Australian police charged with rape while on duty

BRISBANE (AFP) - Two Australian police officers were on Friday charged with raping a woman while on duty in a case Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart said was a blow to the force's reputation.

The men, aged 28 and 29, were each charged with five counts of rape, one count of assault with intent to commit rape, and with deprivation of liberty.

Neither entered a plea when they faced the Mackay Magistrates Court on Friday morning, with both of them granted bail.

It is alleged they raped the woman in Mackay, 970 km north of Brisbane, on Sunday morning. She filed a complaint on Monday which sparked an internal investigation.

Mr Stewart said the constables were arrested on Thursday evening and had been suspended.

"I am legally unable to comment on matters before the court," he said, but admitted the incident was "a blow" to the force.

"We work in a society where the consent and support of the community is paramount.

"Whilst certainly there is the right of the accused to the presumption of innocence, it's certainly disappointing that conduct like this would even be contemplated."

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