UPDATE: The woman in Luke Lazarus' case has broken her silence, days after his acquittal.
Lazarus was originally found guilty of raping the then 18-year-old in an alleyway behind a Sydney nightclub, however, on Thursday the judge ruled that although she believes the sex was non-consensual at the woman's end, Lazarus believed it was.
Now, after three years of silence, the woman has spoken of her heartbreak in a Facebook post which has already been shared hundreds of times.
"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."
"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."
She then ended her post with a poem by Maya Angelou.
“You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.”
ORIGINAL: 25-year-old Luke Lazarus has now been cleared of the 2013 rape of an 18-year-old girl outside his father's nightclub in Kings Cross.
Lazarus was originally found guilty in 2015 and had served 11 months out of a maximum five-year sentence before this appeal.
Evidence was previously given that he had walked up to the girl on the dancefloor, told her that he was a part-owner in the venue, and had offered to take her to the VIP section of the club to introduce her to the DJ.
Lazarus then took the teenager to the alleyway behind the nightclub, the court heard.
The woman gave evidence that she had wanted to return to her friend and that Lazarus said, "no, stay", before they eventually had sex, reports ABC.
The court had also heard that Mr Lazarus said in an authoritative tone "put your f***ing hands on the wall, get on the floor and arch your back".
"No doubt she was starting to feel she was in a difficult situation," Judge Tupman said of the event.
The woman's friend told the court she found the complainant crying hysterically afterwards and describing herself as being in pain.
The next afternoon she was taken to the police station by her sister and was forensically examined at the hospital.
However, the Judge's final ruling that was while the 18-year-old girl thought in her mind that she hadn't consented to having sex, Lazarus thought the act was consensual.
People on Twitter are lashing out at the verdict, saying "rape is rape" and "So if I rob the bank but I don't believe I was robbing it, I can still have the money and get away, right?"