A retrial has been scheduled for February 20, 2023 and Chief McCallum granted Lehrmann bail until then. Although, he does have to notify police of where he’s living and any residential changes. Plus, if he wishes to travel internationally, he’ll have to tell police at least two weeks in advance.
Higgins addressed the media outside the court after the jury was discharged and broke down in tears.
“I chose to speak up... and share my experiences with others," she said before expressing frustration with the criminal justice system and divulging that this case has caused her to come under intense scrutiny.
Lehrmann’s lawyer, Steve Whybrow also spoke to the media outside the court but briefly said, “Everyone is disappointed at what happened but it would be inappropriate and irresponsible to say anything at this stage.”
Previous to the dismissal, the jury were deadlocked. The judge, Chief Justice Lucy McCallum, received a note from the jury at 3pm on Tuesday October 25 that said they were ‘unable to agree’ on a unanimous verdict.
Consisting of eight women and four men, the jury were deliberating for five days in the ACT Supreme Court trying to determine whether Lehrmann was guilty of one count of sexual intercourse without consent.
The jury was asked to retire again to see if they could decide on a verdict by Justice McCallum.
“I have the power to discharge you but I should only do so if satisfied after examining one or more of you that you are not likely to agree.”
“Experience has shown juries often are able to agree in the end if they are given more time to consider the evidence. 'I ask you to retire again to see if you can reach a verdict in this trial,” Justice McCallum said on October 25.
She also reminded jurors of the oath they swore before the trial began and implored them to only hand a verdict down if they genuinely believed it was the right decision.
“You each take in your personal experience and wisdom and you are expected to judge the evidence fairly in that light. You are all equals in the jury room. Calmly weigh up each opinion in the jury room and discuss them.”
On February 15, 2021, in two separate interviews with news.com.au and Lisa Wilkinson on The Project, Higgins claimed that on March 23, 2019 she was raped inside Parliament House.
On August 7, 2021, Lehrmann - a former Liberal Party staffer - was publicly named as the alleged offender.
Higgins alleges she woke to find Lehrmann having sex with her on a couch in Senator Linda Reynolds' office.
The trial for the alleged rape began on October 4, 2022 and Lehrmann, who says he never had sex with Higgins, entered a not guilty plea.
The 12 jurors were presented with eleven days worth of evidence, cross-examinations and 29 witness testimonies before they retired last week to consider the verdict.
If you or someone you know has been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, help is always available. Call 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit their website.