Monash University student facing rape charge after off-campus club weekend away

It was meant to be a fun weekend out of town – a chance to meet other student members of the Monash University club.

But as the alcohol flowed freely, the night allegedly took a bad turn.

Now police have charged a 22-year-old Monash University student over the alleged rape and sexual assault of a fellow student.

The club in question has been criticised over its handling of the alleged incident, which it did not report to the university, despite interviewing the alleged perpetrator.

Months later, the alleged victim reported the incident to the university.

Monash University has since introduced incident management and mandatory reporting protocols for all off-campus co-curricular events, including student-run clubs and societies.

This will mean that similar incidents must be reported to university staff.

A police spokesman confirmed that a 22-year-old male had been bailed to appear in court over an alleged assault at a Gippsland property last year.

He has been charged with four counts of rape and one count of sexual assault.  

A Monash University spokesman said the university was “shocked” to learn of the incident, which occurred at a non-university event.

“Once contacted by the victim, we immediately provided as much support as possible and at all times we act in the interests of and at the request of the victim,” he said.

Staff at the university accompanied the alleged victim when she reported the incident to police last year. 

Monash suspended its investigation into the incident and disciplinary processes, once police began investigating it. 

The spokesman said the university was providing ongoing support to the student.

It conducted a review of off-campus sporting events and activities last February and students must now undertake training about how to handle and report alleged sexual assault incidents.

This year, 13,000 students taking part in off-campus, co-curricular events have completed the training. 

Last year Fairfax Media reported on the case of Emma Hunt, another Monash university student who alleged that she was raped while at an orientation week camp in 2014. 

It comes as Australian universities commit to releasing data on how many sexual assaults have occurred at their institutions as part of a landmark survey.

This follows concerns raised by advocacy group End Rape on Campus Australia, which claims that there have been just six expulsions at universities in the past five years, despite more than 500 official sexual assault complaints.

In the group’s submission to the Australian Human Rights Commission, which is conducting the survey, it claimed students at one Australian university had taken to calling an oval a “rape oval”, cask wine “slut juice” and residential quarters “slut alley”.

It also detailed the practice of “rock-spidering”, a practice where male students knock on female students’ bedroom doors in residential colleges.

If they opened the doors this was considered consent to have sex. 

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