NRL star Jack de Belin will not face a third trial over sexual assault allegations after the Director of Public prosecutions decided to drop the case, opening the door for his on-field return.
Mr de Belin was accused of assaulting the then 19-year-old woman alongside friend Callan Sinclair inside a North Wollongong unit in December 2018.
Mr De Belin, 30, and Mr Sinclair, 24, pleaded not guilty to five counts of aggravated sexual assault and denied allegations they had forced vaginal, oral and anal sex on the alleged victim inside the unit.
A jury last month cleared Mr de Belin and Mr Sinclair of one sexual assault charge.
Mr de Belin and Mr Sinclair repeatedly maintained during their evidence at trial that they engaged in a consensual threesome with the woman after the trio met on the dancefloor of the popular Mr Crown bar.
The St George Illawarra forward faced two trials which failed to come a conclusion after both juries said they could not reach a verdict.
The charges against Jack de Belin have been dropped. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Christian GillesSource:News Corp Australia
Mr de Belin, who has been sidelined under the NRL’s no-fault rule since late 2019, was facing the prospect of a third trial before the NSW District Court.
However his management and legal team have been advised that the Director of Public Prosecutions decided against proceeding.
The matter is scheduled to be mentioned at Sydney’s Downing Centre District Court on Friday.
The DPP’s decision not to pursue charges opens up the door for the former NSW State of Origin forward to return to the field immediately.
He was the first player stood down under the NRL’s “no fault” rule, under which anyone charged with a crime which carries a sentence of 11 years or more, is not allowed to take the field.
He challenged the governing body in the Federal Court however Justice Melissa Perry ruled the provision did not amount to a restraint of trade.
Mr de Belin played his last game on September 15, 2018 in the Dragons’ semi-final loss to South Sydney.
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