A Melbourne man sexually assaulted on a night out sent a text to a friend asking for help to save him from a ‘rapey police officer’.
That officer, Michael Charles Simpson, was convicted of a sexual assault charge on Tuesday.
Simpson, who was a senior sergeant with Victoria Police’s internal ethical standards department, claimed he misread signals on the night of the attack in March 2019 despite the victim telling him he wasn’t interested.
The 55-year-old officer kissed the victim, which was consensual.
But when he rubbed his erect penis on the victim’s thigh, the man told him in no uncertain terms to ‘get that f***ing thing away from me’.
Undeterred, Simpson tried to kiss the man again but he turned away.
Simpson put his hand down the back of his victim’s pants and underwear.
‘It’s not going to happen … f*** off,’ the victim said, pulling Simpson’s hands away.
The victim looked to his friends for help and sent a text to his housemate after the officer began bringing him drinks, which he felt obliged to drink and reciprocate.
‘Very rapey police officer … send help,’ he said.
The victim reported the assault that night and Simpson was arrested two weeks later, telling officers in the interview he had ‘clearly misread the situation’.
He was charged by Taskforce Salus, the unit established to investigator sexual predatory behaviour and serious sexual harassment within Victoria Police.
Magistrate Donna Bakos said Simpson had an illustrious 30-year career as a policeman, which had come to an end because of the offending.
She said Simpson felt shame both personally and professionally about his behaviour and expert reports found he had a persistent depressive disorder and continues to drink at harmful levels.
The victim said he developed a deep resentment of Victoria Police while working in a police accountability role and has had to work hard to overcome his unsavoury opinion of them.
He said he was beyond angry about how Simpson made him feel.
Simpson’s lawyer Ross Eason asked that he avoid conviction because he has plans to move to the US to live with his fiance.
But Ms Bakos said a conviction was necessary given the severity of the offending.
She ordered Simpson complete 300 hours of unpaid community work and be supervised over 18 months.