A Sydney man has been cleared of raping a teenager in the laneway outside his father’s Kings Cross nightclub after a retrial.
Luke Andrew Lazarus, now 25, was sentenced in 2015 to at least three years’ jail over the 2013 rape of an 18-year-old woman on her first night out in Kings Cross but his conviction was later quashed on appeal.
Retrial judge Robyn Tupman on Thursday found him not guilty of anally raping the woman, who had alleged she was assaulted behind the Soho nightclub, partially owned by Mr Lazarus’ father Andrew.
“I have come to the determination that the Crown has not established that there were no reasonable grounds for believing the complainant was not consenting,” Judge Tupman said before acquitting him.
Mr Lazarus exhaled and put his head back as the verdict was handed down and then hugged a crying supporter.
The judge-alone retrial in the District Court heard Mr Lazarus had met the woman, who can’t be named for legal reasons, on the dance floor where he told her he was a part-owner of the nightclub and offered to introduce her to the DJ in the VIP area.
Judge Tupman found Mr Lazarus had tried to have vaginal intercourse with the woman before making a comment about her being “tight”.