CONTENT WARNING: This article discusses rape.

UPDATE: Nationals MP Michael Johnsen has identified himself as the subject of the rape allegations. He has taken immediate leave and has resigned from the party room.

“I am devastated by these allegations,” Johnsen said in a brief statement on Wednesday night.

“I have voluntarily spoken with NSW Police and I have and will continue to fully cooperate with their enquiries.

“I am confident any investigation will conclude that I am an innocent party.

“Without admission, I have chosen to step aside from my Parliamentary Secretary role, and will not sit in the Nationals Party Room nor the Joint Party Room.

“I will be taking leave effective immediately for a short duration.

“As the matter is with the NSW Police I will make no further public comment.”

Johnsen now appears to have nuked all his socials – Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are all down.

Earlier in the day, a Labor MP in the NSW Parliament had accused an unnamed male Nationals MP in the state government of raping a sex worker 18 months ago at a secluded Blue Mountains lookout.

Trish Doyle, who represents the Blue Mountains in the state parliament, made the shocking accusation on Wednesday night using parliamentary privilege.

Doyle said that the sex worker had only agreed to participate in oral sex and did not consent to penetrative sex.

“She tells me she made herself clear that she was not willing to have penetrative sex with him, however towards the end the man moved around behind her and assaulted her in a way she had not consented to,” Doyle told the NSW Parliament.

“In her emails to me she said that once the assault began she just wanted it to finish. It was an assault, and it was against her explicit instructions, she did not consent, it was rape.”

Doyle added that the woman was initially hesitant to go to the police, and is feeling “hurt and angry that this powerful man felt entitled to assault her”.

“She remains fearful that this powerful man will seek reprisals against her for reporting this rape,” she added.

The sex worker did eventually report the matter to police after receiving assistance from the Sex Workers Outreach Project, and the allegations are now being investigated.

Defamation laws often prevent people from naming rapists and abusers, alleged or otherwise.

However, at least some of the details are now public at a time when more and more women are speaking up about the alleged sexual assaults and harassment they’ve suffered at the hands of Coalition politicians and staffers.

Doyle made clear just how hard it was for the woman to finally go public with allegations against a state government politician: “His power and his privileged position as a civic leader make [her] fear, anger and hurt all the worse.”


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 / Manfred Gottschalk