Jack de Belin’s rape trial has been pushed back to April 8 due to a significant witness in the case getting struck down with an illness, as reported by Fox Sports.
De Belin and co-accused Callan Sinclair were due to begin the two-week trial on February 2 for allegedly sexually assaulting 19-year-old female.
The incident dates back to December 2018 during a night out inside a North Wollongong apartment.
The pair both pleaded not guilty to four counts of sexual assault in company and one count of aggravated sexual assault in company inflicting actual bodily harm.
The Rugby League Players’ Association released the following statement over the news:
“The RLPA makes no comment in relation to the criminal proceedings – which have been adjourned today – before the District Court of NSW involving our member, Jack de Belin,” the statement read.
“However, the fact that the matter will now be further delayed due to legal complications again demonstrates the inherent unfairness of the NRL’s “No-Fault Stand Down” Policy.
“The policy restrains players from plying their trade for an indeterminate period of time while denying the player their fundamental right to the presumption of innocence.
“The player is also denied the right to be heard by the NRL in relation to its decision and the ongoing impact of the stand down period.
“The RLPA remains opposed to the ‘No Fault Stand Down’ Policy, which was introduced without the consultation and consent of the RLPA, as is required by the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
“The CBA Dispute remains ongoing.”
De Belin was stood for all of the 2019 season and this setback casts doubt over his future, with the Dragons forward off-contract at the end of the year.
He has been allowed to train with his teammates as he awaits his trial.