Mallard’s Parliament rape claim under scrutiny as man responds

The Speaker Trevor Mallard has admitted that he didn’t handle the furore he created in Parliament well, when he stated that accusations of sexual attacks in the Francis report amounted to rape, and that the accused person was still working in Parliament. The next day a Parliamentary staffer was stood down. he is now speaking up.

NZ Herald:  ‘I’m in a very dark place’: Man stood down from Parliament after Speaker Trevor Mallard’s rape claims

The man stood down from Parliament after Speaker Trevor Mallard’s claims about rape has spoken out.

Referring last week to the alleged assaults, Mallard said: “We’re talking about serious sexual assault. Well that, for me, that’s rape.”

In a two-hour sit-down discussion in his home, the devastated man said: “The accusation of rape has put me in a very dark place.

“I was driving to Parliament the day after the bullying and harassment report on the place was delivered and heard on the radio that a ‘rapist’ could be stalking the corridors and it disturbed me greatly,” he said.

However early that afternoon he realised he was the so-called “rapist” when he was summoned into the office of the Parliamentary Service boss Rafael Gonzalez-Montero to be stood down.

A colleague at the centre of an unsubstantiated complaint against him three years earlier had come forward again after complainants were urged to do so by the Speaker.

“It’s ironic that the review was about bullying and harassment. I feel I’ve been bullied out of Parliament and harassed within it, particularly by the Speaker’s claim,” the teary-eyed man said.

The complaint was ruled to be unsubstantiated last year, laid two years after the incident happened.

The man said it resulted from working alongside a colleague at Parliament when a clipboard was lost.

“We searched for the clipboard which was important and with great relief we finally found it. She gave me a high five but being a little old-fashioned I hugged her back, that was honestly all there was to it,” the man said.

Hugging isn’t old-fashioned. It has become a thing over recent years – in my opinion too much of a thing to do, especially with people you don’t know well.

I think that it is generally inappropriate and unprofesssional to hug colleagues at work. And risky.

Hugging someone because something is found seems quite odd to me, but it doesn’t sound anywhere near rape or even sexual assault as explained by the man here (perceptions can be different).

The Speaker understood the same man was responsible for the two other claims of serious sexual assault. He later added one of the key dangers is no longer in the building.

The man said he’s dumbfounded but the same woman was involved in one of the other complaints. He said he passed a comment about another woman’s hair looking nice, with the original complainant telling her he was looking at her breasts.

The third complaint came following a platonic friendship he had with another colleague, who on one occasion came around to his house with her son for a cup of tea with his wife. He says he kissed her on the cheek once as he was farewelling her and he suspects she was put up to the complaint by someone else.

Again, kissing a colleague on the cheek seems inappropriate. It’s important to remember that this is as he describes it, and the woman may have a different recollection or perception.

Saying he suspects she was put up to the complaint by someone else seems quite odd.

 

The distraught man said: “I never thought I would ever find myself in this situation, it’s not who I am, I’m thoroughly devastated. I would like to be able to return to work to clear my name and I expect, at the very least an apology from the Speaker for labelling me as a rapist which I most certainly am not.

“Surely he must have known the background to the complaints and if he did, his comment is slanderous as I’m sure many in Parliament now know I’m the one who has been stood down. I have been married for many years and have throughout been monogamous.”

The rapist claim by Mallard did seem a big leap at the time based on what was disclosed in the report.

But trying to resolve things like this via media is a poor way to sort them out. the man may be mostly innocent, but unfortunately his word cannot just be accepted as the full facts of the matter.

More from NZH:  ‘Bullied out’: Man stood down from Parliament after Speaker Trevor Mallard’s rape claims wants apology

The man stood down from Parliament after Trevor Mallard’s claims about rape says he feels bullied out of the building and wants an apology for what he described as the Speaker’s “slanderous” comments.

Mallard declined to comment yesterday, and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern entered into a terse exchange over the interview at Monday afternoon’s post-Cabinet press conference.

Ardern refused to comment on the nature of the allegations in the Francis report.

All information given to the Francis report was anonymous, she said.

“You’ve asked me to comment on the Francis report which had allegations within it that I have not seen the detail of, that were provided confidentially and that were provided under that banner to ensure that those who were the victims felt able to come forward and speak openly to the inquirer, so I simply cannot comment on what you’re stating.”

Ardern also said she did not know what information Mallard may or may not have in relation to the allegations.

This has become a very messy situation for Parliament and for Mallard.

Regardless of the facts of this matter, I think that the practice of hugging has goner far too far, especially in work situations. Hugging is a close and personal thing, and I think should be reserved for people you are close to in a personal way – and even then you have to be aware that not everyone likes to hug.

Leave a comment

22 Comments

  1. David

     /  28th May 2019

    Huh Ardern conveniently doesnt know anything and cant answer any questions, thats strange.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  28th May 2019

      Astonishing !

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  28th May 2019

        I did wonder that someone had done three rapes and that nothing had been done about this.

        Hugging is not something I would do at work, but we’d have to know the circumstances, like what the consequences of them losing the documents would have been. The woman initiated the contact, after all.

        It’s sad that someone who kisses a friend on the cheek is accused of sexual assault. He did it after a social evening, he didn’t go for a smooch at work, and it was a friend (he thought)

        These cases make a mockery of real sexual assault and insult the victims of it.

        Reply
  2. Reply
    • “The caveat is that as the public we are operating in a very low information environment – but so was the speaker when he freaked out a huge workplace & the NZ populace”

      Well, if you don’t know what you’re talking about – might be best not to say anything.

      Reply
  3. lurcher1948

     /  28th May 2019

    It would be wise not to perve at women’s breasts, and give cuddles, things end badly for males who get far to personal.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  28th May 2019

      If the said breasts are on display for the world to see, it’s hard NOT to look. I remember one terrible time when Christine Rankin leaned forward and hers (such as they were) nearly fell out; someone turned the camera off just in time to stop everyone seeing everything, as she was not wearing a bra.

      She tried to have Mark Prebble done for sexual harassment when she asked him if her clothes were too low and he said yes, he could see an embarrassing amount of breast. Well, she asked and must have known that he would say what he thought.

      I have worked with women who embarrassed men with attempts at flirtation and inappropriate contact that, even if it wasn’t meant to be sexual harassment and it probably wasn’t, would have seen a man out on his ear or at least given a warning. One would stroke the men’s faces and sit on their knees; it was a total embarrassment. This one’s ears should have been burning when she left the room. These were nice married men who didn’t know what to do about it, and were probably glad to have witnesses.

      I would guess that it was meant to be funny but it didn’t make the men laugh (except at the woman herself) and that, of course, would be much harder to do anything about than outright groping.

      In Belgium people do the kissing thing, but one man made me feel very uncomfortable when he did it…

      Reply
      • Griff.

         /  28th May 2019

        What you describe is sexual harassment .
        Men are going to get harassed if they complain about such behavour from woman doesn’t mean it is appropriate or should be ignored .

        Same goes for the double standards around violence.
        If I slapped a woman I could be charged with male assault female she slaps me it is a joke right?
        No
        Any assault is an assault. The sex of the party’s should not be a factor.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  28th May 2019

          Groannnn….I wish that you were wrong….double standard squared and cubed.

          If these men had complained, the woman would have claimed that it was a joke (the one who did the face-stroking and knee-sitting) and the men would have looked like conceited, humourless fools. Which they were not.

          If this woman had heard the remarks about her, she would never have done it again.

          Imagine a man pulling a woman down onto his knee and stroking her face at work when she had done nothing to indicate that she would be amused by this !

          You will have noticed that men being hurt is seen as a joke much of the time. Imagine any comedy showing a woman being hit on the breasts by a basketball being thrown hard at her….but Modern Family had a man being hit in the nuts or the guts and doubling up (it was right at the end or I wouldn’t have seen it) This was seen as father/son bonding. The supposed home video showed the man being hit (hard) on the head by the ball, over and over. How amusing, I DON’T think.

          Reply
  4. duperez

     /  28th May 2019

    The Speaker of the House might be ‘interesting’ personality with an ‘interesting’ history but he is an experienced person who makes considered decisions and statements every day. At a moment in time recently with the information he had he did just that.

    When it happened naturally there was a range of responses.
    Ben Thomas has it that a ‘huge workplace’ and the NZ populace was ‘freaked out’ by the announcement. He also says that as the public we are operating in a very low information environment.

    We are operating in a very low trust environment and that is perfect for some, that is how they want it. An environment like that is perfect for reactionary, inflammatory behaviour, you get the chance to throw around descriptions like ‘freaking out.’

    Maybe Mallard wasn’t being considered and measured but then deserves credit for playing the reactionary, inflammatory game we want.

    What about the victim, the victims? What about the collateral in all other situations? You know others destroyed along the way like truth, and reason and common sense and fairness and trust.

    Reply
    • Maggy Wassilieff

       /  28th May 2019

      Debbie Francis’ report clearly states that My findings need to be addressed with care
      and
      In order for any specific incidents to be fully and
      fairly investigated, those would need to be independently investigated outside the Review process
      with natural justice and other legal requirements being adhered to.

      https://www.parliament.nz/media/5739/independent-external-review-into-bullying-and-harassment-in-the-new-zealand-parliamentary-workplace-final-report.pdf

      Mallard has seriously buggered up things.

      Reply
      • lurcher1948

         /  28th May 2019

        Slumming here are you Maggy? are you going to give a detailed report to kiwiblog soon on your post here and the responses, must be a quiet day in Gizzy….well everyday is a quiet day in the back of beyond Gizzy

        Reply
        • Maggy Wassilieff

           /  28th May 2019

          Slumming here are you
          Not a very nice way to describe our host’s blog site.

          are you going to give a detailed report to kiwiblog soon on your post here and the responses
          Why on earth would I need to do that?… when obviously folks can find me wherever I post.
          However, I will post a link over on KB to Pete’s latest posting on the Customs search – good stuff.

          must be a quiet day in Gizzy
          Warm, but overcast at the moment.
          We have had rain today.

          Reply
          • lurcher1948

             /  28th May 2019

            Nice low ball,Maggy, was going to do agility in Gizzy this coming weekend but going to Hope Nelson….less driving

            Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  28th May 2019

            Same here, warm and muggy. I had the windows open and wore a summer dress all day.

            Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  28th May 2019

        I have a book by a famous American lawyer who says that she had heard from women lawyers that companies were iffy about giving women plum away jobs for fear of sexual harassment accusations – which were happening.

        Reply
  5. Zedd

     /  28th May 2019

    Did Mallard ‘go off half-cocked’ OR was he perhaps just responding to what was being widely said, around the issue ?

    either way.. it now sounds, like his credibility has suffered.. :/

    Reply
    • Zedd

       /  28th May 2019

      btw: maybe the whole ‘Me Too’ movement.. has perhaps contributed to this ?
      finger pointing & even scapegoating ?? :/

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  28th May 2019

        Well, Heaven forfend that anyone should miss out on being a Me.

        Reply
        • Zedd

           /  28th May 2019

          @kitty

          I am not attacking the ‘Me too’ movement, so much as.. saying that some have perhaps ‘jumped on the bandwagon’ & actually harmed some people who are ‘innocent of the allegations’ :/

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  28th May 2019

            I was saying that, too 😀

            Did you wonder why the Hollywood Mes still kept working with these evil predators and had photos of themselves snuggling up to them ?

            It’s like that silly idiot going to the police because she was called a Pied Piper. Hate speech is NOT on that level.

            Reply
  1. Mallard’s Parliament rape claim under scrutiny as man responds — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition

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