A woman who claims she was sexually abused by former police minister Rene Hidding says she has been told he will not be charged over her claims.
The woman went public in February this year with her allegations that Mr Hidding had sexually abused her over a six-month period 40 years ago, when she was a teenager.
Mr Hidding quit politics, describing the woman’s allegations as a false and malicious attack, best dealt with as a private citizen.
He said the claims were part of a broader and bitter dispute.
The file has been with the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) since June.
Today, the woman who made the claims told the ABC she had been informed by police that the DPP had advised there was insufficient evidence to prosecute.
Police issued a statement saying an “extensive investigation” confirmed that “a 66-year-old Tasmanian man will not be charged in relation to historic sex offences”.
“Advice was sought from the DPP who reviewed the available evidence and determined that given the constraints posed by the passage of time and the resulting impact on the evidence available, there was no reasonable prospect of conviction,” the statement said.
Mr Hidding said in a statement that he looked forward to the next “more positive” chapter in his life.
“Six months ago, I took the tough decision to retire early from my 23-year parliamentary career in order to deal with the publication of an allegation made by a family member who lived with our family for a short period 40 years ago and who has been in a long-term dispute with her wider family,” he said.
“Today, my wife and I are pleased to have been advised that an exhaustive examination by the law and justice authorities in Tasmania has resulted in a decision that no action will be taken in regards to the matter.”
The Liberal Party said in a statement it welcomed the decision of Tasmania Police, and the finalisation of the matter.
“It is extremely unfortunate that this matter clouded Mr Hidding’s retirement from Parliament after a long and stellar parliamentary career,” it said.
“No doubt this has been a very difficult time for all involved, and on behalf of the Liberal Party I wish to extend our full support to all involved.”