Australia

A third woman has alleged she was sexually assaulted by former Liberal staffer

A third woman has come forward to allege she was sexually assaulted by the same political staffer accused of raping a colleague inside Parliament House.

The woman says she was assaulted while working as a coalition volunteer during the 2016 election campaign.

She was barely out of school at the time of the attack, which allegedly occurred after a night out drinking with the then-political staffer.

A second woman came forward over the weekend.

The allegations come as Brittany Higgins, who says she was raped inside a parliamentary office in 2019, prepares to make a statement to Australian Federal Police.

Ms Higgins was employed by Defence Minister Linda Reynolds at the time of the alleged assault.

Senator Reynolds and Prime Minister Scott Morrison are expected to face more questions about when they found out about the complaint and what they did to assist Ms Higgins when parliament resumes on Monday.

The alleged rape has sparked several inquiries into workplace cultures in Parliament House and the coalition.

Labor MP Joel Fitzgibbon said the cultural problem was one for men – not women – to fix.

“Men have to understand that if they do these things the full force of the law will come down upon them,” he told Network Seven.

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