Festishist cleared of rape: ‘It was the depths of hell’
AN eastern suburbs businessman who calls himself "The Wolf" has spoken about the "depths of hell" he endured before he was acquitted of raping two women he met on an adult fetish website.
Liam Gordon Murphy says there needs to be a national conversation about how rape allegations are handled after a Sydney magistrate dismissed all sexual assault charges levelled against him, for the protection of victims and those who may have been wrongly accused.
"It's been absolutely horrific. I really struggle to articulate how bad it was. It was the depths of hell," he told The Saturday Telegraph in his first interview.
"This has done me all sorts of harm but in reality the biggest harm done to anyone (is to) victims. I think they are the ones that are going to suffer most.
"I think cases like mine are a tragedy for victims because they will see this in the media and think, 'this guy could be guilty and he just got away with it'."
Mr Murphy's comments come as The Saturday Telegraph reveals why Magistrate Christopher Halburd threw out his charges in June, after the lifting of a non-publication order.
Mr Halburd found in the world of BDSM (bondage, dominance, submission and sadomasochism) the issue of consent may differ and that a jury was unlikely to find the two women who had sex with Mr Murphy "had withdrawn consent" during their "pantomimes of pain".
He said a jury was not likely to convict him based on the unreliable and conflicting accounts of the two complainants - one of whom had sex with Mr Murphy twice more after she said she was sexually assaulted and another who texted him, "God, I don't think you're a rapist."
In his reasons, Mr Halburd said what constituted withdrawal of consent in the normal or "vanilla" world might not mean the same thing in the BDSM world.
"I suspect that for most people in the vanilla world the application of significant force causing pain and leaving marks by a male on a female accompanied by screams and requests to stop from the female would lead to the inevitable conclusion that any subsequent sexual activity was not consensual, but in the BDSM world … this cannot be taken for granted it seems," he said.
"This, of itself, takes this matter out of the ordinary; it is an unusual or atypical case."
His comments came a month after Minister for Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Pru Goward called for the state's consent laws to be toughened.
In June, Mr Murphy was cleared of raping a woman at a Camperdown hotel in June 2015 after the court heard she reported the incident 16 months after the event; lied about WhatsApp messages she sent to Mr Murphy and posted on Fetlife.com she did not "feel like a victim of his".
In the case of the second woman, who had asked Mr Murphy to "really scare" her during a BDSM "scene" at a Potts Point hotel in August 2015, the court found that she had not withdrawn consent or used the safe word "red" while Mr Murphy submerged her head in bath water and whipped her with car jumper leads.
Mr Murphy fears one day a child in a playground will confront his child and say, "Your dad's a filthy rapist."
"Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I'm a nice guy, I'm not. Instead of dealing with problems that I had back in early 2010, I abandoned my family and buried myself in a world of hedonism and narcissism.
"For that I'm guilty, and will always be sorry."