Bruce Emery Lehrmann
Bruce Lehrmann was accused by former colleague Brittany Higgins of raping her in Parliament House, Canberra. Bruce Lehrmann has always denied the allegation and pleaded not guilty.
Bruce Lehrmann was subsequently charged with and tried for the rape of Higgins. While it initially appeared that there would be a hung jury the matter was dismissed following misconduct by a juror. Initially a retrial was set down for February 2023. On 2 December 2022 the Director of Public Prosecutions for the Australian Capital Territory, Shane Drumgold, announced that the charges against Bruce Lehrmann would be withdrawn. This appears to constitute a nolle prosequi.
Bruce Lehrmann was reportedly on an annual salary of $200,000 while working for the Liberal Party of Australia. Following the trial he is broke and unemployed.
For events leading up to the trial see the Timeline of Brittany Higgins Alleged Rape.
Bruce Lehrmann was charged with one count of sexual intercourse without consent (s54 Crimes Act 1900, ACT):
CRIMES ACT 1900 - SECT 54 Sexual intercourse without consent (1) A person who engages in sexual intercourse with another person without the consent of that other person and who is reckless as to whether that other person consents to the sexual intercourse is guilty of an offence punishable, on conviction, by imprisonment for 12 years.
(2) However, for an aggravated offence against subsection (1), the maximum penalty is imprisonment for 15 years.
Note Section 72AA (Aggravated offences—pt 3 offences involving family violence) makes provision in relation to an aggravated offence against this section.
(3) A person who, acting in company with any other person, engages in sexual intercourse with another person without the consent of that other person and who is reckless as to whether that other person consents to the sexual intercourse is guilty of an offence punishable, on conviction, by imprisonment for 14 years.
(4) However, for an aggravated offence against subsection (3), the maximum penalty is imprisonment for 18 years.
(5) For this section, proof of knowledge or recklessness is sufficient to establish the element of recklessness.
As of 4 December 2022 Bruce Lehrmann is reportedly considering seeking compensation for unfair dismissal and for defamation from various media outlets.
On 2 February 2023 Bruce Lehrmann lodged a formal complain against the Director of Public Prosecutions of the Australian Capital Territory.
On 26 October 2023 it was announced that Bruce Lehrmann had been charged with two counts of rape from an alleged incidents occurring in 2021. This case was first mentioned in the Toowoomba Magistrates court in January 2023.