In the latest story of sexual misconduct related to Parliament, Labor’s Penny Wong says that she met a woman (now deceased) who claims that a Coalition minister raped her in 1988 before he was elected to Parliament. Wong said
The complainant made an allegation that she had been raped many years earlier by a person who is now a senior member of the federal government. I said that making a report to the appropriate authorities was the right thing to do. I facilitated her referral to rape support services and confirmed she was being supported in reporting the matter to NSW Police.
The death of the woman who made this allegation is a tragedy, and devastating for everyone who knew and loved her.
The woman, and her family and friends, have been in my thoughts throughout.
I issue this statement in the interests of transparency, and in the hope that appropriate action is taken to examine her allegation, the circumstances of her death and what can and should be done to help keep people safe and save lives in the future.
While Wong may be genuinely concerned about the welfare of the deceased, one cannot help but see this as a political stunt since Wong never revealed that she met the woman who accused Bill Shorten of rape, also in the 1980s. In 2014 the Victorian Police stated
Victoria Police can confirm that a report of an alleged historical sexual assault has been investigated by police. Investigating police sought advice from the Office of Public Prosecutions, which advised there was no reasonable prospect of conviction. All parties have been notified that Victoria Police will not be proceeding with criminal charges.
But this is what that woman, who is still alive and has not retracted the claim, said:
In 1985 I joined the ALP. In 86 at the age of 16 I … became a delegate for state and national conferences. In 86 I went to a Young Labor camp down near Geelong … I was alone … at about 4am there was a knock at my door. It was him at the door. He [Bill Shorten] pushed me into a bathroom, up against a towel rail, pulled down my pants and raped me.
So, Penny Wong, don’t you think you should meet with this woman and discuss her allegations against Bill Shorten? After all, while there is no possibility of a successful prosecution of Bill Shorten due to the alleged rape being committed long ago and the lack of physical evidence, the same applies to the Coalition Minister.
Or is Wong one of those females who will go after Coalition men who commit such crimes, but will turn a blind eye to any Labor men doing the same?