Complainant testifies about Australian Parliament Dwelling rape

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — A federal government staffer testified Wednesday about being raped by a colleague in the Australian Parliament Home and described her fears of not staying believed for the reason that of the disparity in their workplace statuses.

Brittany Higgins turned the to start with witness to testify against Bruce Lehrmann, 27, who has pleaded not responsible in the Australian Capital Territory Supreme Courtroom to a charge of sexual intercourse devoid of consent in a minister’s business office in March 2019. He faces a opportunity 12-12 months prison sentence if convicted.

Higgins stated she was a 24-yr-outdated staffer in an administrative job in then-Protection Industry Minister Linda Reynolds’ business office whilst Lehrmann had a extra senior role as a ministerial adviser.

The pair had gone again to Parliament Home early 1 Saturday early morning after a night time of hefty drinking with colleagues. Higgins stated she assumed Lehrmann wished to acquire documents from Reynolds’ business office, the place she fell asleep on a sofa and was awoken by Lehrmann raping her.

Higgins stated she felt “trapped, not human” as Lehrmann hovered over her, grunting and producing sounds. She stated she started off crying and told him to cease but he continued.

Higgins made the decision to have Lehrmann charged last 12 months and the jury on Wednesday read her online video-recorded law enforcement job interview from February 2021.

She advised law enforcement that when she returned to operate Monday, two times following the alleged rape, she feared she would be fired for the reason that her and Lehrmann getting into the minister’s office environment was flagged as a protection breach.

“I understood what experienced transpired to me was erroneous, I knew I hadn’t consented,” she stated.

She informed police she didn’t consider anyone would believe her tale and figured Lehrmann’s terms carried far more body weight than hers for the reason that of his more senior part.

“He was in the office on Monday. … He didn’t look ashamed (or) upset,” Higgins claimed. “It just did not come to feel like one thing he needed to deal with.”

She informed police when she recognized the incident as a sexual assault to her former chief of workers, “the gears shifted.”

“It turned much less about me and additional political, in a feeling,” she reported.

Defense lawyer Steven Whybrow informed the jury Higgins’ allegations experienced not been tested or demonstrated and Lehrmann denied having sex with her.

Prosecutor Shane Drumgold flagged far more than 50 witnesses who could be referred to as to give proof for the duration of the trial, which is anticipated to final between four and 6 weeks.

Amid the witnesses are Reynolds as well as previous authorities ministers Michaelia Funds and Steven Ciobo.

The Affiliated Push does not generally discover alleged victims of sexual assault, but Higgins has chosen to recognize herself in the media.

The Affiliated Push

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