Sorry for the pain but I am not scum

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - - Opinion - JANET FIFE-YEOMANS

THE son of a Syd­ney night­club owner who was ac­quit­ted of rap­ing an 18-year-old vir­gin be­hind his dad’s Kings Cross bar claims any­one who thinks he is “scum” does not know the full story.

Break­ing his si­lence since his court case, Luke Lazarus told 2GB ra­dio he was sorry for what hap­pened to Saxon Mullins on May 11, 2013, and had thought about it ev­ery day.

But he urged the gov­ern­ment to care­fully con­sider any pro­posed changes to the con­sent laws as they are re­viewed in the wake of the con­tro­ver­sial and shock­ing case.

Mr Lazarus, 26, said he did not sup­port sug­ges­tions that con­sent to sex needed to be voiced “en­thu­si­as­ti­cally” or it was not con­sent.

“I think that who­ever ends up mak­ing this de­ci­sion will need to be very care­ful be­cause ob­vi­ously there will be many times when there is noth­ing spo­ken be­tween two peo­ple,” Mr Lazarus told Ben Ford­ham.

“It might just be phys­i­cal and then it might be hard to de­lin­eate be­tween what is con­sent and what is en­thu­si­as­tic con­sent.”

In 2015, Lazarus was con­victed of anally rap­ing Ms Mullins, who re­cently told her story on ABC’s Four Cor­ners. Af­ter 10 months in jail, he won his ap­peal and his con­vic­tion was quashed and a new trial or­dered. In 2017, af­ter a judgealone trial, Judge Robyn Tup­man found him not guilty af­ter de­ter­min­ing that he gen­uinely be­lieved Ms Mullins had con­sented to sex.

Ms Mullins was on her first night out in Kings Cross when she met Mr Lazarus at his dad’s Soho night­club and he led her out­side. She gave ev­i­dence at the trial that she had tried to leave but he told her: “Put your hands on the wall, get on the floor and arch your back”.

Yes­ter­day Mr Lazarus said me­dia re­port­ing into the case had been un­fair but he had noth­ing to hide.

“My main feel­ings are feel­ings of sad­ness, feel­ings of ... you know, like I’ve re­ally hurt some­one, and it’s a re­ally tough thing. It’s some­thing I think about ev­ery sin­gle day, some­thing I’ve thought about for the last five years ev­ery day,” he told 2GB.

He de­nied re­ports he threw a party the night he was ac­quit­ted and wanted to tell Ms Mullins that he was sorry. “I’d say that I’m sorry that I’ve caused this pain, I’m sorry I’ve in­flicted this pain,” he said.

Peo­ple could read the trial tran­scripts on­line and “you’ll see that I’m in­no­cent”, he said.

Mr Lazarus.

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