Pauline Hanson used the protection of parliamentary privilege to criticize a woman who accused Bruce Lehrmann of rape, saying “the public lynching of men has become a public sport.”
The One Nation leader delivered a speech in the Senate on Wednesday afternoon in which she claimed the former Liberal political staffer was being “judged by the media” and asked: “What happened to the presumption of innocence?
Mr Lehrmann was publicly identified last month as a “high-profile Australian” accused of rape and is facing Toowoomba Local Court over a sexual relationship with a woman he met at a nightclub. He is expected to plead not guilty.
Speaking of “trial by media,” Hanson told the Senate: “This is the criticism leveled at the Sofronoff investigation for (the media) broadcasting Brittany Higgins’ version of events for years before the trial of Bruce Lehrmann.
“Shamefully, we are witnessing yet another media trial today as journalists publish claims from a Toowoomba woman now accusing Mr Lehrmann of sexual assault.”
Senator Hanson then explained the details of the charges against Mr. Lehrmann, which have not yet been tried in court.
Bruce Lehrmann (pictured) is pictured in October last year
Ms Hanson told parliament the alleged victim, who has not been publicly identified, had “no complaints against Mr Lehrmann until six weeks after” their alleged sexual encounter.
“She saw an ad celebrating Higgins and realized she had been with the same man,” she continued.
“And what did she do then?” She consulted a specialist compensation lawyer before reporting the matter to the police,” Ms Hanson told Parliament.
“She claims sexual assault, saying they had sex twice without her giving him permission to not use a condom.
“He drove her to get the morning after pill and she signed a form saying she had not been sexually assaulted.”
The senator claimed that Mr. Lehrmann’s chances of getting a fair trial had been destroyed because the woman’s allegations had been “spread all over the media”, and told the Senate that prosecutors were reluctant to provide evidence. evidence.
She then criticized Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk’s government for passing a law earlier this year that allowed Mr Lehrmann to be named as the alleged rapist before a judge referred the case to court.
Previously, alleged perpetrators of sexual assault could only be publicly identified if the case went to court. Mr Lehrmann also lost a court battle to have his identity suppressed, with a judge pointing out that he had given media interviews.
Ms Hanson told the Senate: “The Palaszczuk government’s rapid passage of legislation naming Mr Lehrmann, while keeping the identity of his accuser secret, stinks to high heaven.
The One Nation leader had a blast on this issue in the Senate on Wednesday afternoon (photo)
“This is another shameful display.
“The public lynching of men has become our national sport.
She continued: “I don’t know the truth, only two people do, but if it comes to using a condom, it’s no one’s business but theirs.
“If you’re not happy, don’t have sex. I would advise celibacy or join a convent.
Mr Lehrmann was charged with two counts of rape in January this year following an alleged incident in Toowoomba in October 2021.
Two months earlier, in August 2021, he was also charged with rape following allegations that he sexually assaulted Brittany Higgins in Parliament two years previously.
He pleaded not guilty in the ACT Supreme Court and maintains he had no sexual interactions with Ms Higgins.
Mr Lehrmann’s Toowoomba case will return to court at a later date.
In August 2021, Bruce Lehrmann was charged with rape following allegations that he sexually assaulted Brittany Higgins (pictured, center, outside court). He denied the allegations