St Kilda’s Stephen Milne has been charged with four counts of rape over an alleged incident from 2004.
Victoria Police today confirmed that Milne had been formally charged following a review of the initial investigation carried out after the woman complained about Milne some nine years ago.
“Victoria Police can confirm that it has today charged a 33 year-old man from Cheltenham with four counts of rape following an alleged incident in 2004,” said a spokeswoman.
“The decision to charge follows an extensive review of the initial investigation by specialist detectives within our Sexual Crimes Squad.”
“That review was prompted by an OPI recommendation last year that the brief of evidence be reviewed to ensure all relevant evidence had been properly recorded and retained.
“As we have previously made clear, it is a matter of regret that this review found the initial investigation to have been substantially inadequate.
“As a result, further inquiries have been conducted by the Sexual Crimes Squad and after consulting with the Office of Public Prosecutions, the decision has been made to lay charges.
“In recent years Victoria Police have implemented substantial reforms and improvements to our sex crimes investigative processes which has enabled a number of older investigations to be reviewed, offenders identified and charges laid.
“It is unfortunate for all parties concerned that this matter has taken so many years to progress, but having discussed with the alleged victim in this matter, we can confirm that our decision to lay charges accords with her wishes.
“It is now important that the defendant in this matter be afforded the same procedural fairness any other member of the community would expect in these circumstances.
“Victoria Police will be providing no further comment at this time and until the matter has run its course through the normal legal process”
The St Kilda club have released a short statement:
“The St Kilda Football Club can confirm that Stephen Milne has been charged by Victoria Police arising from a matter in 2004.
“The club acknowledges that any reopening of the matter will cause distress for all parties.
“The club is gathering details of this reinvestigation and intends to make further comment tomorrow.”