By court reporter Danny Tran
A former high-ranking Victoria Police officer, whose job it was to maintain ethical standards within the force, has been convicted of rubbing his genitals on a man in a Melbourne bar.
- Michael Simpson — who has since left the police force — was convicted of sexual assault
- He was sentenced to an 18-month community corrections order and 300 hours of community service
- The victim is angry and feels unsafe, saying he had been preyed upon by the officer in a Melbourne bar
Michael Simpson’s victim worked in police accountability, and the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court heard he had found it difficult to shed fears of his former clients since the attack.
Simpson, 55, was placed on an 18-month community corrections order after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting the victim in March last year.
The men had been drinking at Mollie’s Bar and Diner in Fitzroy when Simpson, who boasted to his victim that he was a police officer working at Professional Standards Command, unzipped his pants and exposed himself.
Simpson then rubbed his genitals against the victim, before groping him.
“Get that f***ing thing away from me,” the victim, who cannot be named, said.
“It’s not going to happen. I’m not a bottom … f*** off,” he said.
After the assault, the victim sent a message to his housemate, which said: “Very rapey police officer … send help.”
Victim ‘preyed upon’ by high-ranking police officer
Simpson, who rose to the rank of acting inspector with Victoria Police’s Professional Standards Command but has since left the force, was arrested weeks later.
The court heard the assault had a profound impact on the victim, who now feels unsafe.
“I am beyond angry, not just because I was preyed upon, but because Michael Simpson’s actions forced my hand into entering this criminal law process,” the victim said in an impact statement.
In sentencing Simpson, Magistrate Donna Bakos said the victim had felt “deep resentment” for Victoria Police.
“He describes how he has found it difficult to shed some of his fears of his former clients. That is because he has worked in a police accountability clinic,” Ms Bakos said.
Simpson left force after ‘illustrious’ career
The court heard Simpson joined the force as a 22-year-old in 1986 and had an “illustrious” career, but also developed trauma after attending the Walsh Street shootings and the Hoddle Street massacre.
“Your offending has brought this career to an end,” Ms Bakos said.
Simpson, who has been diagnosed with an alcohol-abuse disorder, is now on a part disability pension but is engaged, and hopes to move to the United States to be with his fiancee.
His lawyer asked for a conviction not to be recorded, but the court disagreed.
“In my view, this particular charge committed by you in these particular circumstances warrants a conviction,” Ms Bakos said.
Simpson was given an 18-month community corrections order and will have to complete 300 hours of community service.