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  • A fourth woman has accused the man at the centre of Australia’s biggest political scandal of sexual assault, according to a report by the ABC
  • The woman made a formal complaint late on Sunday afternoon after learning the identity of the man through Parliament staffer networks
  • It follows the alleged rape of former staffer Brittany Higgins, who said she was assaulted in the office of then-defence industry minister Linda Reynolds after drinks with the man in March 2019
  • The latest woman said she had come forward to support Brittany Higgins because she knows how tough the criminal justice system can be
  • Prime Minister Scott Morrison has apologised for the way the matter was handled and said he had asked his staff what they knew about the matter

A fourth woman has accused the man at the centre of Australia’s biggest political scandal of sexual assault, according to a report by the ABC.

The woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, made a formal complaint at a police station in Canberra late on Sunday afternoon after learning the identity of the man through Parliament staffer networks, who she remembers as being “really sleazy”.

It follows the alleged rape of former staffer Brittany Higgins, who said she was assaulted in the office of then-defence industry minister Linda Reynolds after drinks with the man in March 2019.

Two other women — a Liberal staffer and a former Coalition volunteer — have also made allegations that they were sexually assaulted by the same man.

During after-work drinks at Canberra’s Public Bar — a favourite among politicians — the latest woman said she was startled when the man reached under the table and stroked her thigh, adding that it was completely uninvited and had made her angry.

However, she also said it wasn’t the first time she had received unwanted advances from men within Parliament, and it wasn’t the last.

“By that time, I was just so used to sexual harassment I just brushed it off,” she explained.

The woman said she had come forward to support Brittany Higgins because, now that the police had been involved, she knows what a long road lies ahead in the criminal justice system.

Following the incident, Brittany said she felt pressure not to file a complaint for fear of losing her job.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has apologised for the way the matter was handled and said he had asked his staff what they knew about the matter.

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