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'MP rape victim promised lawyer 20 per cent'

| 15.07,09. 04:11 PM |

'MP rape victim promised lawyer 20 per cent'


 July 15, 2009 2:25PM

A WOMAN who claims she was raped by a Victorian state MP offered her lawyer 20 per cent of any money she made by taking the matter to court, a court has heard.

The woman told her lawyer Bruce Burdon-Smith she would be making allegations against a sitting MP and a government department and "this could be your retirement package".

The woman claims she was raped by former cabinet minister Theo Theophanous on a couch in his parliamentary chambers in September 1998.

The Melbourne Magistrates' Court today heard the commercial lawyer agreed to take on the case and prepared a brief of evidence after receiving an unusual initial letter from the woman.

"It was a confused letter I thought and it was perhaps naive," Mr Burdon-Smith told the court.

"Almost a cry for help."

The woman told him in later correspondence he would receive: "20 per cent or above if I get compensated".

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Mr Burdon-Smith said after seeking advice from a member of the police force, he told the woman to take her case to police.

He said the most he would receive for helping the woman take the case to police was $3000-$5000, which would not be enough to fund his retirement.

Mr Burdon-Smith said he had spoken on the telephone to his client and exchanged emails and letters, but had never met her.

The hearing before Magistrate Peter Reardon is continuing.

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