’s brief of evidence.

Ms Philipson granted an application for the matter to be adjourned until April 5 at Toowoomba Magistrates Court and extended the accused man’s bail.

The media organisations’ lawyer, Xander Croft, said his clients would continue to pursue their application to name the accused man.