Fortescue Metals Group entrepreneur pleads not guilty to suspected indecent assault

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A Perth man has pleaded not guilty to unlawfully and indecently assaulting a woman at a Fortescue Metals Group mining site.

Rory George Stevenson, 24, was an entrepreneur at the time of the alleged attack.

He pleaded not guilty this morning in an appearance before Perth Magistrate’s Chief Magistrate, Steven Heath.

Given that the alleged attack occurred in the Pilbara area of ​​Western Australia, Mr Heath said there was a chance Mr Stevenson’s trial would take place there if the alleged witnesses – whom the court heard were airline and airline workers – would be in the area, rather than Perth.

Magistrate Heath has set the trial award date for November 2 of this year.

Today’s hearing was held in Perth, but Mr Stevenson’s trial could be held in Pilbara, if the alleged witnesses are there.(

ABC News: David Weber

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The court has yet to hear further details about the alleged attack.

The case is one of several alleged assaults against women at mining sites in Western Australia currently before the courts.

The matter is being considered by a Western Australian parliamentary committee, chaired by Liberal MP Libby Mettam.

Last week, BHP made a submission to the inquiry, revealing that it had fired 48 workers in the past two years for inappropriate sexual behavior.

In its submission, FMG revealed that staff had raised 31 sexual harassment “issues” with the company over the past two years.

“Sexual harassment is illegal, it is not tolerated at Fortescue and we are committed to eliminating it from our operations,” said FMG’s brief.

Photo of black and white FMG logo rendered large on an office wall
Fortescue Metals Group says it is committed to eliminating sexual harassment from its operations.(

ABC News

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Media interest “can have negative consequences”

Fortescue’s submission said that while media interest in the issue is “important for raising public awareness,” it could have negative consequences, “when individuals’ privacy and rights to access the justice system are not recognized “.

“This is because the resulting invasion of an individual’s privacy can seriously deter others from reporting incidents they have witnessed or experienced, and harm the mental health of those involved.

It can also prejudice both the prosecution and the defense of any criminal proceedings that may ensue.

This further complicates the disclosure and reporting of issues when they arise. “

– Submission of the FMG to the WA parliamentary committee

The company suggested creating what it called a “tailor-made” regulatory reporting system for such incidents.

“Consideration should be given to a practice (or legal requirement) whereby incidents of sexual harassment reported to (and investigated by) police may not be reported to the police. regulatory body before the police agreed to do so. “

– Submission of the FMG to the WA parliamentary committee


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