Ms Higgins was found passed out in an office by guards at 4am so her recollection of what happened prior to that maybe unreliable. The barrister will tear her apart
Former Liberal staffer Bruce Lehrmann can be identified as the man who has received a summons to appear in an ACT Court on September 16 over allegations that he sexually assaulted Brittany Higgins at Parliament House.
Mr Lehrmann, who is said to be “distressed” and shocked by the single charge of sexual intercourse without consent has vehemently denied the allegations and vowed to clear his name.
Lawyers acting for the Queensland man have told news.com.au that their client will defend the charge. They will argue he never had sex with Ms Higgins after they both returned to the office after midnight in March 2019.
Mr Lehrmann had worked for the Liberal Party for years holding jobs in former Attorney-General George Brandis’ office and for Nationals MPs.
Senator Brandis personally thanked him for his service in his valedictory speech when he retired from politics.
After his departure from Parliament he worked as a political lobbyist.
Police have confirmed they intend to charge the man with sexual intercourse without consent after a six-month investigation into former Liberal staffer Ms Higgins’ allegations. The maximum penalty for the offence under ACT law is 12 years jail.
“The man will face one charge of sexual intercourse without consent. The maximum penalty for this offence is 12 years imprisonment,’’ the ACT Police said.
In a statement, the man’s lawyer John Korn said that he would unequivocally reject the allegation. “My client absolutely and unequivocally denies that any form of sexual activity took place at all,’’ Mr Korn said. “He will defend the charge.”
Mr Korn is a specialist defence barrister in the NSW Supreme, District and Local Courts and his website states that he “appears most regularly in cases alleging murder, serious sexual Assaults and commercial drug charges”.
News.com.au broke the story on February 15, 2021 that Brittany Higgins alleged she had attended Parliament House with the man in 2019.
She was later found by security guards in Defence Industry Minister Linda Reynolds’ ministerial office at 4am in the morning.
Ms Higgins has given news.com.au legal consent to identify her as the alleged victim in the matter.
Police will allege the incident occurred in the early hours of March 23, 2019, after Friday night drinks in Canberra. It was just weeks before Prime Minister Scott Morrison called the election on April 10, 2019.
In her interview with news.com.au, Ms Higgins made explosive allegations concerning the Morrison government’s handling of the incident.
This included being brought to a formal employment meeting about the incident in the room Ms Higgins alleged the incident occurred – a decision the Morrison government has now accepted was an error by then Defence Industry Minister Linda Reynolds.
Senator Reynolds was later forced to apologise for calling Ms Higgins a “lying cow” in front of staff in her office.
She subsequently agreed to a financial settlement that Ms Higgins donated to a Canberra based sexual assault counselling service.
In June, the Australian Federal Police received advice from the Director of Public Prosecutions on whether or not there was a reasonable prospect of conviction.