Rape allegation against ex-mayor Ben Shields detailed in court


former dubbo mayor ben Shields
Image: Supplied/Facebook

Police allege a long-serving former mayor of Dubbo raped an 18-year-old student on New Year’s Eve 2002, after the young man allegedly withdrew his consent during sex.

Officers arrested Ben Shields (pictured) in June and charged the 41-year-old with sexual intercourse without consent. Shields was a 22 year old Dubbo councillor at the time of the historical allegation.

Shields did not attend Dubbo Local Court this week, and his lawyer did not enter any pleas to the charges on his behalf, the Daily Liberal reported.

Warning: graphic content

Documents tendered to the court detail the man’s sexual assault accusation against Shields. It’s alleged he, Shields and another man attended a New Year’s Eve barbecue and two pubs before arriving at Shield’s home after midnight.

The complainant alleged he was invited into a room with Shields and the other man at the ex-Mayor’s home.

Police allege the three men engaged in consensual sex together. But at one point during the sex, the complainant allegedly withdrew his consent due to pain.

Police allege the victim told Shields, “Stop. I don’t want to do it anymore. It hurts.”

But the court heard Shields allegedly continued the act he was told to stop and told the victim, “It will get better.”

The court heard the trio fell asleep in the same bed that night. Police allege the complainant was dropped at a train station the next day.

Former Dubbo mayor Ben Shields has not entered a plea to charges

The alleged victim made the complaint late last year after seeing a Facebook post mentioning Ben Shields. Police allege the man also disclosed the alleged sexual assault to a family member.

The man and the witness involved both gave statements to police, and Shields provided his own version of events in an interview.

In June, officers also charged Shields with possessing a conversation obtained by a surveillance device, relating to a phone conversation he later had with the alleged victim.

The same month, police lawfully intercepted a phone call between Shields and the alleged victim. During the call, police have alleged Shields asked the man, “Would an apology or settlement or anything like that help?”

Shields did not appear in court this week and his lawyer has not yet entered a plea, the Daily Liberal reported.

But this week, the Dubbo magistrate granted his lawyers’ request to move the matter to Penrith Local Court.

The matter will return to court in October.

Ex-mayor Ben Shields served on Dubbo Regional Council for over 20 years

Ben Shields served as a councillor on the Dubbo Regional Council for more than two decades, from age 18.

The regional NSW council named him mayor of Dubbo in 2017. Shields announced his resignation as mayor in May last year, before attempting an unsuccessful political comeback in December.

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Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

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