CONTENT WARNING: This article discusses allegations of sexual assault.
Bruce Lehrmann, the man who was accused of sexually assaulting Brittany Higgins, has announced he intends to sue the Australian Capital Territory over its handling of Higgins’ allegations and the rape trial that came of it and was eventually dropped.
“I’ve instructed my solicitors to prepare a statement of claim against the state,” he said in a statement released by his lawyers, per the Sydney Morning Herald.
“I’ve got lawyers that need to be paid, people who have supported me, like my mum and uncle, who need to be supported.
“I’m not interested in becoming a millionaire, but I do want to perhaps get on with my life and maybe buy a house.”
“Given what the prosecution has done to me, I may never work again.”
In case you haven’t been up to date with what’s been going on with this case, Lehrmann pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting Higgins in Senator Linda Reynolds’ office in Parliament House in the early hours of March 23, 2019 while they were both on her staff.
Lehrmann’s original trial in October this year had to be aborted and the entire jury discharged after outside material not heard by the court was found in the jury room, which meant the trial would have to begin *all over again* with a new jury.
The ACT Director of Public Prosecutions Shane Drumgold announced that the charges against Lehrmann would be dropped but a second trial would not proceed due to concerns for Higgins’ mental health, after she became the victim of intense personal attack amid the trial.
Since the trial was aborted, multiple legal proceedings have been launched by various parties.
Brittany Higgins announced a lawsuit against former Liberal ministers and Higgins’ former employers Linda Reynolds and Michaelia Cash as well as the Commonwealth for a total of about $3 million in compensation. FYI, Linda Reynolds made headlines after she called Higgins a “lying cow” when the former staffer went public with the sexual assault allegations.
Linda Reynolds has since announced her own defamation proceedings against Higgins, over two social media posts including an Instagram Story Higgins made about Reynolds.
And of course, there’s then the several defamation proceedings launched by Bruce Lehrmann, who fiercely maintains his innocence, including against News Corp, ABC News and Network Ten for reporting on Brittany Higgins’ allegations.
But wait, there’s more.
An inquiry, run by former Queensland judge Walter Sofronoff KC, was launched by the ACT government last year after concerning allegations ACT Police “clearly aligned” with Lehrmann.
Shane Drumgold, the prosecutor of the trial, went on a savage tirade against ACT Police, who he accused of “unsophisticated corruption” and “atomic-level stupidity”.
However, the results of the inquiry are set to release soon, and it looks like the report reckons Drumgold’s “scandalous allegations” about police had been “wholly false and without any rational basis”, per ABC News.
While it appears the inquiry seems to have argued the trial shouldn’t have gone ahead, from the snippets ABC News has shared, it seems Drumgold’s impartiality has come under question.
“It became clear to me that, at times, Mr Drumgold lost objectivity and did not act with fairness and detachment as was required by his role,” Sofronoff said in his report to the ACT government, per ABC News.
More on that will be released to the public next week, but it looks like this story is yet to rest. And people wonder why sexual assault is so underreported.
PEDESTRIAN.TV notes that the sexual assault charges against Bruce Lehrmann have been dropped and does not suggest he was guilty of those charges.
Image: Getty Images / Martin Ollman
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