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Brittany Higgins on alleged rape in parliament building as Bruce Lehrmann denies having sex with her

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Why Brittany Higgins did NOT immediately report her alleged rape in Parliament House to police – as she prepares to take the stand and Bruce Lehrmann DENYS having sex with her

  • Ms Higgins Says She Didn’t Report Alleged Rape Because She Was Frightened And Ashamed

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Brittany Higgins will be the first witness in the trial of a former Liberal aide accused of raping her.

Bruce Lehrmann pleaded not guilty to sexual intercourse without consent.

Ms Higgins claims the incident took place in March 2019 in the parliament building of then Defense Secretary Linda Reynolds after a night out with Lehrmann and their colleagues.

Lehrmann will be tried in the ACT Supreme Court, overseen by Chief Justice Lucy McCallum.

Brittany Higgins, former Liberal House of Representatives staffer, arrives at the ACT Supreme Court on Tuesday (center photo)

Brittany Higgins, former Liberal House of Representatives staffer, arrives at the ACT Supreme Court on Tuesday (center photo)

During a police interview taped in February 2021 and playing before the jury on Tuesday, Ms Higgins said she did not immediately report the alleged rape due to the culture of silence among political staffers.

Mrs. Higgins said she felt stressed, scared and ashamed.

“I was shocked by what had happened,” she told police.

“I didn’t know who to tell, how to do it, or what to do.”

Ms Higgins described herself as “really drunk” on the night of the alleged incident.

She told police the couple had been to a bar and then a nightclub with colleagues before she and Lehrmann got into a taxi.

While she initially thought she was on her way home, Lehrmann told her to pick up some work from Parliament House.

“It felt like it was a safe place for me and I said no to going to parliament,” she told police.

“I didn’t have all my devices with me…but it didn’t seem unsafe at the time…it didn’t feel dangerous.”

Ms. Higgins claims that after entering Senator Reynolds’ office, she fell asleep on a couch and woke up to Lehrmann having sex with her.

She will be questioned on Wednesday by prosecutor Shane Drumgold SC and Lehrmann’s lawyer Steven Whybrow.

Drumgold said more than 50 witnesses could be called to testify during the trial, which is expected to take between four and six weeks.

Witnesses include Liberal Senators Linda Reynolds and Michaelia Cash, former Liberal MP Steven Ciobo and other political and parliamentary associates.

Mr Whybrow told the jury that Ms Higgins’ charges had not been tested or proven and Lehrmann denied having had sex with her.

“This is going to be a long case. Ms Higgins has said a lot about many people,” Mr Whybrow said on Tuesday.