Citing a lack of evidence, the NSW police won’t investigate the latest allegation of sexual assault against the Liberal Party.
CW: The following piece discusses sexual assault
The New South Wales police has responded to the historical allegation of sexual assault against a Federal Minister, claiming that they will not be taking the issue further, citing “insufficient admissible evidence to proceed”.
The statement reads: “In November 2019, a woman then aged 48, attended an Adelaide (South Australia) police station seeking advice about reporting historical sexual offences, which allegedly occurred in 1988 in Sydney (New South Wales). The matter was then referred to the NSW Police Force and an investigation by the Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad commenced under Strike Force Wyndarra. NSW Police Force has been the lead agency in respect to this investigation since February 2020. For various reasons, the woman did not detail her allegations in a formal statement to NSW Police. The woman passed away in June 2020. Following the woman’s death, NSW Police came into possession of a personal document purportedly made by the woman previously. NSW Police have since sought legal advice in relation to these matters. Based on information provided to NSW Police, there is insufficient admissible evidence to proceed. As such, NSW Police Force has determined the matter is now closed.”
Scott Morrison has said the cabinet minister accused of historical rape denies the allegation “categorically”. But, officially, he has refused to comment on the allegations, citing it as a “matter for the police”.
Calls for a parliamentary investigation has come from numerous sources, not least Malcolm Turnbull (alongside Labor Senator Penny Wong) who told ABC’s 7:30 that “I think for the sake of his colleagues, the government, everybody – he should front up and state who it is.”
Anthony Albanese has said that: “…the idea that this can just be allowed to drift and just stay where it is is in my view untenable. There is a dark cloud now over the government. And Scott Morrison needs to recognise that. And needs to satisfy himself that it is appropriate for this minister to be able to continue in his position. Now, whether that’s a coronial inquiry into the circumstances of this woman’s death, or whether there be other inquiries made, it really isn’t enough for the prime minister to think that this issue is just going to disappear.”
Despite the matter being referred to the AFP, they do not have jurisdiction over the matter, and have confirmed that fact this afternoon. So while the police investigation may be closed, the matter remains open. As Malcolm Turnbull said to the ABC, the “ball is really in the court of the minister concerned. I mean, he knows who he is. Everyone knows who he is. He may well have known about these allegations for a long time. One of the things we don’t know is whether he’d had any communication with the woman who’d made the complaint, right? So there’s a lot of questions to be answered.”