The sexual assault charge against former Liberal Party staffer Bruce Lehrmann is set to be dropped by prosecutors as doctors fear a second trial would put his accuser Brittany Higgins’ mental health at “unacceptable risk”.
Brittany Higgins alleges that Herr Lehrmann, her colleague at the time, raped her in March 2019 in her boss’s office in Parliament House in Canberra.
He has always vigorously denied the allegations.
The first trial of Mr. Lehrmann collapsed spectacularly in October after a member of the jury brought banned reading material – a scholarly study into false rape allegations – into the courtroom despite multiple warnings from the judge.
A second trial was scheduled for February next year, but ACT’s chief prosecutor, Shane Drumgold, will drop the charges after reviewing a medical exam on Ms Higgins.
Independent medical experts reportedly fear that exposing Ms Higgins to further trauma related to another trial would be an “unacceptable risk” to her health.
Mr. Drumgold is expected to announce at 10:00 am Friday that the prosecution of Mr. Lehrmann is no longer in the public interest.
Former Liberal staffer Bruce Lehrmann (pictured), who was accused of sexually assaulting former colleague Brittany Higgins, is set to drop rape charges against him
Former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins (pictured) claimed she was sexually assaulted by Linda Reynolds in Parliament House in March 2019 at the Minister’s Office
Mr Drumgold reportedly had a meeting with Mr Lehrmann’s attorney, Steve Whybrow, at the ACT Supreme Court on Thursday morning.
His office released a statement to the media on Thursday afternoon, announcing that a press conference on the case would be held at 10 a.m. on Friday.
“I would like to announce that the Chief Prosecutor, Shane Drumgold SC, will be making a media statement regarding R v. Lehrmann tomorrow morning (Friday, December 2, 2022) at 10am,” it said.
“Mr. Drumgold will read a short, prepared statement and will not answer any questions.”
Mr. Lehrmann pleaded not guilty to a single charge of having sex without consent after being charged in August 2021.
He has consistently maintained his innocence, claiming he never had sex with Ms. Higgins.
Last week, the ACT Supreme Court announced it would hold a surprise closed hearing on Mr. Lehrmann’s retrial.
The media was banned from attending the hearing and covering what the motion was about.
Medical experts fear a second trial, scheduled for February next year, would expose Ms Higgins to further trauma and affect her mental health
Mr. Lehrmann consistently protested his innocence. He pleaded not guilty to having sexual intercourse without consent
The office of ACT’s chief prosecutor, Shane Drumgold (pictured), released a statement Thursday afternoon saying a press conference on the case would be held Friday morning
Mr. Lehrmann’s first trial was declared a mistrial after allegations of jury misconduct.
The jury was dismissed after academic papers on sexual assault were discovered in the jury room.
This came despite jurors being repeatedly warned by ACT Supreme Court Justice Lucy McCallum not to conduct outside research.
In a written statement released later, Ms McCallum revealed that two other documents had been found. They were introduced by the same jury.
A new attempt has been listed to begin in February 2023.
https://www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com/uncategorized/sexual-assault-charge-brought-by-brittany-higgins-against-bruce-lehrmann-is-dropped/ Brittany Higgins charges of sexual assault against Bruce Lehrman are dropped