Two more men charged over alleged pack rape


Two more men have been charged over an alleged pack rape at Schoolies on the Gold Coast in 2019.

The Victorian men, now 19 and 20, were charged with one count each of rape with the latter appearing before the Southport Magistrates Court this week.

The case was adjourned with the two due to appear on May 4.

Another Victorian man was arrested just days after the alleged attack which took place on November 26, 2019.

This man was charged with one count of rape and making observations/recordings in breach of privacy, and his case remains before the courts.

None of the men can be named for legal reasons.

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Christian Porter rape accuser requested Skype interview with police


The woman who made a historical allegation of rape against former attorney-general Christian Porter asked NSW Police to conduct an interview via Skype two months before her death.

In answers provided to NSW Parliament, NSW Police (NSWPF) revealed the woman contacted detectives from Strikeforce Wyndarra — the operation set up to manage her allegation — on April 1, 2020 to request the Skype interview.

Efforts to interview her in person had been delayed to that point by the COVID pandemic, as she was in Adelaide and the alleged offence took place in Sydney.

Mr Porter, who now holds the Industry and Science portfolio, has strenuously denied the allegation made by the woman and has sued the ABC for defamation.

The information provided by police, under the heading “NSW Police Investigation into Historical Rape Allegation”, says the day after the complainant requested the Skype interview, investigators spoke to her “by way of teleconference” and “options were presented to [her] in relation to obtaining her statement”.

They say “a joint decision by all parties was made not to conduct the interview remotely”.

“There were a number of reasons which led to this decision. The [alleged] victim was understanding and supportive of this decision.”

The woman took her life on June 24, 2020. NSW Police never took her formal statement.

The police responses state that on June 23, the day before her death, the woman “clearly communicated to investigators that she no longer felt able to proceed with the report”.

“The NSWPF did not have a signed statement from the [alleged] victim, hence [there was] no formal allegation to put to the person of interest.

“In keeping with the victim’s wishes no further investigation took place and the person of interest was not interviewed.”

Christian Porter and the complainant at dinner during a high school debating competition on the night of the alleged offence.(

Supplied

)

The documents also say that NSW Police made six phone calls to the woman which were not answered, and she made two phone calls to them which were not answered.

NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge, who questioned NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller in the hearing that preceded the supplementary answers being given, told Four Corners “these answers raise yet more questions about the response of the NSW Police”.

“When you speak to experienced investigators who have dealt with historical allegations they will tell you it’s not perfect but sometimes it’s the only option to take a statement by phone or video link,” Mr Shoebridge said.

“What is very distressing here is that this was an option that was requested by the complainant and open to police but for whatever reason was taken off the table.”

Blurred photo of a woman staring out a window.
The woman struggled with her mental health before taking her own life.(

Supplied

)

The documents also say NSW Police investigators believed “aspects” of Strike Force Wyndarra “were possibly relevant to the Coronial Investigation” being conducted by South Australia Police into the woman’s death.

“And as a result [they] sought to provide this information [to South Australia Police] as required.”

Earlier this year, the South Australian coroner released a statement indicating he had asked South Australia Police detectives to re-open their investigation into the woman’s death given information that had been provided in media reports.

The documents also show that Strike Force Wyndarra spoke with the woman’s sister and a friend.

Blurred profile photo of a young woman with a bob hair.
The woman who had accused Christian Porter of raping her in 1988.(

Supplied

)

The documents say the detectives “did not instigate contact” with the woman’s sister.

“It is relevant to note at this point that during investigators initial meeting with the victim she requested that her family not be made aware of the allegations,” the documents say.

“The victim’s sister, through SAPOL made contact with NSWPF investigators after the victim’s passing.

“On 28 August 2020, the Post Operational Assessment in relation to Strike Force Wyndarra was finalised. This signified the closing of the investigation.”

NSW Police declined to answer further questions from Four Corners about why the decision was made not to conduct the interview remotely.

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NT Chief Minister, Police Minister unaware of alleged rape of Darwin toddler for several days



The Northern Territory’s Chief Minister says he was not informed of the alleged rape of a three-year-old in Darwin until “quite a few days after” the incident, and says police need to be more transparent about serious sexual assault allegations.

NT Police Minister Nicole Manison said she was not informed about the incident for about four days.

On Friday a 21-year-old man was charged with sexual intercourse without consent after allegedly approaching and assaulting the toddler in the front yard of his Karama home on Thursday night.

NT Police have been criticised for waiting until Monday morning to publicly disclose the incident — a day after some details were published in local online outlet NT Independent.

An NT Police spokesman defended the delay by saying the alleged offender was quickly apprehended and posed no risk to the community, and the alleged victim’s privacy was paramount.

The Office of the Children’s Commissioner, a statutory authority responsible for the wellbeing of vulnerable children, said it did not receive key information from child protection agency Territory Families “in the timely manner” it expected.

Chief Minister Michael Gunner this morning said he was unaware of the incident until “quite a few days” later.

“I understand where the Children’s Commissioner is coming from. I also understand what police are saying,” he told ABC Radio Darwin.

“Their priority is catching the person [allegedly] involved, and I get it, they did that.

“But it is one of those crimes where I believe it’s important that people are told about it.

He said the issue was “probably not systemic” but he had raised it with Ms Manison, who said she accepted the point and would pass the concern on to NT Police Commissioner Jamie Chalker.

But speaking to Darwin radio station Mix 104.9 on Thursday morning, Ms Manison said she supported police in their decision making.

She also confirmed she was not informed of the allegation until Monday morning.

“I think in this case I can understand why people were concerned because of the nature of the assault and what had happened,” she said.

“But what police had done in this instance was [they] caught the [alleged] offender swiftly, removed the risk from the community pretty much immediately, and they have made a decision after working with the [alleged] victim here that they thought the Monday was the best time to put out the information.

“The police make some really difficult decisions each and every day and I’m always going to go and back them in.”

The 21-year-old man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, last faced court on Tuesday and was remanded in custody.

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Nationals MP Michael Johnsen resigns following rape allegation and sex worker scandal



NSW Nationals MP Michael Johnsen has quit parliament after an escalating scandal involving a sex worker.

Nationals Leader John Barilaro said he welcomed the news.

“Yesterday … I told Mr Johnsen his position as a Member of Parliament was untenable and called for his resignation,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.

The Upper Hunter MP went to ground on Tuesday after the ABC reported he’d allegedly offered a sex worker $1000 to have sex with him at his parliament house office, exchanged lewd texts with her and sent her a video while sitting in parliament.

The report cames a week after it was revealed the same sex worker had accused him of raping her in 2019 and police were investigating. Mr Johnsen has vehemently denied the accusation.

After that Mr Barilaro stripped him of his role as parliamentary secretary, removed him from the Nationals and coalition partyrooms and suspended him from the National Party.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said on Wednesday she was “very relieved” he had quit.

“That’s a good outcome and we look forward to moving forward,” she said.

The development robs the government of it’s majority, leaving it to fight a by-election where it holds just a 2.2 per cent margin.

Labor Leader Jodi McKay says the ALP is ready to have “a red hot go” at winning the seat which has been held by the Nationals for more than 90 years.

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Man charged with rape of teenage girl on Macleay Island off Brisbane


A 20-year-old man has been charged with rape after allegedly knocking a teenage girl unconscious and assaulting her on an island off Brisbane, Queensland police say.

Police have alleged the man followed a teenage girl after she got off a bus near Hamilton Parade on Macleay Island, just before 4:30pm on Wednesday.

Police said the man allegedly approached the girl, assaulted her and forced her into bushland where he sexually assaulted her.

When she regained consciousness, she resisted him and he ran off.

The man, from neighbouring Russell Island, was found in nearby bushland and arrested.

He has been charged with one count of rape and one count of disabling in order to commit an indictable offence.

The man appeared in Cleveland Magistrates Court, east of Brisbane, this morning and has been remanded in custody.

The matter will return to court on May 27.

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Judge delays sentence of North East father facing rape charge | The Border Mail



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A North East man who allegedly violently raped his partner after she threatened to leave him will have to wait another month to learn his fate. The man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the victim, yesterday had his sentencing hearing in the County Court adjourned until April 16. The man is charged with one count of rape and one count of detention for a sexual purpose with Judge Scott Johns needing more time to deliver his sentence. He had been due to be sentenced on Thursday afternoon. The court heard at the plea hearing last month, the man has been in custody for more than 600 days over the 2019 offences which allegedly took place while three children were asleep in the home. IN OTHER NEWS: The prosecution alleges the victim’s nine-year-old daughter walked in to the living room after hearing her mother scream. The court heard the girl had been holding her pillow over her head trying not to hear the alleged assault.

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NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian ‘absolutely shocked’ by rape allegation against Nationals MP Michael Johnsen



NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says she is “absolutely shocked” by a rape allegation against state Nationals MP Michael Johnsen.

Mr Johnsen has taken leave after Labor MP Trish Doyle told state parliament on Wednesday that a government politician, who she did not name, was accused of raping a sex worker in the Blue Mountains in 2019.

Mr Johnsen, the MP for the seat of the Upper Hunter, issued a statement later that night saying he was innocent but would fully cooperate with police.

NSW Police has confirmed they are investigating an allegation of sexual violence against a woman in the Blue Mountains in September 2019.

Ms Berejiklian on Thursday said she had no advance warning of the police investigation.

“I joined everybody else in being absolutely shocked at the serious allegations that were raised and somewhat relieved that it’s subject to a police investigation,” she said.

“The alleged victim needs to be able to have a process where nothing is prejudiced so I’m going to be really careful in what I say because all of us want to get to the bottom of this and want it to be done properly.”

Ms Doyle had told the lower house on Wednesday that an MP allegedly raped a sex worker after she did not consent to penetrative sex.

The Blue Mountains MP said she had been contacted 18 months ago by the alleged victim.

Ms Doyle said it was alleged the MP and woman met at a “secluded lookout” in the Blue Mountains.

“It is all the worse that this man who raped her is a government member of this chamber … his power and privileged position as a civic leader make that fear, anger and hurt all the worse,” she said.

Mr Johnsen in his statement said he was “devastated” by the allegation.

“I have voluntarily spoken with NSW Police and I have and will continue to fully cooperate with their enquiries,” he said.

“I am confident that any investigation will conclude that I am an innocent party.”

Deputy Premier and NSW Nationals leader John Barilaro on Thursday said he had sought and received Mr Johnsen’s resignation from this parliamentary secretary role after learning of the allegation.

“Mr Johnsen also agreed to no longer sit in Nationals party room nor joint party poom while the police investigation is underway,” Mr Barilaro said in a statement.

 

With reporting by AAP.

 

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, you can call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au. 

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NSW Labor MP tells parliament of an alleged rape by a member of the state government



A NSW Labor MP has alleged in state parliament that a current government MP raped a sex worker in the Blue Mountains.

Trish Doyle used parliamentary privilege on Wednesday afternoon to allege the unnamed MP raped the sex worker, who did not consent to penetrative sex.

The Blue Mountains MP said this happened about 18 months ago.

“It is all the worse that this man who raped her is a government member of this chamber … his power and privileged position as a civic leader make that fear, anger and hurt all the worse,” Ms Doyle told the NSW lower house.

NSW Police said they were aware of the allegation.

“Detectives from the Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad are investigating allegations of sexual violence against a woman in the Blue Mountains in September 2019,” NSW Police said in a statement.

“The matter was reported and referred to the squad in late September 2020 and has been under investigation since.”

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.

If you are in NSW and would like to make contact with a counsellor, or any other form of support, call the Victims Access Line on 1800 633 063 or Rape Crisis on 1800 424 017. A trained counsellor can discuss your needs and refer you to someone who can help.

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Defence gang rape perpetrators ‘likely’ still in Canberra | The Canberra Times


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Men named in connection with a gang rape at Duntroon around 15 years ago are likely still working for the organisation in Canberra, a researcher says. The warning comes as Defence Force chief Angus Campbell prepares to appear at Senate estimates on Wednesday following outcry over his advice to cadets to be aware of the “Four As” – attractive, alcohol, after midnight and alone – to avoid becoming prey to sexual predators. Flinders University associate professor Ben Wadham said gender-based violence was an inherent part of the military institution. Professor Wadham said developing the capacity for violence within the military clearly had desirable outcomes in an operational context. A veteran himself, Professor Wadham is the director of Open Door, a research institute that focuses on the wellbeing of serving personnel and veterans. For a current investigation into institutional abuse in the ADF, Professor Wadham has interviewed 80 survivors, including three women who report being stalked, harassed and raped in Canberra while training and working at the Royal Military College in Duntroon and Campbell Park offices from 2005 onwards. Professor Wadham said there was reason to believe perpetrators of sexual violence, including men responsible for gang rape at Duntroon who were named in the 2011 DLA Piper Review, were still serving members of the Defence Force. He said men accused of rape whose names were withheld from the public would now be in their 50s and still before retirement age. He added that he had received no positive feedback from victims regarding their experiences with Defence’s sexual misconduct management office, established in 2013 in response to abuse highlighted in the DLA Piper Review. “It’s meant to provide an avenue outside of the chain of command, but all reports I’ve had is that it doesn’t feel like a safe and transparent kind of environment,” he said. READ MORE: Professor Wadham said Defence tended to tread a well-worn path when it came to dealing with sexual abuse. He said the routine typically went: incident, media attention leading to scandal, inquiry and then an administrative response rather than a cultural one. “Often recommendations don’t get met, and not lots of change happens,” he said. “Civil society has tried to reign that civic machinery around the safety of women in Defence, but Defence has a culture of scepticism around civilians and their ways of doing things so it’s taken on begrudgingly.” Professor Wadham said perpetrators tended to take advantage of service personnel in lower positions, and often abuse occurred off-base – causing Defence to express reluctance to investigate. “There are cases when prescribed offences under Commonwealth law [that] should be reported to police are not; Defence handles them in-house,” he said. Professor Wadham said often the reporting process within the ADF had the effect of worsening the trauma for the victim. “Often when the woman or the victim reports the assault to someone in authority they shoot the messenger,” he said. “It’s a secondary form of violence, an administrative form of violence.” Professor Wadham said it was commonplace for paperwork to get lost, for reports to not happen and for victims to get posted with the perpetrators. “There’s just a real lack of duty of care and diligence,” he said. “In many cases you think it’d be almost malicious and an attempt to just get somebody out because they’re [seen] to be a sort of virus in the institution.” READ MORE: Professor Wadham said he thought Defence had mostly done the right things when it came to trying to address the problem of sexual abuse, but when dealing with an institution which continued to commend masculinity and violence change was unlikely to occur. “The chairs have been moved around but the room has stayed the same,” Professor Wadham said. “The military is an institution of and for violence, it’s male-dominated and men benefit from the privilege of being in that group. “Therefore, when abuse is happening it means some men aren’t speaking up and some men are continuing to be complicit in that behaviour.” Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:

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ABC boss defends coverage of Porter rape allegation as ‘highest quality’ journalism


ABC managing director David Anderson has defended the broadcaster’s coverage of the historical rape allegation against Attorney-General Christian Porter as journalism of the “highest quality” and in the public interest.

At a Senate estimates hearing on Tuesday, Mr Anderson stood by the ABC’s decision on February 26 to report that an anonymous letter containing a historical rape allegation against a cabinet minister had been sent to Prime Minister Scott Morrison and other federal MPs.

ABC Managing Director David Anderson has defended the broadcaster’s coverage of the historical rape allegation against Attorney-General Christian Porter as journalism of the “highest quality”.Credit:Dominic Lorrimer

The article by investigative reporter Louise Milligan, published on the ABC’s website, triggered a deluge of reporting from other media outlets and Mr Porter outed himself as the minister at the centre of the allegation days later.

“No reputable media organisation could have ignored the existence of the letter or the fact that politicians on both sides of the despatch box had referred it to police,” Mr Anderson said.

He prefaced his remarks to the Senate hearing by declaring the defamation action launched by Mr Porter last week over the article would constrain his ability to discuss the issue. But he rejected claims that the ABC had selectively reported details from the letter.

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“The Statement of Claim filed [by Mr Porter’s lawyers] includes alleged aggravated damages particulars that echo those kinds of allegations. As I said earlier: it is not appropriate that I be drawn on those issues now because many of them may be discussed in open court proceedings,” Mr Anderson told the hearing.

“But I will say this: those allegations are denied and I am confident that the journalism was of the highest quality and that this will be borne out in the court proceedings. We will defend the case and our reporting, which we believe is in the public interest.”

Mr Porter has vehemently denied the allegations. In documents filed in the Federal Court last week, lawyers for Mr Porter claimed the article, which did not name him, conveyed a series of false and defamatory claims, including that he “brutally raped a 16-year-old girl in 1988”, when he was 17, and that this contributed to her taking her own life.

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