Brittany Higgins has released a statement on Instagram following the revelation that Liberal Party staffer Bruce Lehrmann was the high-profile Queensland man charged with two counts of rape for an incident that allegedly occurred in October 2021. Higgins’ statement comes after she had previously accused Lehrmann of rape in 2019 before the case, and the charges against Lehrmann were dropped in 2022.
“When I first found out about the alleged sexual assault my heart broke for you,” Higgins wrote on her Instagram Story, in an open message to the alleged victim.
“To know that this has allegedly taken place while he was out on bail in 2021 is devastating.”
News of the charges against Lehrmann broke on Thursday last week after the Supreme Court declined requests for non-publication orders from Lehrmann’s lawyers.
While Lehrmann’s lawyers argued that having his name go public would be damaging to the 28-year-old’s mental health, Justice Peter Applegarth found that this wasn’t a good enough reason to continue the suppression order.
“This unfortunate effect on his mental health permitted, but did not compel a finding that a non-publication order was necessary to protect the applicant’s safety,” Justice Applegarth said, per ABC News.
“The applicant gave no evidence but relied on an affidavit from his solicitor and psychologist’s report.”
The case has been going through early proceedings in Toowoomba Magistrates Court since January however Lehrmann has not yet been committed to stand trial. He is yet to enter a plea.
Lehrmann became known by the public after he was accused of raping his former colleague Brittany Higgins in March 2019 at Parliament House in Canberra.
He was charged in August 2021 but the criminal trial was discontinued in October 2022 following juror misconduct. In December 2022, the trial was dropped due to concerns over Higgins’ mental health and all charges were dismissed.
Lehrmann has always maintained his innocence in relation to the Canberra charges.
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