Rape allegations resurface days out from Australian election

Dirty tricks

What seemed just a month ago to be an assured Labor victory in the 2019 Australian election looks to be going right down to the wire. Indicating just how desperate the race is going to be is that the fight has suddenly got very, very dirty even by Australian standards. This is no Queensberry rules, gentlemen’s bout; this is bare-knuckle, eye-gouging, rolling-in-the-gutter stuff.

Labor went for the jugular yesterday, with a coordinated attack, dragging PM Scott Morrison’s religious beliefs into the campaign. But now Labor has been gazumped, not by the Coalition, but by a woman who claims to have been very wronged. quote.

Just three days before the federal election, a retired criminal barrister is asking Victoria Police to reopen an investigation into historical sexual assault allegations against Bill Shorten.

Kathy Sheriff made the allegations in 2014, claiming she was raped by Mr Shorten at a conference in 1986 when she was 16-years-old.

Mr Shorten vigorously denied the accusation when it came to light, stating it was “untrue and abhorrent” and had “no basis”.

Police did not press charges when they investigated the matter. end quote.

In my Incite article just a few months ago, the conviction of George Pell raised uncomfortable parallels with the allegations against Shorten. Both cases relied solely on the word of one person against another. In one, police acquiesced to the public prosecutor’s advice that a conviction would be unlikely; in the other, police ignored the prosecutor’s repeated advice, and ultimately secured a conviction.

Kathy Sheriff’s legal adviser, retired QC Peter Faris, also draws a parallel with the Pell case. quote.

This is a serious complaint of rape and Kathy is entitled to her day in court as is Shorten.

This case is similar in circumstances to the Pell case where the victim was the only eye-witness.

As we know in that case a conviction was obtained on that evidence. end quote.

As I reported previously, Kathy alleged that police had an apparent lack of interest in her complaint and hardly bothered trying to track down her witnesses. “I gave them the phone number of one, her maiden and married names, told them she lived in Melbourne. Police said they couldn’t find her…But they went to all of Bill’s friends.”

Kathy is apparently still having trouble getting her complaint investigated. quote.

“I visited the Victorian Police last night with retired QC, Peter Farris to seek a meeting for my case to be reopened. We attended in person after 3 unsuccessful phone calls to speak to someone to arrange the meeting.”

Peter Faris QC: “We were dealt with by a young constable at the front desk. We weren’t asked to go up to see the Sexual Assault squad or anything like that. She could not find any record on their computer of Kathy, so to them, perhaps, Kathy didn’t exist, nor did this complaint exist.” end quote.

Eventually, they managed to find one of the three investigating officers Kathy named. quote.

Kathy Sherriff: I provided to the officer at the desk a list of witnesses who could provide further evidence. The list was accepted and attached to an email to an officer who investigated my case in 2014. My mobile contact was provided for this officer to call me. end quote.

Speaking to radio 2GB last night, Faris says that police have now contacted Kathy. quote.

Peter Faris QC: “I think she would make a great witness and I think any prosecutor would think that she would make a great witness.”


Where this case goes is anyone’s guess. One thing is certain: a great swathe of the legacy media will do anything to avoid reporting it.