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Published Time: 04.07.2024 - 00:02:42 Modified Time: 04.07.2024 - 00:02:42

A magistrate today ruled there was sufficient evidence to have the matter determined by a jury or a judge alone. Bruce Lehrmann


Mr Lehrmann's legal team had made the submission he had no case to answer and should not be committed to stand trial in the District Court. 

The 29-year-old faces two counts of rape, alleged to have occurred in Toowoomba, west of Brisbane, in October 2021.

Mr Lehrmann did not enter a plea but has previously indicated he will plead not guilty.

Asked by Magistrate Mark Howden if he wished to respond, Mr Lehrmann, who was following via telephone link, replied: "Not at this time, thank you, Your Honour".

Details of the allegations against Mr Lehrmann are being aired in open court today for the first time. 

Mr Lehrmann's defence lawyer Andrew Hoare KC submitted the evidence was "insufficient to justify committal to trial". 

In his submission, Mr Hoare said the young woman at the centre of the allegations and Mr Lehrmann had consensual sex prior to the alleged rapes.

The woman was cross-examined in a closed court last month. 

Mr Hoare said the complainant was drinking with friends at Toowoomba's Vault nightclub on October 9, 2021.

Mr Hoare said the woman did four lines of cocaine at the club, and later consumed cocaine she had kept in her bra.

It is alleged that there, she met a man who told her his name was Bryce. He later told her his name was Bruce.

The pair were allegedly captured on CCTV leaving the venue at 3:24am and catching a taxi to the home of Mr Lehrmann's schoolmate in East Toowoomba.

It is alleged that on the morning of October 10, the pair had consensual sex, after which the complainant fell asleep.

Mr Howden said it was alleged the complainant remembers waking up to Mr Lehrmann having sex with her and thrusting. She said she was still drunk and asked Mr Lehrmann to stop.

"He kept having sex with me while I just lay there," the complainant told police in a statement. "I was in shock. None of my actions were indicating I was consenting."

That morning the complainant went to a pharmacy, while Mr Lehrmann waited in a vehicle outside, to get the morning after pill — which required the complainant to fill in a form why she needed it.

Mr Hoare said the complainant had ticked the box that said contraceptive failure. Another box had offered the option of sexual assault.

He said this was inconsistent with the allegations of rape.

Mr Lehrmann's defence further submitted that she had not mentioned the alleged rapes at two doctor appointments, where she discussed an unrelated WorkCover claim and later had a test for sexually transmitted diseases.

The court also heard that after the evening, the complainant texted a friend: "Had a bunch of fun with my friends. My mate put on a really good show, and we all got drunk."

Mr Hoare said there was an absence of any complaint sexual assault and that it was only after a conversation with a female friend who suggested sexual assault, that a police complaint was made.

He said "prior to speaking to the police" the complainant had met a civil lawyer and a criminal lawyer.

Crown prosecutor Nicole Friedewald told the court the fact that the complainant did not disclose the allegation of sexual assault immediately — either when asking for the morning after pill or to her friends — "does not mean it did not happen".

Ms Friedewald said it was not uncommon for victims of sexual assault to wait "days, weeks, months, years" to disclose the offence.

She said the fact that the complainant did not disclose the alleged rapes until two weeks after did not "cause the case against the defendant to fail".

The court was read text messages the complainant sent to a friend on November 26, which Ms Friedewald said should be heard "in context". 

In one message read to the court the complainant said: "I just feel so shameful."

When her friend talked sexual assault, the complainant replied: "Who's going to believe me?"

We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander s as the First Australians and Traditional Custodians of the lands where we live, learn, and work.

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