A Canberra political staffer has been arrested over the alleged rape of a woman earlier this year.
Young Labor member Alexander Matters, 20, spent a night in police custody before appearing in the ACT Magistrates Court on Saturday morning.
Magistrate Peter Morrison formally charged the Australian National University law student, who works as an electorate officer for Bean MP David Smith, with two counts of sexual intercourse without consent.
The charges, which relate to an alleged incident on April 10, both name the same woman as the complainant.
Police were first notified of the matter in August, and investigators received a formal statement from the woman earlier this week.
Detectives from ACT Policing's sexual assault and child abuse team arrested Mr Matters, of Acton, on Friday after executing a search warrant in that suburb.
Mr Matters appeared in court via audio-visual link from a remote room on Saturday, wearing a grey hoodie, blue face mask and a pair of shorts. He did not enter pleas.
Prosecutor Kiara Sheridan said police had requested the 20-year-old be referred for a mental health assessment.
The request was primarily based on a comment Mr Matters was said to have made about an officer's gun.
Mr Matters' lawyer, Andrew Fraser, told the court the 20-year-old had instructed him that this remark was "a one-off statement".
"He is a person in shock," Mr Fraser said.
"This is his very first interaction with the criminal justice system."
Mr Fraser said his client's parents were planning to travel from Adelaide on Sunday to support their son.
"He is ready to go ahead with these charges and seeks to reside back in the community," the lawyer said.
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Mr Fraser indicated Mr Matters, who recently spent time in the office of a shadow assistant minister, had ongoing employment with his federal parliamentarian boss.
He was also in the second year of his law degree.
"He has a number of things that keep him grounded and occupied in this community," Mr Fraser said, adding that a work colleague was prepared to offer a $2000 surety to help secure bail.
But Ms Sheridan pressed the application for a mental health assessment, saying there had long been concerns about "inappropriate behaviour" by Mr Matters at university.
The court heard Burgmann College had "kicked him out" and its principal had arranged for him to be accommodated elsewhere.
Mr Morrison ultimately found it appropriate to order the assessment.
Mr Matters, who was accordingly taken to hospital, will return to court upon its completion to determine the question of bail.
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