Police officers granted bail over charges for raping woman while on duty in north Queensland
Updated Fri 7 Feb 2014, 10:53pm AEDT
Two north Queensland police officers have been granted bail after facing court charged with raping a woman while they were on duty in Mackay.
The two constables, aged 28 and 29, briefly appeared in the Mackay Magistrates Court this morning.
They are both facing five counts of rape, one count of assault with intent to rape, and deprivation of liberty.
It is alleged the assault happened while the men were on duty on Sunday morning.
They did not enter a plea to the charges.
Magistrate Damian Dwyer granted the pair bail, which is on a number of conditions, including that they report directly to the Superintendent of the Mackay Police District and that they don’t make contact with any of the 38 witnesses.
Several off-duty officers were in court in support.
The case will be mentioned again in May.
Acting Sergeant Ciaron Jackson said earlier today the officers were charged after an internal investigation this week.
“These officers have been suspended from duty,” he said.
Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart says the allegations are serious and disappointing.
Mr Stewart says there will be a full criminal investigation.
He says the allegations will have an impact on the community’s trust in the police service.
Terry O’Gorman, who heads the Australian Council for Civil Liberties, says it is essential more details about the alleged rape are released in court today.
“While the individual officers are entitled to the presumption of innocence, and in accordance with the law that applies to everyone, their names will not be mentioned and should not be mentioned,” he said.
“Nevertheless the public are entitled to full details as to where, how and when and under what circumstances these on-duty rapes are alleged to have occurred.
“We cannot have a continuation of a system which has developed under the current Police Minister where a citizen is arrested and great detail is published even before they appear in court.
“But when a police officer is under investigation, very little detail is published.”