CW: Sexual assault
The trial of Bruce Lehrmann in the ACT Supreme Court for the alleged sexual assault of Brittany Higgins has been dropped.
The ACT’s Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Shane Drumgold, said a retrial would present a “significant and unacceptable risk” to Higgins’ life.
The charge against Lehrmann, which he pleaded not guilty to, will now be dropped.
The DPP said he received evidence from medical experts that the “ongoing trauma” associated with the prosecution posed an “unacceptable risk” to the life of Higgins.
In a statement, Drumgold said that Higgins has faced a level of personal attack he hasn’t seen “in over 20 years”.
It comes after the jury in the first trial was discharged following the discovery of external material in the jury room in October.
Higgins alleged that Lehrmann sexually assaulted her in an office in Parliament House in 2019. Both Higgins and Lehrmann were working as staffers for the Liberal Party at the time.
Higgins elected to proceed with a complaint in February 2021, shortly after resigning as a staffer.
Lehrmann denies the allegation.