A third woman has set forth to allege that she was sexually assaulted by the same political staffer accused of raping a colleague inside the Australian Parliament House. According to the woman, she was assaulted while working as a coalition volunteer amid the 2016 election campaign.
Rape Inside Australian Parliament House
She claimed that she was sexually assaulted by the same political staffer accused of raping Brittany Higgins in the Australian Parliament House. She was barely out of school at the time of the incident. It allegedly transpired following a night out of drinking with the former political staffer.
During the weekend, a second woman came forward. The claims come as Brittany Higgins, who stated she was raped inside the parliamentary office in 2019, gears up to make a statement to Australian Federal Police.
Then 24-year-old Higgins alleges the man raped her in a minister's office following an evening of drinking in 2019. For the third woman, who had only recently finished schooling, remarked the man bought her multiple rounds of shots during the evening. She then vomited in the nightclub bathroom as she had never drunk before, reported 7 News.
Higgins was employed by Defense Minister Linda Reynolds at the time of the alleged rape. Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Senator Reynolds are slated to face interrogation regarding when they were made aware of the complaint and the actions they undertook to assist Higgins when parliament resumes today.
The third woman spoke to an Australian newspaper on the condition of anonymity. However, she reportedly provided a statutory announcement to support her allegations.
The ongoing claims have rocked the Liberal Party. They have reignited debate regarding the Canberra workplace culture. As a response to the latest allegation, Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack stated that it was very unfair to suggest this was a mere Coalition problem.
According to Labor's Senate leader Penny Wong, Senator Reynolds had questions to respond to regarding how the complaint was overseen. Wong stated, "She wasn't being treated as a human being. She wasn't being treated as a rape survivor and she wasn't being treated as a victim of a grave crime. She was being treated as a political problem," reported The Epoch Times.
According to Higgins, she did not take the complaint further before with the police. This is due to being pressured that doing so would impact her career.
Independent MP Zali Steggall stated it was remarkably "distressing" to hear another claim of sexual assault that had been levied against the former Parliament staffer. He said he was "incredibly disappointed" with the handling of the coalition of the matter.
The third woman reportedly suggested to the man that she would catch an Uber home. This was before she claimed he told her that his hotel was nearby. After going to his room, she claimed that she passed out while lying on his bed. She then woke up with her blouse unbuttoned and her jeans down.
Labor MP Joel Fitzgibbon said this problem was one for men and not women to oversee. According to Fitzgibbon, "Men have to understand that if they do these things the full force of the law will come down upon them," reported 1 News.