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Trial Over Alleged Rape in Parliament Starts in Australia

Bruce Lehrmann news

The accused, who pleaded not guilty, may be looking at up to 12 years in prison if convicted.

The trial of former Australian political staffer Bruce Lehrmann who is accused of raping his colleage started this week in Canberra.

Lehrmann is accused of raping fellow staffer Brittany Higgins in March 2019, in the office of then Defense Industry Minister Linda Reynolds at Parliament House.

According to AP, a panel of 16 jurors (including four reserves) was selected for this trial, which is expected to run for up to six weeks.

Describing the case in question as “cause celebre” due to its high profile, Chief Justice Lucy McCallum told potential jurors to “honestly consider” whether they can remain impartial and “give a true verdict according to the evidence.”

Having pleaded not guilty to sexual intercourse without consent, Lehrmann may face up to 12 years in jail if he is convicted.

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