A SERIES of prominent public figures who offered character references for a convicted rapist have been slammed by Australia's first Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.
Pru Goward said those who advocated for Luke Andrew Lazarus had not only diminished their own standing, but could discourage victims from coming forward.
"The very last thing any victim needs is to feel as though they are not only fighting back against the perpetrator, but also against other respected members of the community," said Ms Goward, who was appointed to the new portfolio in the NSW Parliament on Wednesday.
Lazarus, 23, was last month sentenced to a maximum jail term of five years for sexually assaulting a teenage girl and then bragging about taking her virginity.
In the early hours of May 12, 2013, he had lured the 18-year-old into an alley behind his family's Kings Cross venue by telling her they were going to a VIP area. He anally raped her after she tried to leave.
Read more at Brisbane Times