Prosecutors have received the police brief of evidence over the alleged rape of Brittany Higgins and will now consider whether or not to lay charges.
News.com.au has confirmed today that police handed over the brief of evidence in recent days to the ACT Director of Public Prosecutions Shane Drumgold.
“I confirm I have today received a partial brief of evidence, and a request to provide advice for consideration of prosecution,” Mr Drumgold said.
News.com.au broke the story on February 15 that a Liberal staffer alleged she was raped at Parliament House in Defence Minister Linda Reynolds’ ministerial office by a colleague.
In explosive allegations detailing the Morrison Government’s handling of the incident, media adviser Brittany Higgins told news.com.au that she spent the last two years “internalising the trauma”.
She revealed that she was brought to a formal employment meeting about the incident in the room where the alleged incident occurred — a decision the Morrison Government has now accepted was an error by the then Defence Industry Minister Linda Reynolds.
Last month, Australian Federal Police Commissioner Reece Kershaw revealed that a brief of evidence would be sent to the ACT Director of Public Prosecutions over the alleged rape of Brittany Higgins within “weeks”.
The bombshell announcement in Senate estimates confirms that prosecutors will now shortly consider whether or not criminal charges will be laid against a man who Ms Higgins alleges sexually assaulted her at Parliament House in March 2019.
“A brief of evidence is likely to be submitted to the ACT Director of Public Prosecutions in coming weeks,” Commissioner Kershaw said.
But Commissioner Kershaw cautioned MPs over asking him questions over the allegations now that it would potentially go to “jury trial” if the matter is prosecuted in the courts.
Ms Higgins was just 24 at the time of the alleged incident and only months into her “dream job” of working at parliament.
The alleged incident occurred in the early hours of March 23, 2019, just weeks before Prime Minister Scott Morrison called the election on April 10, 2019.
Commissioner Kershaw has also revealed the fallout from the Higgins matter had now sparked multiple reports of unrelated sexual misconduct allegations at Parliament House involving federal MPs and their staff.
“As at 17 May 2021, 40 reports have been received by the AFP since 24 February relating to 19 different allegations. Twelve reports were identified as sensitive investigations, 10 were referred to state and territory police for assessment, one is with the AFP for ongoing inquiries and one has been finalised,’’ he said.
“Seven matters do not relate to electorate officers, ministerial staff or official establishments, of those five have been referred to state and territory police and two concluded with no criminal offence identified.”