A 20-year-old Labor staffer accused of two counts of rape has been sacked “effective immediately”, Anthony Albanese’s office has confirmed.
Labor leader Anthony Albanese’s office has confirmed the employment of a Labor staffer who is facing rape charges has been terminated “effective immediately.”
Alexander Matters, a 20-year-old Labor staffer for federal Labor MP David Smith, has been charged with two counts of rape over an incident alleged to have occurred in April.
He recently worked in the office of Labor frontbencher Meryl Swanson, the shadow assistant minister for defense.
In a statement to news.com.au, Mr. Smith confirmed that the man’s employment had been terminated after his appearance in the ACT magistrates court on Saturday morning.
“Mr. Matters’s employment has been terminated, effective immediately,’’ Mr. Smith said.
“My thoughts are with the woman who’s come forward at this time.
“These are serious issues currently being dealt with by the appropriate authorities. It would be inappropriate to comment any further at this time.”
The ACT police said they had charged Mr. Matters with sexual intercourse without consent.
During a court appearance on Saturday, the ACT magistrates court was told he was employed by the Labor MP and studied law at the Australian National University.
“The matter was first reported to police in August (2021), and a formal statement regarding the incident was received by police earlier this week,’’ the AFP said in a statement.
“Detectives from ACT Policing’s Criminal Investigations – Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Team executed a search warrant in Acton yesterday and subsequently charged the man with one count of sexual intercourse without consent.”
Mr. Matter’s lawyer, former journalist Andrew Fraser, applied for bail for his client, but this was delayed pending a mental health assessment.
The arrest of Mr. Matter follows a national debate about the culture at Parliament House after Brittany Higgins alleged she was raped in the building in March 2019.
A Queensland man has been charged about that matter and will face court again in October. He will plead not guilty.