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I am that girl

The Challenge

The young woman at the centre of one of Australia's most controversial rape trials spoke to Four Corners.

She was a teenage virgin on her first night out in Sydney's King Cross. He was the son of a wealthy night club owner. They met on the dance floor. Minutes later, he ushered her out into a lane way.

What happened next has had devastating consequences for both of them.

As outlined in an ABC news story about this event (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-07/kings-cross-rape-case-that-put-consent-on-trial/9695858) the young woman had never had sex, and had consumed about 10 standard drinks prior to being raped. The young man claimed consent, and despite being convicted by a jury at a first trial was freed by a judge at a subsequent retrial. Presumably, difficulties in deciding whether or not consent had been given had something to do with these contrasting outcomes.

This shocking account serves as a serious warning about the need to understand what consent is and the consequences of getting it wrong.

  • What should be the criteria for consent?
  • How is this considered in the light of current legislation and policy?
  • Based on this, what do you consider we need ‘more of’, and what do we need ‘less of’ in current policy, legislation and regulation?

 

Each Monday MindHive Number One ranked consulting problem-solver, statistician Peter Grimbeek, leads a challenge on Australia's Four Corners’s investigation. We take seriously the often quoted “if you’d like to continue the conversation head to our Twitter or Facebook site”. What’s missing with that invite is the ability to collectively co-create various potential solutions and ideas to the challenges the production exposes. We’re missing the power of our collective intelligence on the issue at hand. The outcome of the challenge will be faciloitated by Peter, creating a 600-800 idea published on Mindhive, submitted to ABC and other mainstream media. Mindhive also allows for impact recognition by ORCID, uniquely identifying scientific and other academic authors and contributors ensuring you get credit for your work.

 

Challenge Opened: 06:02 AM, Monday 07 May 2018
Challenge Closes: 01:30 PM, Friday 29 June 2018
Time to go: Closed

 

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The context

 

https://www.mamamia.com.au/saxon-mullins-four-corners/

The woman who was at the centre of the highly publicised Luke Lazarus case has waived her right to anonymity in an interview with Four Corners, set to air on Monday night.

Saxon Mullins was 18 when, five years ago this week, she met a 21-year-old boy named Luke Lazarus at a Kings Cross nightclub part-owned by his father.

They met on the dance floor and after just four minutes together, Lazarus took her to a lane way behind the club. She told him she wanted to go back almost immediately, the now 23-year-old said in Monday night’s interview.

“And he was like, ‘No, it’s fine’, and I went to move away and he kind of pulled me back and pulled my stockings and my underwear down. So, I pulled them back up and I said, ‘No I really have to go now’.

“He said, ‘Put your fucking hands on the wall’. And… so I did.”

It was the first time she had ever had sex.

“I didn’t know him. And you know, the few things he said to me before we went outside were just nice, calm, normal things and then all of a sudden, after I tried to leave it was, ‘Put your fucking hands on the wall’, it wasn’t, ‘No, please, stay with me’.

“My heart was going at a million miles an hour, I don’t even think I was breathing for a majority of the time. I don’t even know how to describe it,” she said.

There, in that alleyway, Luke Lazarus and Saxon Mullins had anal sex; sex she claims, five years on, was not consensual.

At his first trial in 2015, Mr Lazarus was found guilty by a jury of rape and was sentenced to five years in prison. He spent nearly a year behind bars before he was released on bail, when his conviction was quashed on appeal by a judge. In June last year, the Director of Public Prosecutions appealed against the acquittal, only for the bid to fail in November.

In May last year, Ms Mullins, then still unnamed to the public, wrote on social media about the weight of the case and the monumental impact it had on her life.

“I am mad and frustrated and heartbroken. Was it all for nothing? I’ve waited four long years. I’ve stressed and worried and stayed up all night – many, many nights – thinking about it,” she said. The woman who was at the centre of the highly publicised Luke Lazarus case has waived her right to anonymity in an interview with Four Corners, set to air on Monday night.

Saxon Mullins was 18 when, five years ago this week, she met a 21-year-old boy named Luke Lazarus at a Kings Cross nightclub part-owned by his father.

They met on the dance floor and after just four minutes together, Lazarus took her to a lane way behind the club. She told him she wanted to go back almost immediately, the now 23-year-old said in Monday night’s interview.

“And he was like, ‘No, it’s fine’, and I went to move away and he kind of pulled me back and pulled my stockings and my underwear down. So, I pulled them back up and I said, ‘No I really have to go now’.

“He said, ‘Put your fucking hands on the wall’. And … so I did.”

It was the first time she had ever had sex.

“I didn’t know him. And you know, the few things he said to me before we went outside were just nice, calm, normal things and then all of a sudden, after I tried to leave it was, ‘Put your fucking hands on the wall’, it wasn’t, ‘No, please, stay with me’.

“My heart was going at a million miles an hour, I don’t even think I was breathing for a majority of the time. I don’t even know how to describe it,” she said.

There, in that alleyway, Luke Lazarus and Saxon Mullins had anal sex; sex she claims, five years on, was not consensual.

At his first trial in 2015, Mr Lazarus was found guilty by a jury of rape and was sentenced to five years in prison. He spent nearly a year behind bars before he was released on bail, when his conviction was quashed on appeal by a judge. In June last year, the Director of Public Prosecutions appealed against the acquittal, only for the bid to fail in November.

In May last year, Ms Mullins, then still unnamed to the public, wrote on social media about the weight of the case and the monumental impact it had on her life.

“I am mad and frustrated and heartbroken. Was it all for nothing? I’ve waited four long years. I’ve stressed and worried and stayed up all night – many, many nights – thinking about it,” she said.

"I lost something that night all those years ago and I've been searching for it ever since," she wrote at the time.

"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.

"I don't want anyone to suffer, that would never bring me joy. All I've wanted since that night was to hear the words "I was wrong" and "I'm sorry". An apology for what was done to me is all I was ever after," she said.

Speaking to Four Corners on Monday night, Ms Saxon's best friend Brittany Watts, who was with her on the night she met Mr Lazarus, said her friend hasn't quite been the same since that 2013 night.

"I knew something had happened. I ran towards her and she actually collapsed in my arms,” Ms Watts said.

“It was from that moment that everything in her ... changed. It was almost like she just crumbled. I will never forget that moment.”

Also see:  http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-07/kings-cross-rape-case-that-put-consent-on-trial/9695858

Challenge Opened: 06:02 AM, Monday 07 May 2018
Challenge Closes: 01:30 PM, Friday 29 June 2018
Time to go: Closed

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Thought Leader

Peter Grimbeek Statistics & Methods Counsellor
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Kate Neely Researcher, Research Translation
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Matt Moore
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Alison Bailey Senior Adviser
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Gary Pitts
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Vern Hughes Director Civil Society Australia
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Kathryn Hedley Assistant Director
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Mike Metcalfe Consultant
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Rosie Odsey
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