NSW state MP Gareth Ward charged by state police over alleged sexual violence

NSW state MP Gareth Ward charged by state police over alleged sexual violence


NSW MP Gareth Ward is charged over sexual violence allegations involving a 17-year-old boy and man, 27 – as he is granted bail and and issued an ultimatum from premier Dominic Perrottet

  • NSW MP Gareth Ward charged with sexual violence after lengthy investigation
  • Premier Dominic Perrottet has called for embattled MP to resign his position
  • Mr Ward has denied the allegations and intends to fight the charges against him

Gareth Ward has been charged over allegations of sexual violence against a 17-year-old boy and a 27-year-old man.

The 40-year-old legally-blind albino New South Wales MP for Kiama has denied any wrongdoing and was granted bail on Tuesday. 

The former Families Minister under Gladys Berejiklian stood down from Cabinet last year after it was revealed he was the subject of police investigation.

In the wake of the bombshell charges, Dominic Perrottet has called for the embattled MP to resign from Parliament and the Liberal Party.

‘While Mr Ward is entitled to the presumption of innocence, as any citizen is, the standards expected of an elected Member of Parliament are not compatible with the seriousness of the charges he is facing,’ the Premier said.

‘Following discussion with the Acting Premier, I have therefore attempted to contact the Kiama MP to seek his resignation from the Parliament with immediate effect.

‘Should Mr Ward not resign, the Government will move a motion to remove him from the Parliament.’ 

NSW state MP Gareth Ward charged by state police over alleged sexual violence

Gareth Ward has been charged over allegations of sexual violence against a 17-year-old boy and a 27-year-old man 

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian (left) is pictured with embattled MP Gareth Ward (right)

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian (left) is pictured with embattled MP Gareth Ward (right)

Detectives from the Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad in May established Strike Force Condello to investigate the historic allegations.  

Following extensive inquiries, the politician was charged at Oak Flats Police Station in Illawarra at about midday.

‘He has since been charged with three counts of assault with act of indecency, and one count each of sexual intercourse without consent and common assault,’ Police said in a statement. 

‘Police will allege in court that the man indecently assaulted a 17-year-old boy at Meroo Meadow in February 2013, and sexually abused a 27-year-old man in Sydney in September 2015.

The alleged sexual assault of the teen boy allegedly took place at Mr Ward’s home in the Illawarra when the moderate faction heavyweight was highly ­involved with the Young Liberals. 

Detectives from the Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad in May established Strike Force Condello to investigate the historic allegations against Mr Ward

Detectives from the Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad in May established Strike Force Condello to investigate the historic allegations against Mr Ward

Left: Mr Ward on his first day of school

Mr Ward pictured with former Shoalhaven mayor Paul Green

Left: Mr Ward on his first day of school. Right: Mr Ward pictured with former Shoalhaven mayor Paul Green

In the wake of the bombshell charges, Dominic Perrottet (pictured) has called for the embattled MP to resign from Parliament and the Liberal Party

In the wake of the bombshell charges, Dominic Perrottet (pictured) has called for the embattled MP to resign from Parliament and the Liberal Party

READ THE PREMIER’S FULL REACTION TO THE CHARGES

DOMINIC PERROTTET 

The Member for Kiama Gareth Ward faces criminal charges following an extensive investigation by police and a review of the matter by the Director of Public Prosecutions.

While Mr Ward is entitled to the presumption of innocence, as any citizen is, the standards expected of an elected Member of Parliament are not compatible with the seriousness of the charges he is facing.

Following discussion with the Acting Premier, I have therefore attempted to contact the Kiama MP to seek his resignation from the Parliament with immediate effect.

Should Mr Ward not resign, the Government will move a motion to remove him from the Parliament.

I have also written to the State Director of the Liberal Party requesting that Mr Ward be suspended from the Party pending the outcome of the criminal trial against him.

Mr Ward is entitled to defend himself against the serious charges against him but he must do that as a private citizen.

The matter is now before the courts, and no further comment will be made.

The other charge relating to the older man is thought to have occurred in a hotel room.

Mr Ward is due to appear at Port Kembla Local Court on Wednesday 18 May with the charge of sexual intercourse without consent carrying a maximum sentence of 14 years imprisonment. 

The embattled MP spoke out about the charges shortly after he was released from police custody.

‘While I strongly support the right of genuine victims to bring forward allegations, accused persons equally are entitled to the presumptions of innocence, have the right to refute allegations made against them and should be allowed the opportunity to defend themselves from claims that are simply untrue,’ he said in a statement.

‘I am innocent and intend to prove it. I have instructed my lawyers to use every available procedural avenue to bring this matter to trial as quickly as possible.’  

Mr Ward spray-tanned his whole body for Wollongong radio station Wave-FM on the condition listeners helped the station raise more than $1,000 for Surf Life Saving South Coast

Mr Ward spray-tanned his whole body for Wollongong radio station Wave-FM on the condition listeners helped the station raise more than $1,000 for Surf Life Saving South Coast

'I deny any wrongdoing,' Mr Ward (pictured with his mother Margaret Bowcher) said.

‘I deny any wrongdoing,’ Mr Ward (pictured with his mother Margaret Bowcher) said.

Advertisement



Source link

Author: Shirley