Ex-Cricket Australia exec probed over sexuality
A former top Cricket Australia executive had his sexuality questioned by police after sexual assault complaints were made by younger male colleagues, a court has been told.
Timothy Whittaker, CA’s former head of communications, has pleaded not guilty to two counts of sexual assault and will face a contested hearing in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court next week.
In a special mention hearing on Friday, the court heard that Mr Whittaker told police he had “experimented” when he was a teenager but had only recently broken up with his girlfriend and was not aroused by men.
The prosecution alleges Mr Whittaker sexually assaulted two younger men in separate incidents that occurred when the accused touched them after nights of heavy drinking.
The alleged incidents occurred in 2016 and 2019, the court was told.
Dermot Dann KC, for Mr Whittaker, said one of the complainants went to police five years after the alleged incident and only after he had heard “rumours” the accused was facing another sexual assault allegation.
“This is classically a product of contamination,” Mr Dann said.
He said the complainant had retained “contact” with Mr Whittaker in social situations.
The court was told the alleged incident occurred in Mr Whittaker’s bed, where a third person was also present.
Prosecutor Sharn-Adelle Coombes said: “Complainants delay in complaining for various reasons – some never complain.”
Ms Coombes said the complainant had “sat on” the incident and decided not to disclose it.
Earlier in the hearing, Mr Dann said Mr Whittaker was asked “what is your sexuality” by police.
“I’m straight, I just broke up with my girlfriend,” was Mr Whittaker’s response, the court was told.
“Have you ever been with a man?” police asked Mr Whittaker.
The accused’s response was that he had “experimented” when he was a teenager however was not aroused by it.
Mr Whittaker had previously played a central role in some of CA’s biggest issues, including travelling to South Africa with former chief executive James Sutherland in 2018 for the aftermath of the Australian team’s ball tampering scandal.
The hearing, before magistrate Timothy Gattuso, continues.