One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts speaks to adviser Sean Black earlier this year. Mr Black has been charged with rape. Picture: AAP Image/Glenn Hunt
One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts speaks to adviser Sean Black earlier this year. Mr Black has been charged with rape. Picture: AAP Image/Glenn Hunt

Accused rapist still advising One Nation's Malcolm Roberts

A MAN committed to stand trial for rape is still involved in the campaign for One Nation's Ipswich candidate Malcolm Roberts.   

The charges against the senator's former staffer Sean Black were made public earlier this month.  

Those charges, which include three counts each of assault and assault occasioning bodily harm, were laid in May but could not be reported until recently, for legal reasons.   

The latest court hearing was not open to the public, but the QT understands Mr Black intends to fight the charges.  

A date for the trial is yet to be decided.   

When the news broke, Mr Roberts said Mr Black was no longer working for him.  

But emails sent from Mr Black in relation to the ongoing campaign suggests otherwise.  

"He's not working for me as such," Mr Roberts said.   

Mr Roberts said he was taking advice from various people regarding his campaign, including Mr Black.  

"I am the one who decides whether or not I adopt that advice, but I am very, very strong about protecting people and using due process of the law, and making sure they are presumed innocent until (proven) otherwise."  

He said it was important the wider community understood, that in Australia, people are presumed innocent until proven guilty.  

Mr Roberts said he would not shy away from his support for Mr Black, as other politicians - "who fear the media" - might.   

"What gutless people do, they're afraid of the media - both the tired old parties are, so they immediately react because they are afraid of what people might think," Mr Roberts said.   

"We are not that way. We stand up for people.  

"Sean was an employee when I was a senator, and my immediate duty as an employer is to support employees, until he is proven other than innocent.  

"My duty to the taxpayer was to support him. My duty as an employer is to support him, my duty as a human is to support him.   

"People in this country should not be ruled by the damned media."   

Last week, Mr Roberts met with Ipswich City Council Mayor Andrew Antoniolli.  

Mr Roberts said during that meeting, the topic of the council still paying the salaries of staff members facing a host of charges from the state' corruption watchdog, was raised.  

"My wife and I were surprised to find out (Cr Antoniolli) had so many people under serious charges still on the payroll," Mr Roberts said.  

"And he said the same thing; which is people in this country are presumed innocent..."  

Mr Roberts was referring to the fact former Ipswich City Council Chief Executive Officer Jim Lindsay and former Chief Operating Officer for Works, Park and Recreation have been suspended with full pay, after being charged with corruption.   

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