The Courier-Mail

Morrison minister in sex assault claim

SENIOR MP ACCUSED IN LETTER TO PM

- MATTHEW KILLORAN

PARLIAMENT House has been rocked by historical rape allegation­s against a Minister in the Morrison Government, after a letter was sent to the Prime Minister’s office.

The letter, which was also received by senior Labor Senator Penny Wong and Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, contained a statement from a complainan­t detailing the alleged sexual assault.

It has been referred to the Australian Federal Police by at least Senators Wong and Hanson-Young.

It is believed that the AFP does not have an open investigat­ion into the allegation.

NSW Police were unable to complete their investigat­ions into the woman’s complaints prior to her death in June last year and she had not provided a formal statement to them, it can be revealed.

The explosive developmen­t follows allegation­s former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins was raped by a colleague in Parliament House in March 2019.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has yet to respond to the latest claims, but a spokesman referred to advice from AFP commission­er Reece Kershaw to MPs this week urging people to make complaints known to police as soon as possible.

The allegation­s date back to 1988 when the woman was 16 and were passed on by a friend of the complainan­t. The complainan­t has since taken their own life, according to a report by the ABC.

NSW Police said the Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad received a complaint regarding historical sex abuse in February last year.

“After ... 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,” a spokeswoma­n said.

SAPOL is preparing a report for the Coroner in relation to the woman’s death.

The complainan­t reportedly came forward in early 2020.

Senator Wong confirmed she received an anonymous letter, which she said was also addressed to Mr Morrison and Senator Hanson-Young.

“The contents of the letter, and an attachment which appears to be a statement prepared by the complainan­t, relate to an allegation of rape,” she said.

“I understand the complainan­t reported this allegation to the NSW Police Force and South Australia Police.”

Senator Wong said she had forwarded the letter to NSW and SA police, as well as the AFP to assist with any investigat­ions which may be under way.

Senator Hanson-Young also confirmed receipt of the letter and said she had spoken to the Police Commission­er about its claims.

“This morning I received informatio­n regarding a disturbing and a very serious allegation of a criminal nature against a senior member of the government,” she said.

Asked about the letter, a spokesman for the Prime Minister’s office said the AFP Commission­er had advised earlier this week that any complaints or allegation­s of this nature should be referred to the federal police. The AFP declined to comment.

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 ??  ?? Prime Minister Scott Morrison and (insets from top) Senators Penny Wong and Sarah HansonYoun­g. Main picture: Gary Ramage
Prime Minister Scott Morrison and (insets from top) Senators Penny Wong and Sarah HansonYoun­g. Main picture: Gary Ramage

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