15 November 2023

Second complainant comes forward with allegations about former MLA Johnathan Davis

| Claire Fenwicke
Shane Rattenbury

ACT Greens leader Shane Rattenbury informed the media a second person had come forward with a complaint about former MLA Johnathan Davis. Photo: Claire Fenwicke.

A second person has now come forward with allegations concerning the conduct of former ACT Greens and Brindabella MLA Johnathan Davis.

“We’ve now had one other person reach out and say they’d like to share information with us,” ACT Greens leader and Attorney-General Shane Rattenbury said today (15 November).

“At this point, we don’t know the nature of the information, and we’re examining the best way to have them provide information.

“It’s probably not going to be directly to us. We think it will be better to bring an intermediary service to the table to consider that.”

At this stage, the nature of the allegations – and the age of the complainant – are unknown.

READ ALSO Inquiry to be launched into ‘missed opportunities’ surrounding ACT Greens’ handling of Davis allegations

There has been criticism over how the ACT Greens handled the report of the first complainant, with an internal review revealing Mental Health Minister Emma Davidson had the information a week before her party leader.

Mr Rattenbury then launched an internal review without alerting his Labor colleagues, who found out about the report through a media inquiry.

The Attorney-General said it was because of this criticism that the ACT Greens felt someone else should handle this new complaint.

“Clearly, our endeavours with the situation we faced before have drawn a degree of commentary that suggests we might need to go about it a different way,” Mr Rattenbury said.

While the ACT Greens’ internal report, undertaken by a staffer, determined that it was believed no illegal activity had taken place – given the original complainant was 17 years old at the time he was in a consensual relationship with Mr Davis – it is, however, illegal to ask for explicit images from someone over the age of 16 but under the age of 18.

It’s believed this took place between the original complaint and Mr Davis.

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Mr Rattenbury said the staffer who undertook the review might not have understood the legal nuance that existed for the sharing of pictures by a minor.

“We had some uncertainty about the specific issues around intimate images and the exchange of those, that is why we took the decision to take that to police,” he said.

“I want to reinforce the point that we never saw ourselves as the final determining agency [in this matter]. We spent three to four days to ascertain the facts, ascertain our reporting obligations, and we then acted on those reporting obligations.”

An independent inquiry will be established into the ACT Greens’ handling of the original complaint.

Mr Rattenbury reiterated he felt the party had handled the complaint to the best of its ability with a focus on transparency and victim support.

“I am sure that there are lessons to be learned, both for ourselves and the community more broadly,” he said.

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