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FIFO worker accused of rape at BHP mining camp faces court

A West Australian fly-in, fly-out worker accused of raping a female co-worker at a Pilbara mine site has indicated he will fight the allegations at trial.

The 36-year-old man, whose name is suppressed, is charged with two counts of sexual penetration without consent after allegedly attacking the woman at Mulla Mulla accommodation village near the BHP South Flank mine in November 2020.

BHP’s Mulla Mulla camp

BHP’s Mulla Mulla campCredit:Trevor Collens

Police prosecutors allege a witness saw the man enter the woman’s donga and sexually assault her while she was unconscious, heavily intoxicated and unable to give consent.

The woman claimed she was woken by the witness repeatedly knocking on the door and immediately became distressed and began to cry.

During the accused man’s first appearance in Perth Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, the court was told the electrician had worked as a contractor across various Pilbara sites for more than 10 years.

His lawyer, Leah Clemens, said he had a “strong defence” and the matter would likely go to trial.

She also indicated civil proceedings were under way against BHP in relation to his dismissal in December following an internal investigation by the mining company.

A BHP spokesman said sexual assault or harassment at its sites was unacceptable.

“We are absolutely clear on this, and all employees, contractors and those that come to our sites are made aware of their obligation to support a safe and respectful workplace,” he said.

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