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Duntroon cadet alleged to have raped woman on Anzac Day

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Christopher Knaus and Michael Inman

Exclusive

A young Duntroon cadet allegedly choked and raped a fellow cadet on Anzac Day in yet another disturbing case of abuse within the Australian Defence Force.

Royal Military College cadet Jonathan Hibbert, 25, is accused of raping the young woman after a night of Anzac Day celebrations at the Campbell campus this year.

Hibbert, who has pleaded not guilty, allegedly took the young woman back to his campus room.

It is understood police will allege the pair began having consensual sex, but Hibbert ignored her requests to stop and physically restrained her.

Senior officers within the Defence Force were made aware of the allegation the next day, and the matter was passed on to police.

Despite that, Defence issued no media release about the case, as they did this week when an Australian Defence Force Academy cadet Harlan Agresti, 19, was charged over unrelated offences of sexual assault.

The department did, however, list the allegation in a publicly accessible incident log on its website on April 27.

Hibbert appeared before the ACT Magistrates Court early in July, charged with sexual intercourse without consent, inflicting actual bodily harm, and common assault.

He is due back in court in September. 

The case again begs questions about the treatment of women within the Australian Defence Force, despite its concerted campaign to instil cultural change.

Firm DLA Piper conducted a major review of allegations of sexual abuse within Defence in the wake of the infamous Skype sex case. 

That review led to the establishment of the Defence Abuse Response Taskforce, a body designed to assess and respond to individual cases. 

Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick also reviewed the treatment of women at the ADFA and more broadly across the Defence Force. 

In a statement on Thursday, Defence said it expected the "highest standards of professionalism" from its members and took all allegations of misconduct seriously. 

"Such conduct does not reflect the values and ethos of the Australian Defence Force or the majority of our members who represent Defence in a positive and professional manner," a spokeswoman said.

"These sentiments have been reiterated by the Defence senior leadership in the public domain on numerous occasions."

Hibbert's case is now the second sexual assault case to recently emerge from Defence's Canberra-based training institutions. 

The other case, that of Agresti, came before the court on Wednesday.

Agresti is accused of crimes against two female officer cadets, both aged 19, on two separate nights - one in June last year and the other in February this year.

He will fight the charges, the court heard on Wednesday. 

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