Australia Rape allegation against cabinet minister
Scott Morrison, senators and AFP told of historical rape allegation against Cabinet Minister
The AFP have been notified after Prime Minister Scott Morrison and two senators received a letter detailing an allegation of historical rape against a Cabinet Minister.The letter requests urgent action be taken by the Prime Minister to investigate the alleged rape, which occurred in 1988 before the accused man entered politics.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison is now dealing with allegations of a sexual assault in relation to one of his own cabinet ministers in 1988.
A letter was sent to Mr Morrison, as well as Labor's leader in the senate Penny Wong and senator Sarah Hanson-Young on Friday, alleging rape by a senior minister before he entered politics.
The letter came with a detailed statement attached, prepared by the complainant for her lawyer, ABC's Four Corners has reported.
The complainant is no longer alive.
Anthony Albanese calls for 'common decency' to prevail as letter's historic rape claim hangs over Cabinet
Labor leader Anthony Albanese says the Prime Minister must weigh up whether it is appropriate for the Minister at the centre of a historic rape allegation to remain in Cabinet. Australian Federal Police were notified about a historic rape allegation against a member of Cabinet when a letter was sent to the AFP, as well as to the offices of the Prime Minister, Labor's Senate Leader Penny Wong and Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young.The letter requested urgent action be taken by the Prime Minister to investigate the alleged incident, which is alleged to have occurred in 1988, before the man entered politics.
A spokesperson for Mr Morrison on Friday evening said any allegations should be referred to the Australian Federal Police.
"As per the AFP Commissioner's instruction, any complaints or allegations of this nature made to anybody - whether they're parliamentarians or journalists - should be referred to the AFP," the statement said.
On Friday night an AFP spokesperson said in a statement the force would "not be commenting on this matter".
Senators Hanson-Young and Wong both released statements saying they had contacted the AFP about the letter.
Ms Hanson-Young said the information she had received regarded a "disturbing and a very serious allegation of a criminal nature against a senior member of the government".
Former PM Malcolm Turnbull says Minister involved in historical rape allegation should 'front up' amid calls for independent inquiry
The historical rape allegation against a Cabinet Minister is posing an existential threat to the Morrison government — and former PM Malcolm Turnbull says the man at the centre of it all should come forward.His comments come amid growing calls for an independent inquiry into the matter and as confusion reigns about whether a police investigation or coronial inquest into the subsequent death of the woman involved will go ahead.
Senator Wong said it was her understanding the complainant, who was 16 at the time of the alleged attack in Sydney, reported the assault to NSW Police and South Australia Police.
Four Corners says the woman reported the alleged rape to NSW police in February 2020, but took her own life in June after informing them she no longer wanted to proceed with the complaint.
NSW Police said in a statement on Friday night that a report of alleged historic sexual violence was received in February 2020 and detectives commenced an investigation under Strike Force Wyndarra.
"After strike force investigators were advised that the body of a 49-year-old woman was located at a home at Adelaide by South Australia Police (SAPOL) on Wednesday 24 June 2020, the investigation was suspended," the statement said.
The explosive revelations come a fortnight after former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins's rape allegation engulfed parliamentary sittings, prompting Australia's major political parties to back a cultural overhaul.
‘Presumption of innocence’, ‘matter for the police’, ‘rule of law’ — politispeak rules, OK
Scott Morrison's 'matter for police' deflection gives his government a get-out-of-jail-free card when it comes to snowballing allegations of sexual assault.“It’s a matter for the Australian Federal Police,” he said. “We can’t have a situation where the mere making of an allegation is grounds for governments to stand people down simply on the basis of that.
The Morrison government has been under intense pressure over its response to the 2019 incident, in which Ms Higgins alleges she was sexually assaulted by a former colleague in Parliament House.
There are four inquiries under way including a multi-party investigation aimed at ensuring parliament is a safe working environment.
Labor's national executive on Friday adopted a code of conduct and three policies dealing with sexual harassment prevention and response, harassment and bullying, and complaints handling.
Ms Higgins is pushing for change after feeling she wasn't supported when she first made the allegation, leading to her withdrawing her police complaint out of fear for her job.
She reinstated the complaint on Wednesday and an investigation is under way.
Defence Minister Linda Reynolds was released from hospital on Friday after being admitted on advice of her cardiologist.
Senator Reynolds, who was Ms Higgins' boss at the time of the incident, was under extreme scrutiny about her handling of the complaint.
NSW Police Commissioner says historical rape allegation against Christian Porter probably would not have gone to court .
The NSW Police Commissioner says a historical rape allegation against Attorney-General Christian Porter "probably" would not have made it to court even if the alleged victim was still alive. Speaking on Nine Radio, Mick Fuller was asked why NSW Police declared the matter closed."Unfortunately, in this case, we hadn't been able to take an admissible statement from the [alleged] victim in this matter," he said."It is not impossible but almost impossible to proceed with a matter like this without the victim.