ANU Student Charged With Sexual Assault

CW: This article contains express mention of rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment.
ACT Supreme Court

20 year old Alexander Matters, a second year law student who lives on campus at ANU, has been formally charged following an alleged sexual assault, said to have occurred in April this year, in the ACT Magistrates Court this morning. 

The matter was first reported in August this year and a formal statement was received by police earlier this week. 

Upon receiving the formal statement, ACT Police executed a search warrant at Mr Matters’s residence yesterday and subsequently charged Matters with two counts of sexual intercourse without consent.

Matters appeared in an initial hearing today, Saturday 18th, via video link and has not yet entered a plea. 

His lawyer, Andrew Fraser, applied for bail on Matters’s behalf but the prosecution raised concerns in light of comments made by Matters to police in relation to self-harm. Matters has been referred for a mental health assessment in light of such comments.

Mr Matters is a resident at the ANU and ran for ANUSA general representative and NUS delegate in 2020. 

A spokesperson for the ANU stated that the case is “a matter before the court so we are not in a position to comment. We can say [that] matters of sexual violence are of serious concern and we acknowledge the hurt that sexual violence causes to people in the community”. The spokesperson said that “[t]he University always ensures residential students are appropriately housed”, and that “[a]ll halls of residence at ANU must follow the University’s policies and procedures on sexual violence and misconduct.”

The spokesperson stated that “support is available to anyone in the community that needs it.” 

The maximum penalty for this offence is 12 years imprisonment. 

If you or someone you know has been affected by this, please contact one of the support services below:

Canberra Rape Crisis Centre, Crisis Line

(02) 6247 2525

ANU Counselling

(02) 6125 2442

1800 RESPECT

1800 737 732

ANU Women’s Department

sa.womens@anu.edu.au

ANU Queer* Department

sa.queer@anu.edu.au

ANU Respectful Relationships Unit

respect@anu.edu.au