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Former Australian authorities adviser raped colleague in parliament, decide finds | World Information

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A former authorities adviser raped a colleague inside a ministerial workplace, a decide has dominated in a defamation case in Australia.

Bruce Lehrmann was accused of raping Brittany Higgins at Parliament Home in Canberra in March 2019, after that they had each been out consuming and clubbing with colleagues.

A criminal trial over the declare collapsed in 2022 after a juror was discovered conducting particular person analysis into the case, and a proposed retrial was deserted after prosecutors feared it will severely hurt Ms Higgins’ psychological well being.

Nevertheless, Mr Lehrmann filed a defamation declare towards Australian media firm Community Ten over an interview in 2021 along with his accuser Ms Higgins, who waived her proper to anonymity in the course of the preliminary felony trial.

On Monday, Justice Michael Lee of Australia’s Federal Court docket dismissed Mr Lehrmann’s defamation declare, discovering he had raped Ms Higgins and advised “deliberate lies”.

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In an Australian civil trial, the usual of proof is on the stability of chances, whereas a felony trial requires proof past all affordable doubt.

Justice Lee mentioned in his ruling: “I’m happy that it’s extra possible than not that Mr Lehrmann’s way of thinking was such that he was so intent upon gratification to be detached to Ms Higgins’ consent and therefore went forward with sexual activity with out caring whether or not she consented.”

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The Community Ten interview with Ms Higgins didn’t title Mr Lehrmann, however the decide discovered he had been recognized based mostly on different particulars offered on the programme.

“Having escaped the lion’s den, Mr Lehrmann made the error of coming again for his hat,” the decide mentioned in his judgment, referring to the claimant’s resolution to file the defamation case following the collapse of the felony trial.

The decide added a ruling on authorized prices, estimated to be thousands and thousands of {dollars}, will probably be made later this month.

“This judgment is a triumph for fact,” a spokesperson for Community Ten mentioned in an announcement.

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Mr Lehrmann – who has at all times denied any wrongdoing – made no remark to reporters as he left the court docket.

Within the felony trial he pleaded not responsible to 1 cost of sexual activity with out consent and denied that any sexual exercise occurred.

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