Federal agents stationed at Parliament House have recalled Brittany Higgins describing her accused rapist being "quite handsy" with her in the hours before the alleged attack.
The former Liberal Party staffer went to see the agents about a week after she claims to have been sexually assaulted by Bruce Lehrmann, with whom she worked in the office of Senator Linda Reynolds.
Lehrmann, 27, is now the subject of a jury trial in the ACT Supreme Court, where he has pleaded not guilty to a charge of engaging in sexual intercourse without consent.
He denies any sexual activity with Ms Higgins in the early hours of March 23, 2019, when the pair returned to Parliament House after what has been called "a drunken night out".
In evidence that can now be reported following the lifting of a non-publication order, federal agents Rebecca Cleaves and Katie Thelning told the court this week about when Ms Higgins visited the Australian Federal Police office in the basement at Parliament House.
MORE EVIDENCE NOW ABLE TO BE PUBLISHED:
Reading from her notes of their meeting, Federal Agent Thelning said Ms Higgins had spoken about attending drinks with colleagues and suggesting Lehrmann should come.
Ms Higgins went on to detail starting at The Dock in Kingston before travelling with Lehrmann and two others to Civic, where "things got a little hazy".
Federal Agent Thelning said Ms Higgins had described dancing in the city and sitting down after falling over, which had embarrassed her.
"Bruce was sitting with me and got quite handsy," the agent said, quoting Ms Higgins.
"I didn't really mind. I felt like I got super inebriated."
The other two members of their group left in one taxi, and Ms Higgins told the federal agents she and Lehrmann hopped into another.
She recalled saying her address but ending up instead at Parliament House and ultimately on the couch in Senator Reynolds' office, where the alleged rape is said to have occurred.
Federal Agent Thelning indicated Ms Higgins had said she only wanted to report the matter "off the record" at that stage, expressing a desire to not have it become "a narrative to [her] life story".
Senior Constable Emma Frizzell, who later interviewed both Ms Higgins and Lehrmann about the alleged rape, also took the witness stand this week.
Under cross-examination by Lehrmann's barrister, Steven Whybrow, the officer was quizzed about a "meet and greet" she conducted with Ms Higgins in early February 2021.
The court heard Ms Higgins, who had not made a formal police complaint at that stage, told Senior Constable Frizzell she expected there to be media coverage of her rape allegation.
Senior Constable Frizzell agreed when Mr Whybrow asked if she had advised Ms Higgins any coverage may jeopardise a police investigation and any subsequent prosecution.
The officer said Ms Higgins had acknowledged this, and declined to participate in a formal police interview that day.
The jury has previously heard Ms Higgins ultimately sat down with officers to make a formal statement later that month, by which time media outlets had published interviews in which she discussed the alleged rape.
The trial continues.
MORE COVERAGE OF THE TRIAL:
- 'Nothing was fine after what you did': Higgins confronts alleged rapist, denies being 'monster'
- Higgins had planned book before being 'blown away' by $325k offer, court hears
- 'So incorrect': Higgins hits back at 'deeply insulting' cross-examination
- 'I wanted her out': Higgins denies attempt to hide evidence, admits 'scrubbing' phone
- Higgins secretly recorded 'weirdest phone call' with Cash after quitting
- 'It may sound ridiculous': Higgins admits 'mistake' about 'weird anchor' dress
- Meeting with minister at site of alleged rape felt like 'scare tactic': Higgins
- 'Like this weird anchor': Higgins kept dress under bed while weighing up action
- Higgins 'rebuffed kiss' from accused rapist before allegedly being 'trapped'
- Public 'sold a pup' with 'unstoppable snowball' story of alleged Higgins rape