Bill Shorten Goes Public About 'Untrue, Abhorrent' Sexual Assault Allegation

Getty / Stefan Postles (File)

Federal opposition leader Bill Shorten has disclosed he was the senior Labor figure against whom a rape allegation was made last year, over an incident in the 1980s.

A woman had claimed in a Facebook post she was sexually assaulted as a 16-year-old teenager at 4am on night at a Labor youth event.

The Australian reported a “senior Labor figure” was under investigation in November last year, saying the assault occurred in 1986 at a union-run holiday camp in Portarlington, near Geelong.

The complainant is a woman who now lives in NSW and lodged a formal complaint with Victoria police in October last year.

After their investigation, police concluded there was no case and no charges would be laid.

Here’s Shorten’s statement:

Late last year I learned that a claim had been made about me, going back to when I was 19. It was made on social media, when I was elected opposition leader.

I will not go into details, except to say that the allegation was untrue and abhorrent. the allegation was made by someone I knew briefly at that time.

There is absolutely no basis for the claim. The claim has now been thoroughly and rigorously investigated by police, as is entirely proper.

I fully cooperated to clear my name. And that is what I have done. I freely answered all questions the police asked of me.

Now the police investigation has concluded, I can make this statement.

This has been deeply distressing for my family. I am thankful for the love and support of Chloe, and the support of my staff and parliamentary colleagues. Others who were aware of the investigation have acted with the utmost integrity by leaving the police to do their job.

The police have now concluded the investigation. The decision speaks for itself. It is over. I have no intention of making any further comment.”

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