Nationals MP Michael Johnsen has quit New South Wales Parliament a day after Deputy Premier of NSW and NSW leader of the Nationals John Barilaro called for the disgraced MP to step away.
ABC News reported on Tuesday that Johnsen, who’s accused of raping a sex worker in the Blue Mountains in September 2019, offered the woman $1,000 to attend state Parliament for sex that same year. He also allegedly sent the woman a string of lewd text messages and a video of himself performing a lewd act while at work.
Just last week, Johnsen was forced to out himself as the man accused of raping the sex worker, in an attempt to clear his name. As a result, he stepped aside from his position as a parliamentary secretary and moved to the cross bench last week. He has not been charged by police.
— John Barilaro MP (@JohnBarilaroMP) March 31, 2021
It’s the latest sex scandal to rock the government since mid February. On Monday night last week, Channel 10 aired video footage that showed a Liberal staffer filming himself performing a lewd act on the desk of a female MP. The television network also aired claims that sex workers were brought into Parliament for MPs, and that employees regularly had sex in the building’s prayer room.
Last month, allegations surfaced that Attorney-General Christian Porter had been accused of a rape in the 1980s. Porter, who has denied the allegation, then took a leave of absence to address his mental health.
In mid-February, Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins alleged she was raped by a colleague in then-Defence Minister Linda Reynolds’ office in March 2019. Reynolds copped a severe backlash over her handling of the allegation and was forced to apologise.
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