Theo Theophanous and his family have been rocked by his being charged on summons with one count of rape on Christmas Eve.
The laying of the charge by the Victoria Police saw Theo Theophanous tender his resignation from Cabinet to Victorian premier, John Brumby.
Theo and Rita Theophanous shared their reaction to the charges with Neos Kosmos.
Theo Theophanous emphasizes that “The truth will shine in court and the people who have put up the 44 year old who has made the allegations against me will be revealed.”
He does not deny that he had social contact with the 44 year old, but emphasised that ” I know that I did not do anything untoward,’ and that he ‘ wants to assure the Greek community and whoever supported me and that I am innocent and that I am certain that this will be proven in court.’
He went on to say that he is not likely to resign from Parliament.
Rita Theophanous categorically stated she has complete faith in her husband.
“I know he’s innocent,” she said, adding that ‘ that will be proved in the courts,’ claiming the charges against him by the 44 year old were motivated by a ‘desire to profit’ from the allegations.
She went on to say that the charges did not only have implications for the Theophanous family but also for the Greek community.
‘It is common knowledge that a number of State Government initiatives [that Theo] promoted to support the Greek community are now up in the air”
At a press conference after the charge was laid last Wednersday Theo Theophanous categorically denied the accusation of rape, claiming that the accusation against him were ‘untrue and malicious.’
Speaking outside his home with his wife, Rita, ay his side, Theophanous said: “I categorically deny this allegation or that I acted in any way unlawfully.
“I can only speculate as to why this woman has made such an untrue and malicious allegation against me, not only to the police but also publicly.
“I believe the truth, including the motivation of this woman and the people who have assisted her, will ultimately come out.”
Theophanous went on to criticise police over their handling of the investigation of the allegations against him by the 44 year old Greek woman currently living in Greece, saying that he has not been been given a ‘fair go’ and has accused police of conducting an incomplete investigation.
Theophanous, who has already been interviewed by police once, said his lawyers had reached an agreement with police that he would be reinterviewed after hearing the woman’s claims. Three requests to the Victoria Police for Theophanous to be reinterviewed and to have the opportunity to respond to the allegations against him were denied.
“It is easy for a desperate woman with nothing to lose and much to gain to make a false allegation from another country in such a vicious and public way,” he said.
“Given the enormous consequences of her allegations, I and my legal advisers have bent over backwards to cooperate with the police.
Theophanous went on to say that he has given police information that he believed proved the woman’s allegations were untrue, including friendly text messages she had sent him five years after the alleged rape.
But he said police had failed to gather crucial evidence from Greece or question the woman properly.
While Theophanous has stood down from his position in Cabinet he is committed to continuing to serve as a Member of Parliament for his electorate of Northcote.
The Labor Party Caucus will be be electing his replacement to Cabinet today (Monday). The most likely replacement for Theo Theophanous in Cabinet is Phil Thornley.
Theo Theophanous is due to appear at Melbourne Magistrates Court on January 23 to answer the charge against him. At least six months will pass until the formal hearing of the charges and, should the case proceed to full trial, the case is likely to continue into 2010.