Cop investigating rape claims ‘Facebook friends’ with victim
THE lead detective investigating rape allegations against former Assistant Commissioner Peter Bravos is Facebook friends with the complainant, who had already told her about the allegations before she was assigned the case, a court has heard.
Bravos is facing trial in the Supreme Court after pleading not guilty to twice raping another police officer at his house after an emergency services function in 2004.
On Monday, detective Sergeant Sonia Kennon told the court she flagged a "possible conflict" with her supervisor a week after being asked to investigate the allegations when she remembered the victim had already outlined the complaint to her at a friend's house years earlier.
Under cross examination by Bravos's barrister, John Lawrence SC, Sgt Kennon admitted she may have also urged the woman to "do something" about the alleged rapes when asked if that was the last time they'd discussed them.
"I can't recall any specific conversations, there might have been a 'You need to do something about that' and it was a 'no' maybe, but no, not specifically," she said.
When questioned about the appropriateness of investigating a crime alleged by a friend and former colleague who she liked and respected, Sgt Kennon said she discussed the "possible conflict" with her supervisor and they agreed it wasn't an issue and she'd barely spoken to her since 2015.
"We don't socialise, we don't speak on day to day issues," she said.
"We might be Facebook friends but we certainly do not comment or we do not socialise, talk about our children or anything like that, we've had no contact up until that time so I didn't believe it was a conflict."
Earlier, in a recorded interview played to the jury, Bravos said he'd first heard a rumour that he would be accused of raping an unnamed person shortly before he was promoted to Assistant Commissioner in 2015.
"It was just words to the effect, 'People will do anything to get promoted or stop people getting promoted and there'll be allegations that you might have raped someone' and that was the first time that I've ever heard - and it wasn't specifically to do with (the complainant)," he said.
"I thought 'If someone wants to make an allegation, why don't they just make it?'.
Bravos said he was "dumbfounded" when former Police Commissioner Reece Kershaw first told him in 2016 there had been a specific allegation involving the complainant.
"It's so totally wrong and so totally against who I am and my values that I was just, like I said, I was dumbfounded and still am," he said.
Mr Kershaw also gave evidence, saying while he didn't directly assign the case to Sgt Kennon, if he had known about the prior history between her and the complainant "I would not have selected her to undertake that role".
Originally published as Cop investigating rape claims 'Facebook friends' with victim