The young woman at the centre of the Luke Lazarus rape case has opened up on her “heartbreak” in a post to Facebook, days after Lazarus himself walked free.
In 2015, a jury found Lazarus guilty for the rape of the woman, then aged 18, in an alley behind his family’s nightclub in King’s Cross. He appealed, and this week, was found not guilty in a judge-only retrial.
On Thursday, Judge Robyn Tupman said she found that Lazarus had a “genuine and honest belief” that the woman consented, and released him after serving 11 months of his three-year sentence.
The alleged victim is said to have fled the court in tears, and overnight, she made a post to Facebook, thanking her supporters and reflecting on the incident and how it changed her.
“I’ve spent far too long feeling embarrassed and ashamed,” she said in the post, which has since been shared numerous times. “The 18 year old in the story is me. Those awful things happened to me. I am that girl.”
The woman wrote about the ongoing affects of the incident and everything that followed, saying:
“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.”
She also thanked her supporters and stressed the importance of being honest with herself:
“At this point I’d like to give my heartfelt thanks to everyone who’s supported me through this shitty part of my life, but especially to a particular detective (who knows who she is) for pouring more time, effort and care into this case than anyone. Nothing has ever made me feel better than admitting I needed help. At first I felt like I needed to be happy and it would all just go away. I didn’t want anyone to worry and got mad if they did (sorry mum…and everyone else). When I finally gave myself permission to answer the question ‘How are you?’ with anything other than ‘Good!’ it saved me.”
“At times like this when I’m feeling shitty, and down, and so so so tired, I remember that for every dickhead human there are a million more filled with love, light and kindness and that lifts my heavy heart. Anyway, thanks for listening to me. I’m hoping that putting my thoughts and feelings on paper will help with the long process of moving on.”
Judge Tumpan acknowledged that the woman did not “attempt to convey consent”, but said that the crown had failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Lazarus did not think she was consenting.
Source: Courier Mail.