Brittany Higgins makes formal statement to police about alleged rape at Parliament House
Former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins has formally reopened the criminal complaint against the man she alleges raped her at Parliament House.
Ms Higgins claims she was sexually assaulted by a male political staffer in then-Defence Industry Minister and current Defence Minister Linda Reynolds’ ministerial office in the early hours of March 23, 2019.
It is believed Ms Higgins made the formal complaint to the Australian Federal Police (AFP).
The specifics of the formal complaint have not been made public.
In a statement released last week Ms Higgins indicated she was close to making a criminal complaint to the AFP over the alleged sexual assault.
“The Australian Federal Police have made assurances to me that they will handle this matter thoroughly and transparently,” the statement said.
“I would also ask that they handle it in a timely manner as to date, I have waited a long time for justice.”
Last week, the AFP released a statement confirming a senior member of the AFP met with Ms Reynolds and her chief-of-staff on 4 April 2019 in relation to Ms Higgins’ allegations.
Ms Higgins decision to make a formal complaint comes just days after a fourth woman came forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against the same Liberal staffer Ms Higgins has levelled her accusations.
The woman made a formal report at a police station in Canberra on Sunday.
Her account came hours after a third woman came forward with allegations of sexual misconduct by the same man.
Meanwhile, Ms Reynolds was today admitted to hospital and will be taking medical leave, a statement from her office has confirmed.
The minister was following advice from her cardiologist because of a pre-existing medical condition, the statement said.
Ms Reynolds was admitted to a Canberra Hospital this morning as a precautionary measure.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison spoke to Ms Reynolds over the phone to express his concern and sympathy, and to wish her a quick recovery.
Last week, Ms Reynolds broke down in tears after facing repeated questions in the Senate about how Ms Higgins was treated.
In a post on Twitter this morning, Ms Higgins expressed her concern for the minister.
“Let’s just hope that from this whole horrible situation there will actually be some fundamental reform to the MOP(S) Act for vulnerable staff and improvements to the workplace culture in Parliament House,” Ms Higgins wrote.