Opposition leader Bill Shorten has revealed he is the Labor figure at the centre of rape claims dating back to the 1980s.
“I will not go into details, except to say the allegation against me was untrue and abhorrent,” Mr Shorten told a press conference.
“I freely answered all the questions that the police asked of me. Now the police investigation is concluded, I can make this statement. The easy option would be to say nothing, but that is not who I am.”
He said the claims, which he did not directly state, had been “deeply distressing” for his family.
“I’m thankful for the love and support of Chloe and the support of my staff and parliamentary colleagues.
“Others who are aware of the investigation have acted with the utmost integrity by leaving the police to do their job.”
This morning Victorian police had revealed a senior figure in the Labor Party would not face criminal charges over an alleged rape dating back to the 1980s.
The police confirmed that the allegation had been investigated but they would not be proceeding with criminal charges.
“Investigating police sought advice from the Office of Public Prosecutions, which advised there was no reasonable prospect of conviction,” a statement from Victoria Police said.
“All parties have been notified that Victoria Police will not be proceeding with criminal charges.”
The alleged victim, who posted the claims on a Facebook page late last year, said that the sexual assault took place at a Young Labor camp near Geelong in the 1980s.
At the time the allegation became public, the lawyers said the claims were “unsubstantiated” and were “absolutely without foundation”.
The lawyer has said in a statement that “my client has maintained from the outset that the claim, which goes back about 30 years to when he was a teenager, was untrue and that he would be cleared”.
Mr Shorten explained his decision to go public saying “the allegation was made by someone that I knew briefly at that time”.
“The police have now concluded the investigation. The decision speaks for itself. It is over. I have no intention of making any further comment.”
– with ABC