NSW Nationals MP Michael Johnsen offered a sex worker $1,000 to attend state parliament for sex and sent the woman a string of lewd text messages and an obscene video while parliament was sitting, an ABC investigation can reveal.
Mr Johnsen has strenuously denied allegations made in NSW Parliament this week that he sexually assaulted the woman at a lookout in the Blue Mountains in September, 2019.
The NSW Police Sex Crimes Squad is investigating the alleged sexual assault and are yet to decide whether to lay charges.
WARNING: EXPLICIT LANGUAGE AND SEXUAL CONTENT
She did not name Mr Johnsen, saying only it was a member of the Coalition Government.
Hours later, Mr Johnsen identified himself as the accused man.
In a statement, Mr Johnsen said, without admission, he would step aside from his parliamentary secretary role and would not sit in the Nationals party room nor the joint room party room while the police investigation was underway.
Now the ABC can reveal the same woman has alleged Mr Johnsen “sexted” her during parliamentary question time and sent her a video of himself performing a lewd act.
In an exclusive interview, the woman told the ABC she met Mr Johnsen after responding to his online advertisement for sexual services in August, 2019.
The ABC has seen hundreds of online messages and text messages sent from Mr Johnsen’s phone to the woman between August and September, 2019.
The ABC has verified that the mobile phone number belongs to him and has been listed as his contact number in parliamentary press releases over the years.
‘I’m in politics. I’m an MP’
When the woman responded to an online advertisement for sexual services, she had no idea she was dealing with a politician.
The man on a free classifieds website was offering “cash for bbbj” — an acronym for fellatio without a condom.
She first contacted him in August, 2019 and it wasn’t long before he revealed his identity.
In messages to her via the website, he sent her a photo of himself and revealed: “I’m in politics. I’m an MP … I’m also divorced and unattached so don’t have to worry about doing the wrong thing. I still try to keep it all on the lowdown though X.”
“When he said he was an MP at first I thought, ‘no’,” the woman told the ABC.
“I thought it was somebody trying to set him up because I thought he’d sent photos of himself when I hadn’t even asked for one.”
“I didn’t really care much for his personal information. I was there for a purpose.”
‘My PH office could be fun … come to the Jubilee Room’
What surprised her even more was his offer to pay her $1,000 to attend NSW Parliament House to have sex in his office.
On September 9, 2019, he invited her to attend NSW Parliament the next day.
He sent her a link to a budget estimates session for September 10.
“I have budget estimates scheduled between 9.30-12.30 tomorrow,” he wrote.
“My PH office could be fun … come to the Jubilee Room and wait for me there.”
“If you wanted to, I’d be happy to shout you lunch here at PH when I’m done and dessert, well we know how that could be (wink emoji).”
She replied: “Haha, that could be fun!” And he said: “If you’re up for that, let’s do it.”
He instructed her to wait for him in the Jubilee Room at NSW Parliament, a grand heritage-listed library with book-lined walls and a stained-glass ceiling:
“You can come into the Jubilee room and wait for me there. It would be helpful to know your name so when we meet it’s not awkward.”
The next morning, she cancelled the meeting because she injured herself.
Their communication then switched from the website to mobile phone text messages. He sent her a text message on September 13, 2019 saying: “Hi there, just called you while driving. It’s … x.”
They arranged to meet on September 15, 2019 for a paid sexual encounter.
They agreed to meet at the remote Yellow Rock lookout in the Blue Mountains.
It was here the woman alleges the assault took place.
Mr Johnsen vehemently denies the claim.
In a statement issued last Wednesday night he said he was devastated by the allegations.
“I have voluntarily spoken with NSW Police and I have and will continue to fully cooperate with their enquiries.
“I am confident any investigation will conclude that I am an innocent party.
“Without admission, I have chosen to step aside from my Parliamentary Secretary role, and will not sit in the Nationals Party Room nor the Joint Party Room.”
He said he planned to take leave immediately.
“As the matter is with the NSW Police I will make no further public comment.”
After their meeting at Yellow Rock lookout, Mr Johnsen invited the woman to his apartment in Potts Point and sent photos of the unit and the rooftop with harbour views.
She declined but agreed to meet him in the Blue Mountains on September 23, where she says she performed paid, consensual oral sex.
‘I’m in QT and f*** I’m horny’
The next day, September 24, 2019 the woman texted him a topless photo of herself, to which he responded: “Hmmm…not fair. I’m sitting in the chamber with a hard on now! Xxx”
Hansard shows that at the time, he was in the Lower House during a debate on water restrictions.
Official video from the NSW Parliamentary Library shows Mr Johnsen in the chamber at 5.30pm texting on his mobile phone.
Two days later, September 26, 2019 he was in parliament for the passing the NSW Reproductive Health Bill.
In a text message exchange that went on for more than two hours, Mr Johnsen told the woman: “I’m in QT and f*** I’m horny and want you so bad — need you. I want you and can’t wait to f*** you over and over again.”
He and the woman exchanged a number of lewd text messages and images.
The parliamentary video shows him in the chamber texting on his mobile phone.
At 3:53pm he sends her a video of a man appearing to masturbate himself in a toilet.
The man is holding a tablet displaying an image of the woman in his hand.
The MP and the woman met one last time at Lennox Bridge on Thursday, September 26, where she says they had paid, consensual sexual intercourse.
She alleges he made only a partial payment for this third meeting and stopped responding to her text messages.
He put new ads for sex on the website but did not engage with her again.
Sex worker complains to her local MP
On October 24, 2019 the woman complained about Mr Johnsen’s conduct to her local MP, Trish Doyle.
Ms Doyle is the Shadow Minister for Women and the prevention of domestic violence.
In an email, Ms Doyle advised her to go to police and provided her with some information about support services.
The woman told the ABC she did not report the Yellow Rock incident to police at the time because she did not think they would take her seriously.
“I don’t trust the police. What’s the point when I was answering an ad from [the classifieds] — a prostitute complaining about having sex? I don’t think it’s going to be very high on their agenda,” she said.
Johnsen helped review MP code requiring ‘respect for the institutions of parliament’
Mr Johnsen was on a parliamentary ethical standards committee which conducted a review of the code of conduct for NSW MPs in 2018.
The code, first adopted in 1998, states members must “maintain the public trust placed in them by performing their duties with honesty and integrity, respecting the law and the institutions of parliament”.
The NSW National party code of conduct and ethics states: “Members should pursue their activities with a commitment to … ethical behaviour central to which are integrity, honesty, responsibility, respect, humility, fairness and compassion.”
The code requires members to conduct themselves with integrity “so as to sustain and enhance public confidence in the Party and the political process” and “ensure that their conduct is above reproach in the view of reasonable, fair minded and informed persons”.
“Members shall avoid conduct or practices likely to bring discredit upon themselves or the Party or any other Members of the Party.”
The code also stipulates that members should not engage in online activities that could be construed as bringing the Party into disrepute, or use social media to attack or abuse others, or post derogatory or offensive comments in any forum in any context.
The sex worker first decided to speak publicly about the MP after he posted a controversial comment on social media.
She had signed a petition on the subject and said the tweet made her angry and upset.
“That’s when I started thinking about all the messages he’d sent me or the times he was supposed to have been in Parliament. And I thought that perhaps it would be … breaching his code of conduct. Maybe he loses his job.
“Somebody in that position should be in it because of their values and beliefs and because they’re true to them.”
The woman made a complaint to NSW Police about the alleged assault in September last year.
She believes his behaviour contradicts his party’s conservative family values policies.