A Labor MP has been accused of rape in an email sent to another politician just days after a letter was sent to Scott Morrison claiming a Liberal minister raped a teenager in 1988.
Victorian Liberal senator Sarah Henderson received an email from a woman on Sunday, claiming a Labor MP in federal parliament had raped her.
‘Late this afternoon, I forwarded to the Australian Federal Police an email I received this afternoon from a woman alleging she had been raped by a man who is now a federal Labor member of Parliament,’ she said.
‘In immediately referring this matter to the AFP, I have followed procedures set out by Commissioner Kershaw in his letter of 24 February 2021,’ she said. ‘I make this statement in the interests of full transparency.’
Victorian Liberal senator Sarah Henderson received an email from a woman on Sunday, claiming a Labor MP in federal parliament had raped her
Scott Morrison was notified about another alleged rape, at the hands of a Liberal MP, this week
A string of alleged rapes at the hands of government ministers have been uncovered in recent weeks after former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins came forward claiming she was sexually assaulted by a colleague at Parliament House in 2019
Labor leader Anthony Albanese’s office said it had not received the email.
‘The Australian Labor Party has seen media reports that Senator Henderson has received an allegation of sexual assault and has referred any relevant correspondence to authorities as is appropriate,’ a spokesperson told the Sydney Morning Herald.
The Australian Federal Police confirmed it received a complaint about a ‘historic sexual assault’.
A string of alleged rapes at the hands of government ministers have been uncovered in recent weeks after former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins came forward claiming she was sexually assaulted by a colleague at Parliament House in 2019.
Ms Higgins was working as a media advisor for Defence Minister Linda Reynolds at the time she was allegedly raped by another staffer after a night out.
The Morrison government has been under intense pressure over its response to the 2019 incident.
Three more women accused the former government worker of rape after Ms Higgins went public.
A fourth woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, told the ABC the ‘really sleazy’ alleged rapist stroked her thigh on a night out in 2017.
The latest woman to come forward was with colleagues at Canberra’s Public Bar in 2017 when the alleged rapist touched her thigh uninvited.
The third woman said she was assaulted while working as a coalition volunteer during the 2016 election campaign.
The Australian Federal Police confirmed it received a complaint about a ‘historic sexual assault’. Pictured: Scott Morrison and Sarah Henderson
Ms Higgins’ claim opened the floodgates for others to share their stories
She was barely out of school at the time of the attack, which allegedly occurred after a night out drinking with the then-political staffer.
During the night out, she claims he bought her several rounds of ‘double strength’ vodkas and three tequila shots.
When everybody else had left, the woman said she told him she was going to catch an Uber home, and he suggested they go back to his hotel room ‘around the corner’ instead, and he would ‘look after her’, she told The Australian.
After they arrived, she passed out while laying on his bed and allegedly woke up with her clothes undone and the staffer allegedly lying on top of her.
The woman, who was a virgin, said she was uncertain as to whether he was conscious or sleeping, but she bolted from the room into the hotel lobby toilet, where she discovered she was ‘bleeding’.
Ms Higgins was working as a media advisor for Defence Minister Linda Reynolds at the time she was allegedly raped by another staffer after a night out
Feeling embarrassed and ashamed, the woman made her way home and did not tell police, her family or friends.
‘Hearing Brittany Higgins’ story, it was so eerily similar, it made me think this person has a pattern of behaviour,’ she said.
The second alleged victim claimed she met the ministerial advisor in 2016 when he was working for Senator Reynolds during the election campaign.
‘We went back to my place and we were kissing… we were going to have sex and I said he had to wear a condom,’ she said.
‘He refused and we argued and I told him five or six times that we couldn’t have sex unless he wore a condom. I was drunk and he just got on top of me, I said no, and then he was inside of me and I kept saying no.’
Ms Higgins’ claim opened the floodgates for others to share their stories.
A woman took her own life in Adelaide last June after coming forward about allegedly being sexually assaulted by a Liberal minister as a teenager in 1988.
Senator Penny Wong, along with Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, received a letter about the alleged rape this week.
It is understood the letter was not written by her.
Senator Wong released an initial statement on Friday saying she had referred the letter to the Australian Federal Police and was aware the matter was already before NSW and South Australian police.