A third woman has come forward with a sexual assault allegation against the same former Liberal staffer who stands accused of raping Brittany Higgins.
According to The Australian, a third woman – a Liberal Part volunteer who was fresh out of high school at the time – alleges that she was assaulted by the same man.
The woman alleges that he said he’d “look after her” at his hotel after buying her multiple tequila shots and rounds of double-shot vodkas.
However, she allegedly woke up with her shirt unbuttoned and pants pushed down with the man “lying on top of me,” later discovering that she was also bleeding.
“I believe his actions on the night of 29 June and the morning of 30 June constitute sexual assault, because he performed or tried to perform sexual acts on me whilst I was severely intoxicated and unable to provide valid and informed consent,’’ the unnamed woman said.
The third allegation comes just days after the Weekend Australian reported a second former Liberal staffer’s allegations against the same man on Saturday.
According to The Australian, the woman signed a statutory declaration to support her claims against the man, asserting that she had never had sex before the alleged incident took place and only found the courage to come forward after hearing Higgins’ story.
“I was severely embarrassed about it and felt dirty and ashamed and I didn’t want to tell anyone,” she said.
“Hearing Brittany Higgins’ story, it was so eerily similar, it made me think this person has a pattern of behaviour.”
Following the allegations, Prime Minister Scott Morrison didn’t rule out the possibility of completely overhauling the complaints system in Parliament.
“I think there’s merit in that. I really don’t want to prejudge a lot of this,’’ he said.
“We need to … ensure that people are able, in these circumstances, to feel they can raise these issues, even though people are saying, you can, they need to feel that they can and to do so in a discrete and a private way and so they can get the support they need.”
Higgins is due to make a formal statement to the Australian Federal Police on Wednesday, which will get the ball rolling with a full active investigation into the allegations.
Help is available.
If you require immediate assistance, please call 000.
If you’d like to speak to someone about sexual violence, please call the 1800 Respect hotline on 1800 737 732 or chat online.
Under 25? You can reach Kids Helpline at 1800 55 1800 or chat online.Image: Getty Images