News State Tasmania News Tasmania’s Falls Festival marred by sexual assaults

Tasmania’s Falls Festival marred by sexual assaults

ABC/Kim Maisch
The mosh pit at the Falls Festival, scene of two alleged sexual assaults.
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Two sexual assaults have been reported at the Falls Festival at Marion Bay in Tasmania’s southeast.

Police said the latest assault took place in the camping area about 8.30pm on Saturday.

Earlier, a 19-year-old woman said she was assaulted by an unknown male in the mosh pit about 9.30pm on Friday during a set by The Jungle Giants, police said.

The young female victim has been provided with support but decided she did not want a formal police investigation into the matter.

Police said elements of the incident would still be followed up by investigators.

“Ultimately, the decision always lies with the victim in regards to making a formal police complaint, and that’s a decision that she’s made,” Detective Constable Damien McVilly said.

“There is quite a significant public interest in incidents of this nature, so we’ll follow up with part of the report that we can follow up on just to make sure we’re across what’s happened, and putting any preventative measures in place if we’re able to identify suspects.”

Detective Constable McVilly said no charges had been laid over an alleged sexual assault in the mosh pit on Friday night.

“We’re still working with the event and the victim with hopefully identifying a suspect in relation to that matter,” he said.

The alleged sexual assaults have been condemned by police but investigators said they were encouraged by those who had been affected coming forward with information.

Both assaults come after last year’s event at Marion Bay was marred by reports of sexual assault in the mosh pit, and one of rape in the camping area.

This year’s incidents have occurred despite an increased police presence at the event, with plain-clothed and uniformed officers in the mosh pit in an effort to prevent a repeat of last year’s behaviour.

Stickers reading “enjoy the festival, don’t assault anyone” have been posted around the festival including on the back of toilet doors.

Falls Festival organisers have been contacted for comment.