Lyndon Montgomery was acquitted of charges of breaking into and raping Holly Harris’ home.
Harris told an insider why he decided to speak publicly about the incident.
“I refuse to accept that this is the reality of women,” Harris said.
When Holly Harris woke up, she was frozen. The sliding door in her bedroom was ajar, and she was puzzled. She never slept with her door open, especially on her cold September night in Melbourne, Australia.
When she got up, she found herself naked, with tangled hair and in pain. She looked to her left and saw a man lying there. His name is Lyndon Montgomery.
Nearly four years later, on September 7, Montgomery was acquitted of the charges of breaking into Harris’ home and raping her.
In her first interview since the tense trial, Harris spoke with an insider about how the incident affected her and why she decided to come forward.
Harris’ name is not in a previous article on her case because she did not agree to publish it. victoria law, Under the state governing the Australian state in which she lives, it is a crime to release information that could lead to the identification of a person to whom a sexual offense is alleged to have been committed, but the adult petitioner may You may agree to disclose your identity.
After the verdict, Harris changed her mind about remaining unidentified.
“I refuse to accept that this is the reality of women and that it is devastating for other women who have been or are alleged to have been raped,” she told an insider.
“I did the most heinous things”
On September 23rd, 2018, Harris went out with friends to a local bar on Chapel Street in Melbourne. Before coming to the bar, she said she had quite a few drinks at her friend’s boyfriend’s house and continued drinking with her friends at the bar until she was drunk.Her recollections after this are unclear. she told her Insider.
Upon exiting the bar, friends said she got into an Uber with her best friend, her best friend’s boyfriend, and an acquaintance, Montgomery. She said she noticed that Montgomery was following her as she walked up to her.
She asked him what he was doing and he said he was walking her to her door. ), she said she wasn’t interested, said goodbye, and then locked the door behind her.
Harris said her nightly routine always consisted of taking a shower before she went to bed, which she said was what she did on this particular night. , she said she noticed Montgomery standing in the bathroom. That’s when she told him to get out, she said. Later in court, Montgomery did not dispute that they had sex, although it was consensual. testified that it was
The next morning, after Montgomery woke up in a disheveled state lying next to him, Harris said she asked him to leave. That morning she told her friends what had happened.
On their recommendation, Harris went to the hospital later that night, but was told she was out of sight. Harris said she had no intention of filing charges at the time, adding that she was in pain and just wanted help.
Four days later she received a text message from Montgomery.
In a text obtained by an insider, he said: , I should have understood what you were telling me, but I didn’t. ”
“Open Closed Guilty”
Harris was 19 years old at the time. Initially, she was unsure whether to press charges. That changed a few weeks later, she said, when Montgomery began telling people her interpretation of what happened that night.
Harris went to the Victoria Police Department, and persuasive law enforcement got her to initiate a phony call. This is a recorded call used in a sexual assault investigation. The call has drawn criticism from supporters who say the act can be traumatic for survivors of sexual assault. according to to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
In a phone call between Harris and Montgomery, he admitted to entering Harris’ home through her sliding door, but claimed the sex was consensual. According to Herald Suna Melbourne-based newspaper.
During the trial, Montgomery explained what happened that night in court and said he believed things were “frivolous” between him and Harris at the bar. She testified that when her Uber arrived at Harris’ home, he walked her to the door and she told him “I wanted one.” [it] According to Montgomery, they entered the house together, but Harris immediately asked him to leave…I wanted to talk to her about it,” he said.
He said he noticed the sliding door to Harris’ bedroom and checked to see if it was unlocked.
Montgomery claimed that when she knocked on Harris’ bathroom door, she heard Harris taking a shower and “She said yes, you can come in.” According to The Herald Sun, she then showered with her, went back to her bedroom, and had consensual sex.
Montgomery said it was a mistake to send the text message and that it was sent to appease Harris to prevent him from going to the police.
The Herald Sun reported that his attorney, Belinda Frazik, claimed that Harris’ memories of the night were “splotchy” due to her level of addiction. asked not to jump to conclusions about text messages.
According to the paper, Franjic told the court, “It’s easy to read sentences like that and be ‘open, closed, guilty’.”
The Herald Sun also reported that Franjic asked jurors to ignore the “current situation” around consent and women’s safety.
Franzik did not respond to an insider’s request for comment.
“I refuse to accept that this is the reality of women.”
During the three-week trial period, Harris was nervous and anxious. She said her Apple Watch alerted her that her resting heart rate had dropped from her 60 to 83.
Harris was not in court during the trial, but gave virtual testimony on the advice of her team of attorneys, but in retrospect, she said she regretted it. He said he wanted to face a human jury.
“Having someone sit in front of you and tell them the worst thing that ever happened to them is often more impactful in person,” she said.
When the acquittal was handed down, the 23-year-old said she was devastated but not surprised. I think it shows that it doesn’t matter how much evidence you have, when a rich white private school boy stands with the best lawyer money can buy, that’s enough No,” she said.
Harris believes her case is an example of how a woman would be expected to be the perfect victim when filing a sexual assault allegation. Despite hospital visits, phony phone calls, and Montgomery’s text messages, that was still not enough to convince the jury. I am afraid that I will discourage
“There’s no accountability there and men will keep thinking they can get away with it and that’s not good,” she said. I don’t know what to do, but even just talking about it.”
Harris is currently studying law at university. After experiencing the Australian legal system, she said her desire to become a criminal lawyer was undermined.
“I find it very difficult to work with such a broken system every day. I find it quite exhausting even trying to do the right thing,” she said.
The outcome of the incident has drawn outrage from many Australians, including author Clementine Ford, who posted a video about the verdict on her Instagram. And so strong that it has withstood all the ways to incapacitate a survivor.I think you’re incredible.I’m so sorry to let you down.I believe in you.”Ford said.
If you are a survivor of sexual assault, call or visit the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673. its website To receive confidential support.
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