Bill Shorten

Bill Shorten refuses to answer media questions regarding alleged rape of 16-year-old girl

I have written to Federal Labor leader Bill Shorten and the Victoria Police regarding the rape allegations against Bill Shorten. The Victoria Police have responded but Bill Shorten has not. As it stands things are not looking good for Bill Shorten.

Background

I published a post 2 weeks ago (29/11/13) in regards to the Victoria Police investigating Bill Shorten for allegedly raping a 16-year-old girl in 1986. This is a follow-up post and I will assume you have read the previous post and know the details behind the investigation. (If not click here to read the previous post).

Correspondence to Bill Shorten and the Victoria Police

I sent an email to Bill Shorten last Thursday (5/12/13) at 10.51am with the following questions:

Dear Mr Shorten

I would like to ask you some questions in relation to the rape allegations made against you that are currently being investigated by the Victorian Police.

  1. Why have you not made a public statement in relation to the rape allegations?
  2. If and when do you intend on making a public statement?
  3. Do you intend on addressing parliament in relation to the allegations? (I do note that there were calls for Craig Thomson to address parliament when allegations were initially made against him)
  4. Do you know the alleged rape victim?
  5. In or about 1985/86 did you and two others travel to Wodonga to meet with the alleged victim?
  6. In or about 1985/86 did you ever attend any young Labor camps near Geelong?
  7. Have you ever had a relationship with the alleged victim?
  8. Have you ever had sex with the alleged victim?

(Click here to see the email) I did receive an auto reply email from Bill Shorten confirming receipt of the email. (Click here to see the auto reply)

I made a follow-up phone call at 3.12pm on Friday 6/12/13 to Bill Shorten’s office and spoke to one of his media advisors regarding the email that I sent the day before with the questions and asking when I could expect a response. He said he would chase it up and get back to me. At the time of publishing this post (Wednesday 11/12/13)  I have not received a response and it does not look like I will.

I also wrote to the Victoria Police last week as outlined below:

I phoned the Victoria Police media section last Friday. They suggested that I send an email with my questions. At 11.55am on Friday (6/12/13) I sent an email with the following question:

“Can you please confirm that you are investigating a 46 year old Melbourne man for an alleged rape in 1986. The alleged rape is said to of occurred at Portarlington (near Geelong) during the course of a Young Labor camp.”

At 1.59pm Friday 6/12/12 a Victoria Police spokeswoman responded with the answer:

“Police are investigating a report of an historical sexual assault. As the matter is subject to an ongoing investigation, it would be inappropriate to comment further.”

This is a media site. Bill Shorten should respond to the questions.

Whenever I have contacted politicians, government departments and law enforcement agencies I deal with their media advisors and that includes Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd when they were Prime Minister. I always get responses and I am treated like any other journalist. And so I should be as bloggers such as myself are part of the New Media. For example, Federal media shield laws now protect bloggers as much as other journalists.

I raise this so Mr Shorten cannot sit back and say he did not respond to my questions because I am a blogger. The reality is that Bill Shorten does not want to talk to respond to any journalists questions.

At sometime in the future Mr Shorten is going to have to front the media and answer questions about the allegations. It is better that he does it now rather than later.

Bill Shorten is in clear breach of Crisis Management 101 and will be looking more guilty by the day. Regular readers will remember I covered Crisis Management in the second post I published about Rolf Harris in April this year which is worth reading again for the similarities with Bill Shorten’s situation (Click here to read the full post)

Clear breach of crises management 101

Crisis management 101 says you have 48 hours to seize the moment and get your message out there in the media. Bill Shorten has failed that. As soon as the rape allegation surfaced Mr Shorten had no choice but to call a press conference and deny the allegation. Bill Shorten has advisors all over the place and they all know this.

Some headings from an article on crises management says what Bill Shorten should have done. And the fact that he has not done it says plenty.

10 Rules of Crisis Management

1. Being Unprepared Is No Excuse. 2. You Know The Threats – Get Ready For Them. 3. Know What You Want To Say Before They Ask. 4 . Admit That You Are Wing-It-Challenged. 5. Three Key Messages For Every Crisis

6. Beware Of The Court Of Public Opinion. Lawyers play a very important part in any crisis. Their counsel on legal matters is paramount and should help guide the response. However, there are two courts in this world, and the court of public opinion is just as powerful as the court of law. The biggest challenge crisis leaders face is balancing their decisions based on these two courts. What may work in one, doesn’t always work in the other. The real question that needs to be addressed is quite simple – what is the smartest thing I can do to protect my brand? Winning in a court of law won’t necessarily restore the public trust you may have lost in the court of public opinion. Both are important – choose wisely.

7. You’ve Got 48 Hours. 8. Divide And Conquer. 9. Get Outside Help(Click here to read more)

As we know from the last post on this topic the media will not name Bill Shorten but have spoken to his lawyers ” “Lawyers for the man said last night the “unsubstantiated claims date back almost 30 years and they have never previously been raised with him”.” (Click here to read the full post)

So how did the journalist as The Australian come to speak to Bill Shorten’s lawyers? The most likely scenario is that the journalist phoned Bill Shorten’s office and he had his lawyers call the journalist back? It is very strange that a politician would refer media requests to his legal team. It is not the look of an innocent person.

So why didn’t Bill Shorten have his lawyers call me? Probably because he knew that they would not intimidate me like they can large media organisations who are regulated by the government of the day. We will follow this up in the near future.

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31 Comments on “Bill Shorten refuses to answer media questions regarding alleged rape of 16-year-old girl”

  1. Colin Spencer December 11, 2013 at 9:59 am #

    Bill Shorten would have been about 19 years of age at the time of the alleged offense. Given that teenagers engage in sexual activity during their teens, and that the victim was sixteen years of age, this event lacks the element of predatory behaviour. For a prosecutor to prove in a court of law that consent was not given at the time, it might be a bit too difficult to elevate the complaint to a charge, if it is going to be the word of the alleged victim against the alleged perpetrator. I would love to see Bill Shorten put his hand up and plead guilty, but I’m not holding my breath.

    • suann December 11, 2013 at 2:31 pm #

      Oh dear. So does this mean you believe a 19yr old boy could not rape a 16yr old girl? you believe that 19 yr old boys are not predatory? You couldn’t be more wrong if you tried. 19 yr old boys are very, very strong..16yr old girls are not. I was very nearly date raped by an 18yr old boy when I was 17, I had no chance at all against him, eventually it was my sobbing that bought him to his senses, and he stopped just in time. I still can get quite anxious when I think of that night.

      If this girl was raped, then Shorten is in big trouble, he should have been in big trouble back then, girls were very hesitant to come forward as often had their name dragged through the mud and back..suicide was common, and a sense of shame and feeling dirty.

      • Colin Spencer December 11, 2013 at 6:26 pm #

        Few things would give me more satisfaction than to have corroborated evidence that Bill forced his intentions on that girl. Hopefully someone who was there will swear to having seen him acting inappropriately before the alleged event, and can also swear to having been with the girl after it happened. Otherwise, the slime-bag will probably not be charged due to lack of sufficient evidence to ensure a conviction. The DPP does not like the possibility of a loss.

      • Brian Richard Allen (@Brian_R_Allen) December 11, 2013 at 6:39 pm #

        …. (young women and) girls were very hesitant to come forward as often had their name dragged through the mud and back..suicide was common, and a sense of shame and feeling dirty ….

        Very well said but forgive me for suggesting you might perhaps have better said that abused and/or assaulted young people: women and girls and men and boys, all; were very hesitant to come forward as often had their names dragged through the mud and back..suicide was common, and a sense of shame and feeling dirty, par for the course ….

        Abuse was common and, when a family member was the perpetrator, as often as not when help was sought from those outside immediate family, a report back to parents of “disloyalty” brought piled-on abuse!

        Meanwhile if the leader of the Libs or of the Nationals was accused of rape, would the Fascist Media not be zealously and froth-and-foam-flecked-furiously clamoring for their standing down?

        Don’t answer that.

  2. Ben D December 11, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    Shane, is there a legal reason that prevents the msm from mentioning publically, a) that this investigation is underway, and b) Bill Shorten by name? ,

    • Shane Dowling December 11, 2013 at 10:21 am #

      The MSM have mentioned that the investigation is under way but they will not name Bill Shorten. There is no legal reason stopping them form naming him as per my previous post on this topic.

  3. fidopuss December 11, 2013 at 10:23 am #

    Unearth the worm so that he should see daylight and then shove him back under his rock, Shane! Regardless of Colin’s post above that teens do get up to this type of behaviour, the girl’s claim should not be swept under the carpet simply because of the twerp’s supposed “untouchability”! All actions have consequences, and if he was any sort of a man he’d at least respond appropriately!

  4. Allan Usherwood December 11, 2013 at 11:02 am #

    I think that Shorten has also lots to answer for when the AWU scandal is aired, (mainly thanks to this media.) the rape allegations are all part of this grubs charactor, I wonder how he sleeps at night. Allan from Myalup.WA

  5. The World As It Truly Is December 11, 2013 at 11:04 am #

    News Corp could name Shorten but it suits them to have Shorten on life support, they can pull the plug any time they like. In the meantime he might think about doing them some favours, say if a change to media regulation came up in parliament, Labor could be persuaded to support it.

  6. Kenneth pearce. December 11, 2013 at 11:19 am #

    I think he would say, that at the time, he was young & naïve.

    • Concerned Aussie December 11, 2013 at 12:20 pm #

      LOL.

  7. Patricia Ryan December 11, 2013 at 11:23 am #

    There is no point in making assumptions about this man’s character before the charges against him have been proven either guilty or not guilty. No matter what he said to the MSM at the moment it would be twisted and distorted from the get go.

  8. glen December 11, 2013 at 11:53 am #

    seems to me the time of the alleged activity is so long ago that this may be the major negative. Has the victim come forward to support the police in its investigations?

    • Shane Dowling December 11, 2013 at 5:35 pm #

      Of course she has come forward. Why do you think the police are investigating.

    • mareeS December 12, 2013 at 11:25 pm #

      “the alleged activity is so long ago”

      That hasn’t prevented a Royal Commission into abuse of children back to the 1950s, a Royal Commission that Shorten supported in Parliament under Julia Gillard. Good enough for them in pursuit of political points, but never when their own pasts come into question.

  9. nottwistedyet December 11, 2013 at 12:49 pm #

    I think, that the victim has come forward now, which seems to happen quite often, as seen in the child-abuse investigation, people sometimes take years to come forward with this type of information, it would not be easy.
    Indeed it is going to be difficult to prove, depending on the victim’s statement, but there is no excuse for Bill Shorten not to reply to Shane’s questions.

    But then the man thinks, that he has a god-given right not to be accountable. With this type of information the correct thing to do, would be to stand down, until the investigation is complete, well, can you imagine him doing the correct thing?
    Of course not, just look around there at present, anybody else accountable?

  10. AJ from WA December 11, 2013 at 1:50 pm #

    What I don’t understand is why the Liberals aren’t all over this like a rash, normally if such a scandal becomes public knowledge the opposing party grabs hold like a Pit-Bull and doesn’t let go, so why haven’t Abbott and his cronies taken to it like they did with Gillard or Thompson, this in itself is suspicious.

    I guess the MSM just don’t have the courage to report the truth anymore for fear some political reprisal, or as someone else mentioned above, maybe they believe keeping quiet is akin to doing Billy a favour, and they can expect one in return at some point down the track.

    All in all, this is nothing unusual, and it wont be the last time the truth is withheld by the MSM.

    “UNITED WE STAND, DIVIDED WE FALL”

    • Concerned Aussie December 13, 2013 at 7:43 am #

      Moderator: Deleted as off topic

  11. Kevin Pedler December 11, 2013 at 8:20 pm #

    A guilty conscience gives a limited response.

  12. Suse December 11, 2013 at 8:38 pm #

    I would assume that Abbott and the Coalition are letting Shorten and the Labor Party hang themselves….give ‘em enough rope etc. Shorten believes he is untouchable and unanswerable to the voting public. One can only hope that he is shown otherwise.

  13. LesK December 12, 2013 at 7:39 am #

    The Coalition Govt would have rocks in its head to bite on this one, as it has the potential to be very dirty and sticky.
    I agree with Suse, – let the ALP and Billy Boy hang them selves – once the mud starts flying, Tony et al should be nowhere to be seen.

  14. Aaron, (disappointed Liberal party voter) January 24, 2014 at 3:45 pm #

    This must be addressed! Guilty or innocent he should make a statement immediately and let investigations happen.

  15. fidopuss January 24, 2014 at 4:37 pm #

    Aaron, give them a go! They’ve only been there for 5 minutes and already you’re having doubts about the wisdom of having voted for them? Get real! Bill Shorten leaves a lot to be desired if these allegations are proven correct!

  16. Barrie Macmillan February 9, 2014 at 1:00 am #

    Let’s get rid of this slime. Hope it comes into the media soon and let the public bury him. Shane….was there any more light shed on the pregnancy of the girl in his office which loomed last year…or was that another cover-up by those who found things out in the MSM?

    • glen February 9, 2014 at 9:50 pm #

      This action has to be followed through as he is a disgrace.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Bill Shorten and the Victoria Police rape investigation. Do we have a right to know? | Kangaroo Court of Australia - February 9, 2014

    […] What does Bill Shorten have to say about the allegations? Not much except for the standard denial via his lawyer. And as regular readers know he refused to answer the questions that I emailed him. (Click here to read questions and the post) […]

  2. Arthur Sinodinos says it is up to Bill Shorten to answer questions regarding police investigation | Kangaroo Court of Australia - April 6, 2014

    […] Bill Shorten. I did ask Mr Shorten questions last year about the matter but he refused to answer. (Click here to read the post) And three weeks ago when I spoke to the Victoria police they said the matter was still being […]

  3. Bill Shorten accused of raping 16-year-old girl in 1986. Victorian police are investigating | Kangaroo Court of Australia - April 15, 2014

    […] “Bill Shorten refuses to answer media questions regarding alleged rape of 16-year-old girl” on the 11th December 2013 (Click here to read the article) […]

  4. Bill Shorten arrested and interviewed by sexual crimes squad regarding alleged rape of 16-yr-old girl | Kangaroo Court of Australia - June 19, 2014

    […] 2. 11th December 2013 – “Bill Shorten refuses to answer media questions regarding alleged rape of 16-year-old girl” (Click here to read the post) […]

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