Home Australia John Forge: Award-winning philosophy professor found dead in Cataract Gorge, Launceston, after Tasmania Police knock on door

John Forge: Award-winning philosophy professor found dead in Cataract Gorge, Launceston, after Tasmania Police knock on door

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Philosophy professor John Forge (pictured) died on May 2 while being investigated over historical sexual abuse allegations.

EXCLUSIVE

A respected billionaire philosophy professor who wrote extensively on morality and ethics has died while being investigated over historic sexual assault allegations.

Dr John Forge, a University of Oxford alumnus, Honorary Professor at the University of Sydney, dedicated his life to researching human morality and won several awards, including the Eureka Research Prize in Ethics from the Australian Catholic University in 2010. .

But behind closed doors, the 77-year-old was secretly living under a cloud with a police investigation underway into allegations of sexual assault and accusations he was living a double life.

On May 2, Dr Forge was found dead at the base of Cataract Gorge in Launceston, Tasmania, just hours after a detective knocked on his door asking him to come to a police station for questioning.

Daily Mail Australia understands police informed him he was facing allegations he sexually assaulted a vulnerable woman, aged in her 30s, between 2019 and 2022.

The allegations brought against Dr Forge related to alleged incidents that took place in New South Wales and Tasmania, with the esteemed ethicist moving from Sydney to Launceston in January 2022.

Philosophy professor John Forge (pictured) died on May 2 while being investigated over historical sexual abuse allegations.

A Tasmania Police spokesperson confirmed a person was found dead in Cataract Gorge on May 2 in circumstances that were not considered suspicious.

The alleged victim’s mother told Daily Mail Australia that the detective working the case called her at 3pm on May 2 to tell her he had just gone to Dr Forge’s house and had asked her to come. to the police station to make a statement.

But a few hours later, the woman said she received a call from police to reveal that officers had found him dead at the bottom of the gorge.

“A citizen found his ID, phone and keys on a road and called the police, who came to look for him,” he said.

‘It happened an hour and a half after the coup.

“She was living a double life and was about to be discovered.”

The alleged victim’s mother said Dr. Forge groomed her daughter and then began sexually assaulting her five years ago, when she was 30.

“I was absolutely obsessed with her. It was creepy,” he said.

Police were called to Cataract Gorge (pictured) after a concerned citizen found his belongings abandoned on a trail.

Police were called to Cataract Gorge (pictured) after a concerned citizen found his belongings abandoned on a trail.

‘It took a lot of guts to go to the police and make your statement. (The alleged victim) has a strong sense of justice.’

While she is relieved that her daughter will not have to go through a massive court process, the news was bittersweet.

“She told me, ‘He’ll never have his day in court.’ He’ll never have to pay for what he’s (allegedly) done.”

Dr Forge, who was appointed an honorary professor at the University of Sydney in the early 2000s, focused his research on the moral responsibilities of scientists, particularly in the use and development of weapons.

His impressive list of tertiary achievements included periods of study at several prestigious institutions, including Oxford, Cornell and University College London.

In addition to the Eureka Prize, his book The Responsible Scientist: A Philosophical Inquiry won him the 2009 David Harold Tribe Philosophy Prize.

According to his website, Dr. Forge defined morality as “the way moral people should behave toward others.”

“To cause unnecessary and gratuitous harm is to commit a moral error,” he wrote.

Skylar Silverstein, a Sydney-based sex worker, met Dr Forge when she became one of his clients in January last year.

Dr. Forge is pictured with Skylar Silverstein last year.

Dr. Forge is pictured with Skylar Silverstein last year.

She said she felt “sick to her stomach” after learning of his alleged actions.

“He seemed charming, he was well respected in various academic circles, he was an author, he wrote many books,” she said.

‘But underneath, there were many skeletons in his closet that were about to be exposed.

“It’s ironic that he wrote a book on gun morality, but still, where was his moral obligation to this girl?”

Dr. Forge’s death has not been commented on publicly, except that his Facebook page has been changed to a memorial template.

The University of Sydney was concerned about the allegations against Dr Forge.

“We are deeply committed to ensuring a safe and respectful environment for everyone in our community,” a spokeswoman told Daily Mail Australia.

‘We have a zero-tolerance policy for any form of intimidating or abusive behaviour, including sexual misconduct.

“If any of our community experiences or witnesses such behavior, we urge you to get in touch so we can provide appropriate support and follow-up.”

A report on Dr Forge’s death will be prepared for the coroner.

For 24/7 confidential crisis support, call Lifeline 13 11 14, Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636 or 1800 RESPECT

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