Rape charges against accused attacker Brittany Higgins will be DROPPED and his retrial dropped – as new medical evidence emerges in case gripping Australia
- The assault charges against Bruce Lehrmann will be dropped by the police
The assault charge against former Liberal Party staffer Bruce Lehrmann will be dropped by police with an official announcement on Friday at 10am.
New medical evidence surrounding Brittany Higgins’ mental health and the impact a second trial could have is expected to prompt ACT Director of Public Prosecutions Shane Drumgold to drop the case.
Ms Higgins alleges that her ex-colleague raped her after a night out in March 2019 in their former boss Linda Reynolds’ office at Parliament House – allegations that Mr Lehrmann has always denied.
Although Mr Drumgold has denied that a final decision has been made on the retrial, News.com.au has reported that the DDP will likely exercise the discretion of the prosecution to drop the second trial.
Independent medical experts fear subjecting Ms Higgins to further trauma related to another trial would pose an ‘unacceptable risk’ to her health.
Mr. Drumgold is therefore expected to announce that continuing the prosecution of Mr. Lehrmann is no longer in the public interest.
Former Liberal staffer Bruce Lehrmann (pictured), who has been accused of sexually assaulting former colleague Brittany Higgins, will have the rape charges against him dropped
Former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins (pictured) claimed she was sexually assaulted in March 2019 in the House of Parliament in Linda Reynolds’ office
Mr. Lehrmann pleaded not guilty to a single charge of nonconsensual sexual intercourse.
He has consistently maintained his innocence, claiming that he never had sex with Mrs. Higgins.
The last-minute notice comes just a week after it was announced that the ACT Supreme Court would hold a surprise closed hearing on Mr Lehrmann’s retrial.
The media were prohibited from attending the hearing and reporting on what the application was about.
Mr. Lehrmann’s first trial was declared a mistrial following an accusation of jury misconduct.
The jury was dismissed after the discovery of academic paper on the subject of sexual assault identified in the jury room.
Mr. Lehrmann consistently maintained that he was innocent. He pleaded not guilty to engaging in sexual intercourse without consent
New medical evidence surrounding Brittany Higgins’ mental health and the impact a second trial could have is expected to prompt the ACT Director of Public Prosecutions to drop the case
It was despite repeated warnings to the jurors by ACT Supreme Court Justice Lucy McCallum not to conduct an outside investigation.
In written reasons that were later published, Ms. McCallum revealed that two additional documents had been found. They were brought in by the same juror.
A new trial was scheduled to begin in February 2023.
More to come.