Bruce Lehrmann identified as man charged with sexual assault of Brittany Higgins

Former Liberal staffer Bruce Lehrmann, has been publicly identified as the 26-year-old man charged with sexually assaulting Brittany Higgins in 2019.

Mr Lehrmann – who like Ms Higgins is a former Liberal staffer – will fight to defend himself from one charge of sexual intercourse without consent when he appears in the ACT Magistrates Court on September 16.

Former Liberal staffer Bruce Lehrmann.

Mr Lehrmann’s case is listed on the ACT Magistrates Court website to be heard at 9.30am on September 16.

His lawyer, barrister John Korn from Sydney firm Ada Evans Chambers, said his client “absolutely and unequivocally denies that any form of sexual activity took place whatsoever. He will defend the charge.”

“The only thing that matters is what the charge alleges and he absolutely, unequivocally denies that any form of sexual activity took place at all.”

Brittany Higgins speaking to the media after meeting with Prime Minister Scott Morrison in April 2021. Credit:Dominic Lorrimer

ACT Police said in a statement on Friday that a man would “face one charge of sexual intercourse without consent. The maximum penalty for this offence is 12 years’ imprisonment”.

“Detectives from ACT Policing’s Criminal Investigations Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Team, the specialist team dedicated to investigating sexual assaults in the ACT, first received a report in April 2019,” the police said on Friday.

“The investigation remained open and in February 2021 a formal complaint was made. Detectives have since spoken to a number of witnesses and collected evidence as part of the investigation.”

Ms Higgins went public in February with allegations that she had been raped by a colleague in the office of Senator Lind Reynolds in March 2019.

The allegations triggered a public debate about workplace culture in Parliament House, a raft of reviews and prompted other women to come forward and speak out about similar experiences.

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