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Australian senator claims sexual assault in Parliament

SYDNEY (AFP) – An Australian lawmaker yesterday alleged she was sexually “assaulted” by a fellow senator in Parliament House, stating the building was “not a safe place” for women to work.

In a tearful Senate address, independent Lidia Thorpe said she had been subjected to “sexual comments”, cornered in a stairwell, “inappropriately touched” and “propositioned” by “powerful men”.

Parliament, she said, “is not a safe place for women”.

Thorpe on Wednesday accused a fellow senator of “sexually assaulting” her, before being forced to withdraw the remark under threat of parliamentary sanction.

But yesterday, Thorpe restated the core of her allegations against conservative David Van, who has strenuously denied the claims.

PHOTO: AP
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