The Metropolis of Melbourne has defended its investigation into Robert Doyle as “past reproach”, after a girl who accused the previous Melbourne lord mayor of sexual assault stated she felt the council merely needed her to “be silent and go away”.
Kharla Williams, who was amongst a number of girls who made a grievance about Doyle to the investigation by Ian Freckelton QC, made a press release on the weekend to Victoria police. The police division stated it was within the preliminary levels of an investigation into “historic sexual assault issues”.
Williams informed the Australian Monetary Assessment she made that call after shedding religion within the council and Melbourne Well being to resolve her grievance. She has claimed Doyle had repeatedly touched her internal thigh on the VIP desk of a Melbourne Well being dinner in 2016, however has by no means recognized herself publicly because the complainant.
Williams stated the newly appointed Metropolis of Melbourne chief govt, Justin Hanney, informed her the grievance can be resolved sooner if she agreed to be certain by confidentiality, the AFR reported.
“I made a grievance, got here ahead and the investigation that I trusted and had absolute religion in – in hindsight I might look again and assume blind religion – is asking me, the sufferer, to be silent and principally go away,” Williams informed the paper.
A council spokeswoman stated: “The Metropolis of Melbourne organised a confidential assembly with the complainant as a precedence to supply an replace to her and to raised perceive her pursuits and preferences going ahead. The ‘suggestion’ you’ve got described was not made by Mr Hanney.
“Metropolis of Melbourne has at all times sought to make sure the unbiased investigation is progressed as shortly as potential having regard to the pursuits of all events, in addition to within the broader public curiosity. The Metropolis of Melbourne believes that the conduct of the investigation has been past reproach on this respect.”
Final week, the Australian reported that as many as six girls have made allegations about Doyle to police, relationship again to his time as a instructor at Geelong School, 40 years in the past.
Doyle resigned because the lord mayor in February 2018 following the general public airing of a sexual harassment grievance in opposition to him by his council colleague Tessa Sullivan, who additionally resigned as she made the allegations. One other councillor, Cathy Oke, additionally made an allegation in opposition to Doyle.
An unbiased investigation into the Metropolis of Melbourne issues by Ian Freckelton, launched in March, discovered that Doyle had sexually harassed each girls, and made 4 opposed findings in opposition to him. A Metropolis of Melbourne workers member has additionally made allegations.
However the inquiry made no findings into Williams’s complaints in opposition to Doyle as a result of he stated he was too unwell to reply. On the time of the alleged incident, Doyle was additionally chairman of Melbourne Well being, which manages the Royal Melbourne hospital. Melbourne Well being and Doyle’s lawyer Nick Ruskin had been contacted for remark.
Doyle has beforehand denied all allegations in opposition to him. His attorneys will subsequent week argue within the supreme court docket that the council’s inquiry report ought to by no means be made public.