Rape case may reopen: Could #MeToo hurt Bill Shorten?

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In September 2014 Larry Pickering published a lengthy interview with Kathy Sherriff, a woman who alleges that Bill Shorten raped her at a Labor conference in 1986 when she was 16.

Police had recently launched an investigation into the allegation but this was halted in August 2014 when it was judged that there was no reasonable prospect for a successful prosecution.

Today it has been announced that Peter Faris QC, former head of the National Crime Commission, has decided to take on Kathy Sherriff’s case. This has been verified by Michael Smith News.

Kathy Sherriff and Peter Faris QC, pictured in Melbourne, 14/05/19.

Below is a full statement from Kathy Sherriff:

“In 1986 I was raped by Bill Shorten.

“I was 16 years old at the time.

“At a later point the matter was reported to Victoria Police.

“In August 2014, after a long investigation, the Victorian Police told me they were not proceeding to prosecute Bill Shorten for my rape. I was devastated.

“Part of the reason the police gave me was that the Victorian OPP thought there was no reasonable prospect of conviction – because it was only my word against Bill’s. Another reason was that some of the people I said were witnesses could not be found by the police.

“The police told me that if new witnesses were located or other evidence was found, then they would look at reopening my case.

“Since then I have worked hard to find the people I knew were at the conference that weekend in August 1986 and who knew what happened to me. I looked for all the evidence I could find to support my case. For 5 years this has been my focus so that I can have justice and this matter can go to trial.

“My whole life has been impacted by the events of that weekend and until this case is dealt with by the courts, I cannot move past it.

“Today, Peter Faris QC has agreed to assist me in my pursuit of justice and we have arranged to meet with Victorian Police to present the new evidence.

“We call for my case to be reopened.

“I have done this on my own accord without the assistance of the media or the many friends and supporters who have tried to help me in the past or in recent months.

“This is my journey alone.

“I know that many people will criticise the timing of my actions – but my right to justice and the rights of rape victims everywhere, is more important than politics.

“If anyone has any questions they can contact me through face book or contact.

“Mr Peter Faris QC.”

Below is the statement from Peter Faris QC:

“I am a retired Criminal Barrister and I am assisting Kathy in her endeavour to get Justice.

“In my view the Police should reopen the investigation into this matter and the Office of Public Prosecutions should prosecute Shorten.

“This is a serious complaint of rape and Kathy is entitled to her day in court as is Shorten.

“This case is similar in circumstances to the Pell case where the victim was the only eye-witness.

“As we know in that case a conviction was obtained on that evidence.

“Kathy is entitled to be heard in a criminal trial and to have a jury decide guilt or innocence.

“Peter Faris QC”

This is massive news. In 2014, Bill Shorten as head of the Labor Party was the leader of the opposition. Today he still holds that position. Three days out from a Federal election. With a 51:49 lead in the polls.

Since 2014 the #MeToo movement with its mantras of #BelieveAllVictims and #BelieveAllWomen has swept through the public sphere and has brought down many public figures. Despite this, some people have responded skeptically on Facebook to Sherriff’s allegation:

“Too bad no practicing lawyer nor the police will go anywhere near this. There’s no witnesses. And you only trot this out around election time.
Zero credibility- bordering on defamation.”

“Your a scumbag lying piece of shit. If this had any truth you wouldn’t of waited 34 fucking years. This is getting beyond a joke with all these false accusations from many years beforehand. Get a job and learn to support yourself. Stop looking for a free handout you grub”

“You lost all of your credibility by posting this crap on Facebook. If there was new evidence or in fact any evidence, the police would arrest him and you would have “practicing” counsel assist you.
To bring this up every election does nothing but diminish what has happened to survivors of sexual assault.
You disgust me.”

“I doubt he would have been attending a conference at age 19,just another Liberal scam,just shows how low they and their supporters will go 😖”

“33 years ago this is dirty politics from scomo and the liberals,……”

However, in the current year, the allegation may carry fresh weight. If the allegation stands up in court, it may also have wider implications for the Labor Party:

Sabo pasted the town red-faced with an expose of Hollyweird hypocrisy.

Furthermore, as Peter Faris QC has pointed out, former Catholic Cardinal George Pell was recently convicted of rape on the evidence of one victim, decades after the event is alleged to have taken place. This is also relevant considering Bill Shorten’s latest attempt at a low blow against Scott Morrison.

From the Australian:

Scott Morrison has accused Bill Shorten of a “grubby” and “desperate” bid to alter the election agenda and distract voters from his high-taxing policies by politicising the Prime Minister’s faith in the final days of the campaign.

Igniting a clash over faith ahead of Saturday’s election, the Opposition Leader yesterday ­demanded Mr Morrison state his personal view on whether homosexuals would go to hell, declaring Australia needed a “prime minister for all people”.

Mr Morrison, a devout Christian, responded on the hustings in Tasmania that he did not believe gay people went to hell, later arguing he had grown up believing “God’s love is for everybody”.

Scott Morrison is a cuck. Everybody knows that.

As for Bill Shorten, a jury may need to decide.