A Perth man has pleaded not guilty to unlawfully and indecently assaulting a woman on a Fortescue Metals Group mine site.

Key points:

  • Perth man Rory George Stevenson, 24, has pleaded not guilty to a charge of unlawful and indecent assault
  • The alleged attack occurred on an Fortescue Metals Group mine site
  • Mr Stevenson is due back in court in November

Rory George Stevenson, 24, was a contractor at the time of the alleged attack.

He entered his not guilty plea this morning in an appearance before the Chief Magistrate of the Perth Magistrates Court, Steven Heath.

Because the alleged attack occurred in Western Australia’s Pilbara region, Mr Heath said there was a chance Mr Stevenson’s trial could be held there if alleged witnesses — who the court heard were fly-in, fly-out workers — would be in the region, rather than in Perth.

Magistrate Heath set a trial allocation date of November 2 this year.

A wide shot of the front facade of the Central Law Courts building in Perth.

Today’s hearing was held in Perth but Mr Stevenson’s trial may be held in the Pilbara, if the alleged witnesses are there.(

ABC News: David Weber

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The court is yet to hear any further details of the alleged attack.

This case is one of several alleged assaults against women at West Australian mine sites currently before the courts.

The issue is being examined by a West Australian parliamentary committee, lead by Liberal MP Libby Mettam.

Last week, BHP made a submission to the inquiry, revealing it had sacked 48 workers in the past two years regarding inappropriate sexual behaviour. 

In its submission, FMG revealed staff had raised 31 sexual harassment “matters” with the company in the past two years.

“Sexual harassment is unlawful, it is not tolerated at Fortescue and we are committed to eliminating it from our operations,” FMG’s submission read.

Photo of the black and white FMG logo rendered large on an office wall

Fortescue Metals Group says it is committed to eliminating sexual harassment from its operations.(

ABC News

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Media interest ‘can have negative outcomes’

Fortescue’s submission said that, while media interest in the issue was “important in raising public awareness”, it could have negative consequences, “when the privacy of individuals and rights to access the justice system are not recognised.”

“This is because the resultant infringement on a person’s privacy can seriously dissuade other people from reporting incidents that they have witnessed or experienced, and detrimentally affect the mental health of the people involved.

It can also prejudice both the prosecution and defence of any criminal proceedings which might ensue.

This further complicates the disclosure and reporting of issues when they arise.”

– FMG submission to WA parliamentary committee

The company has suggested the creation of what it has called a “bespoke” regulatory reporting system for such incidents.

“Consideration should be given to a practice (or legal requirement) whereby incidents of sexual harassment that are reported to (and being investigated by) police, may not be reported to the safety regulator until after the police give approval to do so.”

– FMG submission to WA parliamentary committee

FMG contractor pleads not guilty to alleged indecent assault
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