Brittany Higgins texted MP Sam Connor about Bruce Lehrmann rape claim

Queensland Liberal MP Sam O’Connor has told the ACT Supreme Court that Brittany Higgins disclosed to him in April 2019 that she was raped in a cabinet minister’s office.

Bruce Lehrmann is accused of sexually assaulting the former Liberal staffer in Senator Linda Reynolds’ office in the early hours of March 23, 2019.

Mr Lehrmann has pleaded not guilty to one charge of sexual intercourse without consent.

The ACT Supreme Court was told today that Ms Higgins worked for Mr O’Connor as a volunteer in 2018 before taking up a job in Liberal frontbencher Steven Ciobo’s office later that year.

Mr O’Connor told the court today that he believed Ms Higgins had “alluded” to an incident in text messages in late March, 2019, telling him of a “super f**ked up” incident before disclosing what she said happened.

“She was pretty hazy on the details. But she had remembered he had raped her in the minister’s office,’’ Mr O’Connor told the court.

Mr O’Connor said that she had first met Ms Higgins because she lived nearby, had joined the Liberal Party and was a “volunteer for things around our local office here.”

When she applied for a job in Canberra, he said that it was her “dream job.”

“I think I might have been a reference. She’s only a few years younger than me in age so we connected quite well on that level,’’ he said.

“This was her dream. This is what she loved doing. She got very into the whole Canberra thing.

Mr O’Connor said he learned of the allegations in stages.

“On checking my text messages Brittany had alluded to it at the end of March 2019,’’ he said.

“She described it as a super f*cked up thing that happened.”

Ms Higgins had also raised concerns that people were gossiping about her.

“She was asking me to let her know if I had heard anything about her,’’ he said.

“She just wondered if I had heard anything going around about her. “

They ultimately had a telephone conversation about the incident.

“She indicated she wanted to talk to it over the phone. She indicated she had been out drinking with other staffers,’’ he said.

“At the end of the night she got a lift home with another staffer.

“She was pretty hazy on the details. But she had remembered he had raped her in the minister’s office.

“I definitely remember her being worried this would define her. That she would be remembered for that and not being good at her job.”

The jury has been told the trial, which today enters its third week in the ACT Supreme Court, will likely wrap up this week.

The trial continues.

Read related topics:BrisbaneBrittany Higgins & Bruce Lehrmann Trial

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