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Attorney-General questions anal sex court claims: ‘I hope not as a parent’

The NSW Attorney-General has referred the state’s consent laws to the Law Reform Commission, following a Four Corners investigation into a high-profile sexual assault case.

Sydney man Luke Lazarus was acquitted of sexual assault, despite a jury and two judges finding 18-year-old Saxon Mullins had not consented.

Lazarus took Mullins, who was a virgin on her first night out, into the alleyway behind his father’s Kings Cross nightclub in 2013 and had anal sex with her.

In a second judge-alone trial, it was found that Mullins didn’t consent, but that Lazarus wasn’t aware of this.

The judge also heard testimony from a single female friend of Lazarus’, who said it wasn’t unusual for young women to have anal sex on the first date.

Unbelievably, the judge took this commentary as “an objective insight into ‘contemporary morality'”.

Ray Hadley grills Attorney-General Mark Speakman as to whether those claims that anal sex on the first date is normal should be acceptable.

“I hope not, I hope not as a parent.

“Ordinarily if you’re going to prove some sort of social practice you wouldn’t do it on the evidence of one witness personal experience… it is an unusual way to look at things.”

The case has prompted Mr Speakman to ask for a review into consent laws.

“The law in NSW was reformed 10 years ago to broaden the concept of knowledge, so it’s not just actual knowledge or recklessness.

“It includes genuinely believing someone was consenting but having no reasonable grounds to do it.

“That was meant to drive a change that just because a complainant was drunk, you didn’t assume she was consenting.

“The question is whether we’ve gone far enough and whether we need to be a bit clearer.”

Click PLAY below for the full interview

Image: Four Corners

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