After the court was informed that Brittany Higgins was “unavailable,” she failed to appear in court for a second day in a row to give testimony in the trial of her alleged rapist.
In March 2019, Ms. Higgins claims that Bruce Lehrmann, a former Liberal colleague, sexually attacked her as she slept in the defense minister’s office in Parliament House in Canberra.
In the ACT Supreme Court, Lehrmann entered a not guilty plea to engaging in sexual activity without permission.
Prior to her absence being made public on Monday, Ms. Higgins was in the witness box last week and was scheduled to answer further questions this week.
In Ms. Higgins’ absence, the trial began on Monday with a variety of additional witnesses, and it continued on Tuesday.
The court previously heard Ms. Higgins’ claims that she and Lehrmann had been out drinking with coworkers before to getting into a taxi together.
They made a detour at Parliament, where Lehrmann said he wanted to pick up something before heading home.
Ms. Higgins claims that after dozing off on a sofa in the former defense minister Linda Reynolds’ office, she awoke to find Lehrmann having sex with her and ordered him to stop.
The two were serving as Senator Reynolds’ ministerial staff members.
During his cross-examination, Mr. Whybrow pointed out a number of contradictions in Ms. Higgins’ account, including the claim that she produced a chronology of events and sent it to the media.
When she revived her complaint, Ms. Higgins claimed the dossier was for the police, but she later acknowledged it had also been sent to journalists.
Bruce Lehrmann, a former member of the Liberal Party’s staff, arrives in Canberra on Monday for his trial at the ACT Supreme Court.
Mr. Whybrow also questioned Ms. Higgins about why, before to giving her phone to police, she had erased several text conversations and pictures.
She said in court that she had deleted all the pictures from her phone that showed her drinking or interacting with officials.
She said that she hadn’t done so to deceive the cops who were looking into her claims, but rather to clear her phone of the “worst bits” of her life.
It’s anticipated that the study will go on for at least another five weeks.