A Channel Seven personality accused of multiple child sexual offences will not be publicly named due to mental health reasons, a magistrate has ruled.
The 52-year-old woman – who legally cannot be named – is facing charges for the alleged indecent treatment of children under 16, multiple counts of rape, sexual assault, torture and assaults, per The Advocate. These offences allegedly occurred in various locations across Queensland between the years of 2005 and 2023.
The identity of the woman was set to be released due to changes in Queensland’s laws which had previously banned media outlets from naming people charged with sexual offences prior to being committed to trial. But, due to the woman’s complex medical history and fears for her wellbeing, a Magistrate at the Richlands Magistrates Court granted her a non-publication order.
According to The Advocate, Magistrate Aaron Simpson stated that the woman attempted suicide on September 15 after the case garnered media attention.
“The available findings indicate [the woman’s] mental state has deteriorated … as such, the risk of intentional self-harm and/or suicide remains high,” the psychiatrist said, per The Advocate.
Magistrate Aaron Simpson explained that he had to weigh up the principle of open justice, which means legal proceedings should be held in public, the public interest and the likelihood of online threats would increase if the woman is named. He stated that he felt exposing her identity would only further her existing mental health issues.
“The defendant is not someone trying to hide behind a mental illness; she is a fragile person who is a risk to herself,” Mr Simpson said.
The decision comes after the Queensland police, networks Nine and Ten, News Corp Australia and two of the woman’s alleged victims opposed the suppression order.
PEDESTRIAN has reached out to Channel Seven for comment.
Help is available.
If you require immediate assistance, please call 000.
If you’d like to speak to someone about sexual violence, please call the 1800 Respect hotline on 1800 737 732 or chat online.
If you need mental health support, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or chat online.
Under 25? You can reach Kids Helpline at 1800 55 1800 or chat online.