Jack de Belin is stood down from the NRL after being accused of pinning down and raping a teenage girl with his mate – but will still be paid his $600,000-a-year salary
Dragons forward Jack de Belin has been stood down from the NRL as he fights a sexual assault charge.
De Belin, 27, is accused of raping a 19-year-old girl with his friend after they invited her home following a night out in Wollongong on Saturday 8 December
He pleaded not guilty when he faced Wollongong court, and was previously told he could continue playing for the team as he fought the charge.
The move to dismiss him from playing comes as new policy dictates a harsher response to players charged with criminal offences.
Jack de Belin has been stood down from the NRL after he was charged with raping a teenage girl on December 8
Under the new rules, a player charged with any offence that carries a prison term of 11 years or more will be stood down, and players whose offending involves women or children can also be stood down, despite the accompanying sentence.
In a press conference on Thursday afternoon, ARL Commission chairman Peter Beattie told reporters they believed the decision was ‘in the best interests of the game’.
‘What we’ve unanimously decided to do is establish a benchmark, where there is a no fault stand down for players who are charged with serious criminal offences above that line [of an indictable criminal offence that carries a jail term of 11 years or more],’ he said.
‘Underneath that, there will be charges that aren’t in that severity, but that will be for the CEO to deal with.’
Mr Beattie said the NRL was not attempting to judge guilt or innocence, but wanted to protect the quickly eroding reputation of the sport.
‘The issues of innocence and guilt are determined by the court,’ he said. ‘We are creating a benchmark and standard to protect the sport.
‘This is, in a nutshell, about rebuilding the reputation of rugby league.
‘This is also about sending a clear message, that the game does not tolerate violence, does not tolerate violence against women, does not tolerate violence against children.’
When the players are stood down, they will be entitled to full pay and to attend training with their team, to ensure player welfare is maintained.
Police allege on the night of the alleged rape, de Belin grabbed a teenage girl by the throat while he assaulted her, leaving her with visible injuries to the neck, shoulder, stomach and legs.
The NSW Origin star allegedly met the 19-year-old on a night out in Fever Nightclub in Wollongong on Saturday 8 December.
He and his friend Callan Sinclair, 21, said they needed to charge their phones and invited the woman to his cousin’s empty apartment, police documents claim.
While the woman was using the bathroom, de Belin, whose girlfriend is heavily pregnant, allegedly stripped naked and barged in to take a shower.
The teenager allegedly left the en-suite before de Belin returned to the bedroom and forcibly took off her top, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
She put her hands over her breasts before de Belin and Sinclair allegedly said ‘show us your tits’, the woman claimed.
De Belin then allegedly took the woman’s shorts and underwear off and threw her to the ground.
The police fact sheet said: ‘De Belin moved himself between her legs, lent down and put his right hand around her throat and [his] right forearm pinned the upper left side off her body.’
The 188cm forward, who weighs 106kg, then allegedly began raping the 51kg girl.
Sinclair allegedly took his top off at which point de Belin said ‘come on have a go.’
It is alleged they jointly raped the woman, swapping positions before Sinclair said ‘I can’t get hard anymore’ and left the room to have a shower.
Sinclair has indicated he will also be pleading not guilty the charges.
More to come.
Sorry we are not currently accepting comments on this article.