A nurse who was allegedly forced into suicide by her employer has been cleared of any wrongdoing.
The NSW Labor Party and the NSW State Government announced their support for the prosecution of the man who allegedly sexually assaulted the woman at the Manly Nurses Association office in January 2016.
“The man who sexually assaulted me has been found not guilty and will now be placed on a 12-month supervision order,” the nurse told the ABC.
The nurse told Al Jazeera she had been forced to make the suicide attempt after her employer, the Manlys Nurses Union, accused her of taking part in a sexual relationship with a fellow nurse.
“They said if I didn’t tell them the truth I would be forced to go back into hiding, which I am,” she said.
The alleged victim, who is in her 40s, said she was not allowed to leave the house without her partner.
The court heard she was also subjected to repeated sexual comments.
“It was quite upsetting for me and I was not able to cope with the situation,” she told the court.
“I was just living in fear.”
The nurse said she had “absolutely no doubt” she would be able to get out of the situation by filing a complaint with the police.
The case against the alleged victim is the first to be heard in NSW state courts since the man, who was also aged, was charged with sexual assault in April.
The woman said she is “disappointed” the case against her had been dropped.
“But it’s not my fault,” she added.
“We were the victim and he was the perpetrator.”
The alleged nurse told reporters she had received the support of the NSW Labor party and the state government to make sure the case is heard in the state’s highest court.
Manly Nurs’ Union chairwoman, Lisa O’Leary, told the Nine Network she was pleased with the outcome.
“There are a lot of people who are just appalled at what’s happened to her and the whole of the nurse community, and we’re happy that the court has made that decision,” she was quoted as saying.
“Our focus now is on helping the nurse recover from this ordeal and to get back to work.”
The nursing union and the State Government have been contacted for comment.