The Eels made a pact to lay low over their bye weekend just hours before star half Dylan Brown was arrested for sexual touching, with Ray Hadley branding the club a ‘zoo’ with no ‘discipline’ after the five-eighth’s charges came to light.
Brown, 22, has been charged with five counts of sexual touching without consent after an alleged incident at a well-known pub in Sydney’s trendy eastern suburbs, the Golden Sheaf.
Police will allege Brown groped a 20-year-old woman not previously known to him multiple times, after being called to the venue at 11.40pm on Sunday, while his side was on a bye round.
He was taken to nearby Waverley Police Station and charged with five counts of sexual touching over the alleged incident, before being bailed to appear at Downing Centre Local Court on Wednesday.
Footage emerged of Brown dancing inside the venue wearing a cap and sunglasses, just hours after his teammate Mitch Moses declared the team had ‘made a pact together’ to stay out of trouble during their week off.
Parramatta Eels superstar Dylan Brown has been charged with five counts of sexual touching without consent
The Eels playmaker (right) has played 95 matches for the club since moving over from his native New Zealand, but his playing future is now unclear
The alleged incident involving Brown happened in Sydney’s trendy eastern suburbs at well-known watering hole the Golden Sheaf (pictured)
Footage has emerged from inside the venue of Brown (highlighted on the right) on the dancefloor wearing a hat and sunglasses (he is highlighted on the right)
It is unclear if the video of Brown on the dancefloor was captured before or after the alleged incident.
Moses, whose combination with Brown is crucial for the 12th-placed Eels as they look to turnaround their slow start to the year, appeared on radio on Saturday morning.
In the wake of Knights players coming under the pump from Phil Gould after jetting off to Bali for their bye – before Gould’s Bulldogs stars also enjoyed sun-soaked holidays in Queensland – Moses insisted he and Parramatta teammates were shunning holidays and keeping their heads down in order to right their season.
‘Enjoying the bye this round, it’s been good. We’ve had a pretty tough start to the year so far so enjoying the week off,’ Moses said on Triple M on Saturday morning.
‘No Bali, stayed right away from that.
‘You could do whatever you wanted, really … but we made a pact together as a team, we didn’t want to go stupid in this break and set up the back end of the year.’
Bizarrely, the Eels celebrated ‘winning’ the two points from the bye round on social media about four hours before the alleged incident involving Brown, leaving many fans scratching their heads in surprise and disgust.
The fact the photo showed Moses and Brown only compounded the issues with the bizarre post, which was still up on their accounts on Monday morning.
The Parramatta Eels were roasted online for celebrating their victory over the bye, just hours before Brown was charged over the alleged incident
Mitchell Moses (top, pictured celebrating a try with Dylan Brown) said he and teammates had made a pact to lie low over the bye weekend
The Eels, fresh off their grand final appearance last season, have won just four of their first 11 clashes in 2023.
However, through Brown – who has the fourth-most try assists this season – and Moses, they had won their last two matches and returned to some of the sizzling form from 2022.
That run of losses had clearly worn out some Parramatta players, according to Moses.
‘(It) Felt like a long time until it (bye) came… I think other teams had two byes before we even had one,’ he said.
‘We won our last two games going into the bye which was big for us, so we need to set up the next month going into the next bye.
‘Dylan Brown is one of those players who can rock up and go ‘oh sweet’ and just boom. You give him strict instructions on what to do and he’ll just follow it and look at the finished product.’
In a statement, Parramatta confirmed they were aware of the sexual touching charges against their high-profile half.
WHAT IS SEXUAL TOUCHING?
According to the NSW Crimes Act, ‘sexual touching’ (which replaced the previous term ‘indecent assault) is defined as a person touching another person in circumstances a reasonable person would consider to be sexual:
- with any part of the body or with anything else, or
- through anything, including anything worn by the person doing the touching or by the person being touched
The following matters must be considered when deciding whether a reasonable person would consider touching to be sexual:
- whether the area of the body touched or doing the touching is the person’s genital area or anal area or the person’s breasts, whether or not the breasts are sexually developed, or
- whether the person doing the touching does so for the purpose of obtaining sexual arousal or gratification, or
- whether any other aspect of the touching (including the circumstances in which it is done) makes it sexual
The offence of sexual touching is punishable by a maximum of five years imprisonment.
Dylan Brown is set to front Downing Centre Local Court on Wednesday after the alleged incident saw him charged with five counts of sexual touching
‘The Parramatta Eels have been made aware of an alleged incident involving Dylan Brown last night,’ read the statement.
‘The club has advised the NRL integrity unit as per our normal process. As it is a police matter, the club will not be making further comment at this time.’
The NRL’s integrity unit will investigate the allegations and liaise with the police and club. Police also took out an interim apprehended violence order, and the footy star must report between 8am-10pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Shock jock Hadley, who has had a long-running feud with the Eels, and coach Brad Arthur in particular, was scathing of the club’s operations off the field after a tumultuous few decades that has included no premierships, a salary cap scandal, multiple legal issues involving star players and continual unrest at head office and board level.
Police will allege Brown (left) groped a 20-year-old women several times
Radio star Ray Hadley has launched a withering spray at the Eels for their off-field operations, saying he ‘wasn’t surprised’ it has resulted in criminal charges
Hadley continued his criticism of the under-fire club, and implored the NRL integrity unit to use their discretion to stand Brown down ahead of their game against the Bulldogs on Monday afternoon.
‘Mitchell Moses told a radio station on the weekend that Eels players had made a collective pact to lay low. Well, Dylan Brown’s definition of laying low and Mitchell Moses’ are probably poles apart. I would imagine,’ a fuming Hadley said on 2GB on Monday morning.
‘As I’ve said previously, the club has squealed at management at this radio station, saying “Oh he attacks us all the time”.
‘(But) You (the Eels) have no discipline inside the club. It goes to the chairman, to the chief executive, to the coach (and) down.
‘There’s no discipline in the place. It’s basically a zoo.’
Hadley (pictured) has a long-running feud with coach Brad Arthur and the Eels, and has slammed the off-field behaviour of club figures
Hadley took aim at the key figures at the club, in particular CEO Jim Sarantinos, chairman Sean McElduff and Arthur, insisting he didn’t think the situation would improve at Parramatta until significant changes are made.
‘I’ll leave it for the courts to determine the guilt or innocence of the person involved, but the club, as a community, needs to stand up … and start to represent the fans that want a bit better than what they’re getting at the moment.
‘I’ve complained to the chairman personally about matters, and it has just been swept under the carpet.
‘People were cherrypicked by Max Donnelly, who is a mate of mine … (he) picked Jim Alphabet (Sarantinos) to be CEO. He’s an auditor … he knows nothing about football. The chairman (Sean McElduff) is a banker.
‘That’s what’s wrong with Parramatta, that’s why those that wait for another premiership will still wait for another year, and a year and a year … because nothing much has changed there in terms of the way they behave at the club.’
Whether Brown will play against the Bulldogs on Monday afternoon remains to be seen, but he is a crucial lynchpin to the side’s hopes as they look to climb back up the ladder
Parramatta are next due to play next Monday afternoon against the Bulldogs for a public holiday game, but whether Brown will be involved remains to be seen after the alleged incident.
It is believed that the Eels will select Brown ahead of his day in court of Wednesday, according to the Sydney Morning Herald, though the NRL can use their discretionary powers to stand him down.
Brown has played 95 matches for the Eels since moving across the ditch as a highly-rated halves prodigy from Whangarei in New Zealand.
He has represented the Kiwis on five occasions, including at the Rugby League World Cup in the UK last year.
The 13th-placed Eels now face a mammoth task to climb up the ladder with allegations about the alleged incident swirling around their star half, who signed a whopping eight-year contract at the end of last year.
Brown was a key player for the club as they played in the grand final – eventually losing to Penrith – last season, and has been in strong form to start this year.
Making a potential extended absence all the more troubling for the side.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted the Parramatta Eels for comment.