Kathy Sherriff accuses Bill Shorten of raping her after a young Labor Party function. When police presented their brief of evidence to the Office of Public Prosecution, the OPP determined there was "no reasonable prospect of conviction" against Shorten. In its view the matter boiled down to her word against his.
The Pell guilty verdict proves that juries are capable of convicting on the word of one complainant.
The OPP's position that "there was no reasonable prospect of conviction" against Shorten must now be reviewed.
Here's the Herald Sun's report about Ms Sherriff's treatment:
Woman who accuses Opposition Leader Bill Shorten of rape says police failed her
A WOMAN who claims she was raped by federal Labor leader Bill Shorten has accused Victoria Police of failing to investigate properly because of his position of power.
Earlier this year, authorities decided not to press charges against Mr Shorten because prosecutors felt that “there was no reasonable prospect of conviction”.
The woman, Kathy, asked that her surname not be published, but agreed to be photographed.
Interviewed by the Herald Sun in Queensland, she said the trauma of what she says happened to her had been exacerbated by what she sees as an inadequate police investigation.
“I had three main witnesses ... I gave them the phone number of one, her maiden and married names, told them she lived in Melbourne.
“The police told me they couldn’t find her,” Kathy said.
“But they went to all of Bill’s friends,’’ she said.
Mr Shorten’s press secretary Ryan Liddell last night referred to Mr Shorten’s statement in August: “The claim has now been thoroughly and rigorously investigated by police, as is entirely proper.’’
Mr Shorten said then: “I fully co-operated to clear my name. And that is what I have done ... The police have now concluded the investigation. The decision speaks for itself.”
A Victoria Police spokesman said the force was satisfied that the matter had been “fully investigated”.
Kathy told the Herald Sun she felt let down and devastated by how police had handled the matter.
“With another witness, the police tried to say she was influenced by the media, which doesn’t make any sense.
“I don’t think I had a hope in hell with the police because of who he is,” Kathy said.
“If Bill was just a regular guy I think it would have been different. The police would have had a load of evidence to do something.
“I left it in the hands of the police, and they did nothing.”
Kathy, now 44, alleges Mr Shorten raped her at a Labor youth conference in Portarlington in the winter of 1986, when she was just 16.
The community nurse completed a 19-page police statement with detectives from Victoria Police’s sexual offences squad last October 23.
“The police rang me up in April and told me they had called Bill in for questioning.
“They then said the case was closed and that they weren’t going to reopen it,” Kathy said.
“They said I would not be able to get access to any of the evidence. They said I could apply through Freedom of Information but I wouldn’t get it.
“I never really had a leg to stand on. They have tried to bully me,” she said.
“ I have got rights, and they are trying to take away my rights. People are treating me like a nutcase.
“It doesn’t mean I’m stupid or I’m fabricating things.”
Kathy had a rapid rise in Young Labor when elected to the rural policy committee.
She became a delegate for party state and national conferences in 1986.
Soon after joining Labor she says she came to know Mr Shorten — himself a rising star in the party.
After he travelled to Wodonga to meet local members, Kathy says she began speaking to him on the phone regularly about party and policy issues.
Kathy says she and her sister went to Portarlington for the youth Labor conference during the winter of 1986.