– Rape charges against St Kilda star Stephen Milne are based on stronger evidence than was available when police recommended he face court in 2004.
Detectives from the specialist Sexual Crimes Squad have spent a year building a case against Milne.
The ‘Herald Sun’ has been told the brief of evidence contains new, stronger evidence than that rejected as too weak by prosecutors and senior police nine years ago.
Victoria Police yesterday charged Milne, 33, with four counts of rape.
He is due to face Melbourne Magistrates Court on July 5th.
A shadow now hangs over his footy career: St Kilda and the AFL refused to say last night if he would play this weekend or in the future.
Milne’s alleged victim, then a student, 19, claimed to police she was raped in a darkened bedroom at teammate Leigh Montagna’s Highett home, after celebrations for St Kilda’s family day in 2004.
She said she thought she was having consensual sex with Montagna and ran screaming from the room when a door opened and in the extra light she realised it was someone else, allegedly Milne, lying beside her.
The woman told police she said “no” several times, but claimed Milne kept trying to have sex with her. Milne and Montagna have consistently protested their innocence.
Detectives from Brighton CIU who investigated the rape allegations in 2004 went public in 2010 with claims that the rape charge they recommended against Milne had collapsed amid a campaign of threats and intimidation from inside Victoria Police and by powerful backers of St Kilda.
Their claims prompted the now scrapped Office of Police Integrity to get involved. It last year reported the original inquiry had not been deliberately hampered or inappropriately influenced.
OPI investigators discovered that relevant material was missing from the Milne brief of evidence and recommended police review the case.
The OPI report, critical of how police handled the original probe, prompted Deputy Commissioner Graham Ashton to order a re-investigation of the allegations against Milne and Montagna.
That new investigation resulted in yesterday’s charges against Milne after the Office of Public Prosecutions examined the new, stronger, brief of evidence and concluded the prosecution was warranted.
Victoria Police spokesman Charlie Morton yesterday admitted the original investigation had been “substantially inadequate”.
“It is unfortunate for all parties concerned that this matter has taken so many years to progress,” he said.
“Having discussed it with the alleged victim in this matter, we can confirm that our decision to lay charges accords with her wishes.”
Police last year admitted the Milne rape allegation shouldn’t have been handled by officers from the station next to the pub in which Saints players drank.
Mr Ashton revealed there were conflict-of-interest issues as a result of the 2004 rape probe being conducted by Brighton CIU – Keith Moor

About Jumpin' Jack Cash

Deep connections are the most important aspect of my existence. I don’t care if people don’t know what they want. I love books. I’m cynical of love stories, although I’m romantic. I adore gardens. I like women who challenge me. I love the rain as an excuse to stay inside and dream. I'm furiously impatient. If I ask you a question best to tell me the truth as I'm likely to already know the answer. I'm a carnivore. I continuously underestimate the magic of fresh flowers in my home. I love warm rain in the summer. My mood elevates to epic proportions when the sun shines. Tell me not to do something and I'll do it twice and take photos. Running is my antidepressant. I loathe lies. I rarely forgive a lie. Loyalty and honesty are my most noble virtues, and I value them more than anything in other people. I love to love, and am able to fall in love very quickly, although it's only ever happened once. I understood myself and fixed myself only after destroying myself. My greatest excitement comes from deliberately getting lost in foreign cities. I can be extremely loud and frighteningly silent. I hate insinuations. I love storms. Justice for all. I'm a proud man, but welcome the influence of the feminine soul. I have two sisters. I’m a dreamer. I’m a deep thinker. Don’t deal with guilt trips or drama that well. I'm extremely stubborn and persistent. I'm brilliant at keeping secrets. I love driving. I become absolutely and completely lost while watching a burning fire. When the toast pops from the toaster I’m never ready and shit myself. I play the guitar, but require much improvement. Solitude and warmth of the sun are perfect together. I’ve been married once and now divorced. I’m a music junkie. Chocolate mousse is the shit. I curse too much. I find it difficult to make friends. I spent four years as a firefighter. I’ve run my own company since 1991. Bright lights, big cities. I’ve been an executive producer of a feature film. Some people don’t care, and that’s the biggest let-down of the human race. There are cures and solutions for many evils, but no remedy for the worst of them all - the apathy of human beings. The sound of the Italian language being spoken is as good as my favourite music. I hate corrupt cops. I relentlessly and passionately pursue anybody and anything that sets my soul on fire. I'm a dog lover, and all my dogs are considered family members. I have an obsession with photography. I have some close friends who are household names, but shall always remain anonymous. I’m crazy but not lazy. Losing a soulmate has hurt me badly. My two young sons are the nucleus of my universe. I love airports. I love freedom. If you are dishonest or disloyal, I can erase you from my life and memory immediately and permanently. I yearn to explore, dream about and discover as many friendships, deep connections and places, one possibly can in a lifetime.
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