Top cop in Higgins case discloses own assault
A senior police officer in the Bruce Lehrmann case has revealed he is a survivor of sexual assault.
Detective Superintendent Scott Moller disclosed the information while on the stand at an inquiry into how criminal justice agencies handled Brittany Higgins’ rape allegation.
Mr Lehrmann pleaded not guilty to one charge of sexually assaulting his former colleague at Parliament House in 2019, before the trial was aborted due to jury misconduct.
Mr Lehrmann has continually denied the allegation and the Director of Public Prosecutions declined to pursue a second trial due to concerns over Ms Higgins’ mental health and dropped the charge.
Superintendent Moller has been grilled for three days about police’s initial reluctance to charge Mr Lehrmann and a report he compiled that raised concerns about Ms Higgins’ credibility.
The senior police officer was asked by his lawyer, Matt Black, what life experiences informed his approach to the job.
Superintendent Moller disclosed that 45 years ago, he was sexually assaulted.
“I’m a survivor,” he said.
“I lived with that for 45 years, and that has driven my desire to work with police and victims.”
He gave evidence that he found it offensive the inquiry had heard police held “rape myths” about victim behaviour.
Wrapping up his testimony, Superintendent Moller rejected any suggestion police had lost objectivity during the investigation.
“They had deeply seeded views in relation to not having sufficient evidence and even though they had those views, they pushed forward against their own beliefs,” he said.
“I think we’ve seen evidence where members of the investigation team felt sick when they found out we were going to move forward to charge.
“They still did it, and they were committed to the process because that’s what we do as police.”