Luke Lazarus leaves the Downing Centre District Court after being found not guilty of rape. Picture: /Dan Himbrechts. Ben Fordham talks with Luke Lazarus (2GB)
Luke Lazarus leaves the Downing Centre District Court after being found not guilty of rape. Picture: /Dan Himbrechts. Ben Fordham talks with Luke Lazarus (2GB)

Lazarus: ‘She wanted to be there’

A SYDNEY man acquitted of the rape of an 18-year-old woman in a Kings Cross alleyway has broken his silence, saying the woman, a virgin, "wanted to be there" that night five years ago.

Luke Lazarus said that he disagreed with the claims by Saxon Mullins on an ABC Four Corners program about the sexual encounter and that she was "a woman participating in sex".

Speaking in a confronting interview with 2GB's Ben Fordham, Mr Lazarus said claims by Ms Mullins on Four Corners that she had asked him to stop were "not true".

Fordham argued Ms Mullins had told Mr Lazarus she was a virgin.

"Your response was to tell her to get on her hands and knees and try to have anal sex with her ... in the gravel. You didn't think that was probably time for me to leave?" he said.

Mr Lazarus replied: "Her physical body language told me she wanted to be there. I witnessed in front of me a woman participating in sex.

"So if I'm a man assessing the situation ... I'd ask you how is a man to know a woman is not consenting?"
Fordham: "She never said the word no?"
Lazarus: "No, Definitely not ... and that's been found in the trial. It's never even been her claim that she used the word no.

"It's been her claim that she used the word stop and that is something that's been found to be not true."

Luke Lazarus says that Four Corners portrayed him as a rapist but that he was found not guilty by the court. Picture: Dan Himbrechts.
Luke Lazarus says that Four Corners portrayed him as a rapist but that he was found not guilty by the court. Picture: Dan Himbrechts.

 

Saxon Mullins gave an interview on Four Corners which Mr Lazarus does not concur with.
Saxon Mullins gave an interview on Four Corners which Mr Lazarus does not concur with.

Ms Mullins' Four Corners interview aired on May 10, exactly five years after she first alleged he raped her on her hands and knees in the lane behind his father's Soho nightclub.

In that interview, she said: "Part of me died that day."

Mr Lazarus was convicted in 2015 of raping Ms Mullins and sentenced to three years' prison.

Last year, his conviction was quashed by a judge who ruled that Mr Lazarus believed at the time that Ms Mullins had consented to sex, and that some of Ms Mullins evidence was "unreliable".

In an exclusive and often graphic interview with Fordham, Mr Lazarus said claims of Ms Mullins' that had been rejected by the court had been replayed as truth on Four Corners.

Ms Mullins' identity had been protected by legislation, but she chose to reveal it as an impetus to change laws.

The ABC interview has sparked a call for a change to consent laws over sexual intercourse in NSW.

Mr Lazarus claims he recanted a personal decision to remain silent because "Four Corners purposely did not present the facts the way that the judge found them".

"They painted me as a guilty man getting away with a crime. They didn't fact-check things which Ms Mullins has said, things which have been proven not to be true," he said.

Fordham, who said he was supportive of Ms Mullins, described the encounter between her and Mr Lazarus as "despicable".

 

Luke Lazarus was acquitted of raping Ms Mullins in 2015 outside his father’s nightclub. Picture: Dan Himbrechts.
Luke Lazarus was acquitted of raping Ms Mullins in 2015 outside his father’s nightclub. Picture: Dan Himbrechts.

He told Mr Lazarus he thought of him as "a rich kid".

"You're spoiled, you're powerful. You're someone who took advantage of a young 18-year-old girl who was drunk ... who didn't want to lose her virginity by having anal sex with a stranger in an alleyway," Fordham said.

"While you may have been acquitted by the courts, the court of public opinion views you as scum."

Asked by Fordham to recount what happened on the night in question, Mr Lazarus said after meeting on the dance floor at Soho, he had taken Ms Mullins outside.

"We started kissing, rubbing bodies, touching each other and eventually one thing led to another," he said.

He did not agree that he had then pulled down Ms Mullins underwear, but said he "accepted" that had been proven in his court case.

But he did not agree with the account given by Ms Mullins on Four Corners, in which she said she had three times told him she wanted to go back upstairs to her friend.

"This is again where we really differ and again it's really confusing," Mr Lazarus told Fordham.

"Because she says in Four Corners for a third time, 'No no I'd really like to back to my friend now'.

"She didn't even say that in the trial, three times that she asked to leave. Those things weren't even said in the trial."

Fordham asked Mr Lazarus if Ms Mullins had said "words to the effect she wanted to go back inside?".

Saxon Mullins told Four Corners she didn’t want to have sex outside a Sydney nightclub in 2013 with a man the court acquitted of sexual assault, Luke Lazarus. Picture: Four Corners.
Saxon Mullins told Four Corners she didn’t want to have sex outside a Sydney nightclub in 2013 with a man the court acquitted of sexual assault, Luke Lazarus. Picture: Four Corners.

Mr Lazarus replied: "She said words to the effect of 'I should probably go see my friend' and then I said 'no, stay with me' and then we resumed kissing.

"I don't take that as 'I want to leave right now, I'm very uncomfortable' and the judge found she said that.

"However I convinced her to stay and she wanted to stay by resuming kissing after that fact.

"She said that she said 'I need to go now'," Fordham said.

Mr Lazarus replied: "She definitely did not say that ... It wasn't even presented in the court case."

Asked again if he thought it was reasonable to have had sex with a young virgin in an alleyway, Mr Lazarus said: "It has never been in the complainant's evidence that I was aggressive or forceful.

"My response has always been very clear.

"Her physical actions ... showed that she was consenting.

"My opinion that that was true was found to be reasonable one. A very experienced judge found that it was reasonable for me to believe that she was consenting."

Asked by Fordham about Ms Mullins' description of how he told her to put her "f***ing hands on the fence", Mr Lazarus said "I did not swear".

"I said turn around, put your hands on the fence," he said.

"I thought it was something that was going to help facilitate sex."
Fordham said on 2GB on Thursday that he sympathised with Ms Mullins, had been in contact with her, and was going to give her full right of reply to Mr Lazarus's interview.



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