During the Bruce Lehrmann rape trial, a guard talks about the moment she found Brittany Higgins.
Brittany Higgins was allegedly raped on the night that a security guard at Parliament House found her. The guard told the court about the moment she found Brittany Higgins.
This week, the ACT Supreme Court heard about the time Brittany Higgins was found naked in Senator Linda Reynolds’ office after she was allegedly raped.
Ms. Higgins has said that her former coworker Bruce Lehrmann raped her early on March 23, 2019, at Parliament House.
Mr. Lehrmann has pleaded not guilty to one count of having a sexual relationship without permission.
Evidence given during the second week of the trial, when Ms. Higgins was not there, has not been made public until now.
Nikola Lee Anderson, a security guard at Parliament House who was working the night of the alleged attack, testified on Tuesday.
Ms. Anderson told the court that at 4:15 a.m. on March 23, 2019, her supervisor asked her to check on Ms. Higgins’ well-being because she hadn’t come back from the suite yet.
The jury heard Ms. Anderson say that she told Senator Reynolds who she was before going into his office and finding Ms. Higgins “naked.”
“When I opened the door, Ms. Higgins was naked and lying on her back on the couch,” she said.
The jury heard that Ms. Higgins then opened her eyes, looked at Ms. Anderson, rolled onto her right side, and curled up like a baby.
She said, “I think Ms. Higgins’ dress was on the floor next to her.”
“I know for sure that she had nothing on.”
Ms. Anderson told the court that after she saw what she saw, she left the room and called her team leader to tell him.
During the first week of the trial, the court listened to a recording of a police interview in which Ms. Higgins said that her dress was pulled up around her waist during the alleged attack.
“My dress was still on me, but it was so messed up that it was around my waist,” Ms. Higgins told the police.
Fiona Brown, who used to be the chief of staff for Senator Reynolds, told the court that Ms. Higgins said she wasn’t completely naked after the alleged attack.
Ms. Brown told the court that she met with Ms. Higgins a few days after the alleged incident, and that Ms. Higgins said she remembered waking up in the middle of the night “semi-naked” or “semi-undressed.”
“Like f****ing a log,” Higgins said when he was shocked.
Christopher Payne, who used to be the Departmental Liaison Officer (DLO) at Parliament House, took the witness stand on Tuesday and confirmed that Ms. Brown had told him about what happened in Senator Reynolds’ office.
When Mr. Lehrmann’s lawyer, Steven Whybrow, asked if Ms. Brown had told him that Ms. Higgins had been found naked, he said that “she had been found in a state of undress.”
Mr. Payne also remembered that in the days after her alleged attack, Ms. Higgins would come into the DLO room “clearly upset.”
He said that she then told him about a conversation she had with Ms. Brown before and mentioned that something had happened in Senator Reynolds’ office over the weekend.
Mr. Payne said that Ms. Higgins told him she had “blacked out” in Ms. Reynolds’ office and woke up on the couch with Mr. Lehrmann on top of her.
He told the court, “She said he was having sex with her at the time.”
He said that Ms. Higgins was crying, and Mr. Payne remembered asking her if he could ask her a very direct question.
The jury heard Mr. Payne ask Ms. Higgins, “Did he rape you?”
She told him, “I couldn’t have agreed, it would have been like f***ing a log.”
Mr. Payne said that this conversation happened either the Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday after the alleged assault.