Physical Address

304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124

Rape Accused Loses Defamation Case Against TV Network After Judge Finds Story True

Bruce Lehrmann, a rape defendant who had attempted to clear his name through a defamation lawsuit against one of Australia’s major television networks, lost his trial after a judge concluded that he committed the crime. The verdict marks the end of a complex court case that began in 2021 when Brittany Higgins accused Lehrmann of raping her inside Parliament House after a night of drinking in 2019.

During the trial, Judge Michael Lee announced that Lehrmann had raped Higgins. The case gained widespread attention after Higgins spoke about the assault in a televised interview with Network Ten’s “The Project,” which raised questions about the response of political staff following the alleged incident.

Lehrmann was charged with sexual assault, but the trial was disrupted in 2022 due to juror misconduct and concerns for Higgins’ mental health. Unable to clear his name through a trial, Lehrmann took legal action for defamation against Network Ten and presenter Lisa Wilkinson, alleging they had damaged his reputation by providing enough information for him to be identified.

Network Ten and Wilkinson defended themselves by arguing the truth, meaning they needed to prove that the rape occurred. Judge Lee concluded that although sex took place between Lehrmann and Higgins, she was too drunk to consent, and Lehrmann did not seek consent.

The ruling dealt a severe blow to Lehrmann’s efforts to clear his name. Lehrmann, who has denied any wrongdoing, has yet to comment on the verdict.

During the trial, Judge Lee reviewed evidence, including footage of the night in question from a bar in Canberra and determined that Lehrmann knew Higgins was drinking excessively. The judge also noted that Lehrmann and Higgins shared a passionate kiss, contradicting their denials.

After leaving Parliament House, Higgins was found in a vulnerable state. Videos from outside the courtroom showed Lehrmann refusing to answer questions from reporters. Network Ten hailed the ruling as a triumph of truth, while Wilkinson expressed hope that it would empower women across the country.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *