Luke Lazarus has denied that Saxon Mullins told him to “stop” when he had anal sex with her in an alley behind a Kings Cross nightclub in 2013.
Following ABC’s heartwrenching Four Corners feature on Saxon, who was 18 years old at the time of the incident, 26-year-old Lazarus gave an interview on Thursday. He spoke to 2GB’s Ben Fordham, who called Lazarus’ treatment of Mullins “despicable” and told him he was viewed as “scum”.
Lazarus was convicted in 2015 of assaulting Mullins but the conviction was overturned by a judge in 2016. He said it was “not true” the NSW woman had told him to stop that night.
He also maintained the argument he held while in court, that he believed she was consenting to the act.
Fordham pushed back, questioning Lazarus on his actions once he learned 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?" the interviewer asked.
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?" he continued.
Fordham clarified whether Mullins said the word "no", to which Lazarus replied, "No, Definitely not... and that’s been found in the trial. It’s never even been her claim that she used the word no."
He added: "It’s been her claim that she used the word stop and that is something that’s been found to be not true."
The young man claimed that Four Corners "purposely did not present the facts the way that the judge found them", and that he had appeared on the radio show to "give my side of the story".
"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, referring to the sole judge's findings, which Australian law accepts as fact in order for the legal system to function.
However, Fordham was not won over by Lazarus's explanation of his actions.
"My impression of you... is that you are a rich kid, you're spoilt, you're powerful, you’re someone who took advantage of a young 18-year-old girl who was drunk, who was a virgin, who didn’t want to lose her virginity her by having anal sex with a stranger in an alleyway."
"I get the impression, Luke Lazarus, that you pushed this on her, you knew you were doing the wrong thing, and while you may have been acquitted by the courts, the court of public opinion views you as scum."
Fordham said on radio that he had been in contact with Mullins and was offering her a right of reply to Lazarus' interview.
During the Four Corners episode, Mullins spoke of how the traumatic incident changed her life.
"I lost something that night all those years ago and I've been searching for it ever since."
"The reality is this doesn't get to be over for me. I don't get to know who I would be today had this not happened to me, and I mourn for that person. She seemed like she was on her way to being great."
The 23-year-old said she wanted to get the message across that "enthusiastic consent" is what men should be searching for when initiating sex, and not to proceed if they haven't got it.
Mullins also told ABC that Lazarus told her to put her "f---king" hands on the wall - another claim he disputed in Thursday's interview.
"I did not swear. I said turn around, put your hands on the fence. I thought it was something that was going to help facilitate sex."
If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732
You can catch up and watch the full Four Corners investigation on ABC iView.