James Ashby, the former staffer of Parliamentary Speaker Peter Slipper is reportedly under investigation by Queensland police over allegations he had sex with underage boys.
Tonight, the ABC’s 7:30 reported the account of a Queensland man in his mid 20s who claimed he began a relationship with Mr Ashby when he was 15 years-old.
The man emailed Mr Slipper of their relationship after he saw media reports of Mr Ashby’s sexual harassment case against the Speaker, who has stood aside while the matter is being investigated by the courts.
In emails sent to Mr Slipper and obtained by the ABC, the young man said he and Mr Ashby met when the former staffer moved to Townsville in 2003 after leaving his job as a Newcastle radio DJ where he was convicted and fined for making abusive phone calls to a rival radio host.
Mr Slipper then forwarded the emails to police on June 16. ABC reported that police were in the preliminary stages of investigating the matter.
"In 2003 I met James Ashby through a mutual friend. He was working for a radio station and in the process of moving to Townsville we began a sexual relationship for a few weeks before James broke it off as he had started a relationship with another person which lasted two or three years," read one email.
"I was 15 at the time however what we did under Queensland law cannot be consented to under the age of 18," he wrote.
"The guy James broke it off for was also 15 at the time they began their relationship."
"James left me feeling used and disgusted with myself."
The ABC also reported seeing Facebook messages, sent by Mr Ashby to the young man, which continued as he prepared to work for Mr Slipper.
"‘I really never gave an explanation behind me f------ off and not saying why. Strangely enough the reason was so pathetic that I thought I’d share it with you. Your mum freaked me out when she walked in on you and me in bed. That did my head in for some strange reason,’’ he wrote.
Their correspondence continued as he prepared to work for Mr Slipper. Mr Ashby’s spokesman declined to comment last night. Mr Ashby is suing Mr Slipper and the Commonwealth, claiming Mr Slipper made unwelcome sexual advances between January and March this year.
But Mr Slipper claims Mr Ashby "carefully cultivated" a relationship of trust and confidence with the Speaker from mid-2011 and ’’gradually introduced into his exchanges … occasional ribald language and sexual innuendo’’ after he began working in Mr Slipper’s office last December.
Mr Slipper defected from the party to become parliamentary Speaker last year and stood aside in April after his former staffer James Ashby lodged the sexual harassment charges against him.
The former Howard government minister Mal Brough won preselection for the seat of Fisher on Sunday amid controversy about his part in the sexual harassment case involving the incumbent, Peter Slipper.
Mr Brough allegedly had extensive contact with Mr Ashby before he brought the case against Mr Slipper.
Mr Brough, a former Howard government minister, spent much of yesterday defending his role in helping formulate the case of sexual harassment and Cabcharge rorting that was lodged against Mr Slipper by Mr Ashby.
Originally, Mr Brough described his knowledge of the case against Mr Slipper as nonsense.
Then he admitted to having three meetings to advise Mr Ashby and subsequently, court documents detail at least another two text messages, two emails and two phone calls.