NSW Police’s Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Unit have submitted a brief of evidence to the prosecution in the case against Kiama MP Gareth Ward, in connection with two incidents of sexual violence against a man and a teen.
The former Liberal MP has resigned as Families, Communities and Disability Services Minister and moved to the cross bench after the sexual violence accusations resurfaced in May 2021.
“NSW Police have now submitted a brief of evidence to The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (NSW) in relation to those individual matters. Investigations are continuing and no further information is available,” the police said in a statement.
The police said that detectives from the Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad had formed “Strike Force Condello to investigate allegations of sexual violence-related offences against a 39-year-old man.”
The police revealed that it was investigating two cases – a 2013 incident that involved a man who was then 25 years old and a 2015 incident that involved a 17-year-old victim.
In comments to the media, Ward has denied any wrongdoing
Ward has been a member of the NSW Legislative Assembly since 2011. The previous Labor MP from the seat, former Transport and Roads minister David Campbell, had resigned from the cabinet in 2010 after Channel Seven broadcast video footage of Campbell leaving a gay sauna in Sydney. Cambpbell did not seek re-election in 2011.
In May 2021, the NSW Police said that they were investigating a “39-year-old man” who was reported to be a member of NSW parliament.
Ward revealed himself to be the MP under investigation and stepped down from his post and said he was removing himself from the Liberal Party till the matter is resolved.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian had said that she supported Ward’s decision. “I was made aware through media reports today that an MP is under investigation by police. I have subsequently received advice from Minister Gareth Ward of his decision to step aside as minister and sit on the cross bench while there is speculation about his future,” she said.