A Federal Labor MP has been accused of rape in an email, Liberal Senator Sarah Henderson has revealed in the latest in a series of sexual assault allegations against senior politicians.
The Victorian senator said in a statement released late on Sunday that she had received an email from a woman and had passed it on to the Australian Federal Police.
“Late this afternoon, I forwarded to the Australian Federal Police an email I received this afternoon from a woman alleging she has been raped by a man who is now a Federal Labor Member of Parliament,” Senator Henderson said in a statement published on Twitter.
The Liberal senator said she had immediately referred the matter to the AFP, following the procedures set out by police commissioner Reece Kershaw on February 24.
“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.”
The latest email comes after a woman accused a minister in the Morrison Government of raping her in 1988, before entering Parliament. The Prime Minister was sent a letter detailing the rape allegation, which was then referred to the AFP.
The woman left behind a trove of emails, letters and other correspondence before taking her own life in Adelaide last year. Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull earlier on Sunday called for an inquest into the woman’s death.
The bombshell claim followed Brittany Higgins’s allegation that she was sexually assaulted in Parliament House in March 2019. The former Liberal staffer alleges that she was raped by a colleague in her boss Defence Minister Linda Reynolds’s office after a night of drinking, and that she later felt pressured not to make a formal complaint.
Since Ms Higgins told her story to news.com.au, a surge of women in Canberra have also alleged they were sexually assaulted.
Three women have claimed they were assaulted by the same man as Ms Higgins, while others made allegations about other incidents that happened at Parliament House or in public service.
A Labor spokesperson told the ABC of the latest statement: “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.”
text by news.com.au staff