The Bruce Lehrmann Rape Trial Has Been Aborted After Jury Misconduct


The entire jury in the Bruce Lehrmann rape trial has been discharged after a juror was found to have brought outside material into the jury room.

The ACT Supreme Court heard on Thursday morning one juror conducted their own research outside the courtroom, which isn’t allowed under their oath, and brought in a research paper on sexual assault.

The paper attempted to quantify the number of false complaints and interrogate the reasons for making false complaints.

The use of the material went against at least 17 directions from the judge for jurors to not conduct their own research.

The paper was discovered by a sheriff’s officer while they were cleaning. They accidentally bumped one of the juror’s plastic folders and the paper fell out.

The officer handed the papers to Chief Justice Lucy McCallum who praised them for their “courage, integrity and good sense”.

McCallum said she had no choice but to discharge all 12 jurors.

“It has come to my attention that one of you, contrary to directions, has undertaken research in relation to issues in the case and that material has entered the jury room that ought not to have,” she said.

“I have heard an explanation and it may be that no harm has been done, but that is not a risk that I can take. In the circumstances, I have discharged that juror and I have to discharge you all.”

A retrial has been scheduled for February 23.

This comes after the conclusion of a weeks-long trial. The jury had been deliberating since October 19 and had told the court last week they were “unable to reach a unanimous verdict”, but McCallum told them to keep trying.

Lehrmann pleaded not guilty to raping Brittany Higgins on March 23, 2019 in parliament house.