The election had nothing to do with Kathy Sherriff's decision to speak publicly about SHORTEN.
It had nothing to do with my decision to publish her allegations and her report of new evidence.
It does, however demonstrate a significant failing in Australia's media and the effectiveness of our public discourse. We've all missed some key and important obvious facts and we could today have faced the horrid spectacle of a man with an outstanding rape charge in The Lodge.
SHORTEN has been held to a much lower level of accountability than Craig McLachlan, Geoffrey Rush or Don Burke. And while the convicted prisoner PELL is in gaol on the sole evidence of his accuser, Kathy Sherriff's strong and unwavering allegation of rape against SHORTEN has been intercepted and stopped in its tracks; the important question for the community is by whom and why.
October 2013 - Kathy Sherriff lodged a complaint with Victoria Police alleging rape against Bill Shorten.
"In 1985 I joined the ALP. In 86 at the age of 16 I . . . became a delegate for state and national conferences. In 86 I went to a Young Labor camp down near Geelong . . . I was alone. At about 4am there was a knock at my door. It was him at the door. He pushed me into a bathroom, up against a towel rail, pulled down my pants and raped me."
Police accepted the complaint, assessed it, authorised it for investigation by the Sexual Offences Squad and assigned detectives to it. Police prepared a Prosecution Brief which was authorised by the Crime Command for submission to the Office of Public Prosecutions.
On 21 August 2014 Victoria Police announced that no charges would be laid against Shorten.
Note that Shorten was not cleared, rather the OPP advised that there was no reasonable prospect of conviction - based on the evidence and the law that then applied.
Victoria Police then decided not to charge Shorten.
It's useful to compare the Victoria Police announcement about SHORTEN (above) with its May 2017 announcement after the OPP declined to recommend prosecution of PELL:
Victoria Police can confirm that it has received advice from the Director of Public Prosecutions relating to a current investigation into historical sexual assault allegations," she said.
"As with any investigation it will be a decision for Victoria Police as to whether charges are laid. As this remains an ongoing investigation, we will not be commenting further at this time."
Kathy's account of her conversation with police about the OPP
Now for the first time Kathy talks publicly about the police and the OPP.