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Lehrmann to face committal hearing for rape charges

Former Liberal Party staffer Bruce Lehrmann has a date for a committal hearing to decide whether or not he will face trial on rape charges.

Lehrmann, 28, is accused of raping a woman twice at Toowoomba, west of Brisbane, in October 2021 and has denied the allegations.

During a brief hearing at Toowoomba Magistrates Court on Monday, defence barrister Patrick Wilson said he no longer required a directions hearing to settle a contested issue with prosecutors.

“There has been an agreement between the parties on the scope of examination (of a witness),” Wilson said.

Prosecutor Nicole Friedewald said the matter would require a half-day hearing.

Magistrate Mark Howden set a date for June 17 for a committal hearing where a witness would be cross-examined.

Lehrmann, who was not required to attend court, had his bail continued until the next court mention.

He was the subject of national media attention after being charged with the rape of 24-year-old Brittany Higgins, in the office of then-defence industry minister Linda Reynolds at Parliament House in March 2019, while both were employed by the senator.

Lehrmann also denied those allegations and the case ended in a mistrial, with prosecutors declining to proceed with a new trial out of concern for Ms Higgins’ welfare.

Lehrmann was first charged with rape in Toowoomba in January 2023.

The matter has been the subject of numerous hearings due to prosecutors challenging the scope of medical and phone data evidence requested by his defence.

– AAP

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