Lazarus free after NSW club rape acquittal

Rebekah Ison
Lazarus free after NSW club rape acquittal

A Sydney man previously jailed over the rape of a teenager behind his father's Kings Cross nightclub has spent his first night without the threat of conviction over his head.

Luke Andrew Lazarus, now 25, was in 2015 jailed for anally raping an 18-year-old woman in an alleyway behind Soho nightclub in 2013 but his conviction was later quashed on appeal and a retrial ordered.

Mr Lazarus exhaled, put his head back and hugged his crying mother on Thursday as retrial judge Robyn Tupman found he reasonably believed the teenager, who told him she was a virgin, was consenting and acquitted him.

"I accept ... the accused had a genuine ... belief the complainant was consenting," said Judge Tupman, who also found the woman believed she wasn't consenting.

The judge-alone trial heard Mr Lazarus had met the woman on the dance floor, where he told her he was involved with the ownership of the nightclub and offered to introduce her to the DJ in the VIP area.

Judge Tupman found Lazarus had tried to have vaginal sex with the woman before moving to her anus.

After the act, Mr Lazarus asked the woman to add her name to a "trophy list" of women he kept in his phone, which she did because she didn't want to make a "fuss".

The Crown had tried to argue the woman, who had consumed around 10 standard drinks, was too drunk to consent.

Judge Tupman said there was no evidence her walking was impaired and found she was not "substantially" intoxicated.