Former political adviser’s rape trial dropped due to mental health concerns

Bruce Lehrmann, 27, is accused of sexually assaulting Brittany Higgins on a minister’s sofa after a night out in 2019. He denies any sexual contact took place. Mr Lehrmann’s trial collapsed in October due to jury misconduct.
2. The ongoing risk to Ms Higgins’s mental health means a retrial is not in the public interest, prosecutors say. New medical advice found that a planned retrial for February posed an unacceptable risk to her wellbeing, Australian Capital Territory Director of Public Prosecutions Shane Drumgold said on Friday.
3. Ms Higgins gave up her right to anonymity and went public with her claims in high-profile newspaper and television interviews before giving her account to police in early 2021. The jury in October’s trial was discharged after 12 days of evidence and five days of deliberation, when it emerged one member had brought in academic research papers looking at false accusations in sexual assault cases.

By Evey Lovelace

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