Beale granted bail as he faces sexual assault charge
NEWS: Wallabies veteran Kurtley Beale was granted bail and ordered to surrender his passport on Saturday after being charged over an alleged sexual assault at a Sydney pub last month.
The fullback, who has made 95 appearances for Australia and was hoping to be part of their squad for the World Cup in France this year, was arrested on Friday.
He was charged with “two counts of sexually touching another person without consent, inciting another to sexually touch them without consent and sexual intercourse without consent”, police said.
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Beale, 34, appeared at Parramatta Bail Court in Sydney via video link after spending the night in a cell and was granted bail on several conditions.
They included reporting to the police twice weekly, surrendering his passport and staying away from drugs and alcohol.
Beale’s wife, the mother of his newborn child, was reportedly in the courtroom.
His lawyer was cited by the Sydney Daily Telegraph as telling the court his client intended to plead not guilty.
Beale returned to Australia and the NSW Waratahs last year after a stint with French Top 14 side Racing 92 to keep himself in the frame to play for Australia at a fourth World Cup in September-October this year.
After his arrest, Rugby Australia suspended him from “all forms of rugby with immediate effect pending the conclusion of legal proceedings, as well as Rugby Australia’s own investigations”.
“This step follows Beale’s arrest and subsequent charge with serious criminal offences, and is in line with Rugby Australia’s Professional Player Code of Conduct,” the governing body added.
The charging of Beale has come just days after Jones’ second stint as Australia’s national coach was announced and in the week following the gifted playmaker taking part in a 44-man Wallabies training camp on the Gold Coast.
It was expected that the mercurial Beale, capped 95 times by the Wallabies, might be given a fresh lease of life under Jones after being omitted from Dave Rennie’s squad for the spring tour to Europe.
“Kurtley is the most wonderfully gifted player. He does things other players don’t even dream of,” Jones, who’s long talked in glowing terms of the veteran’s unique gifts on the rugby field, once said.
“He’s got that ability to make that big play. He just adds that extra dimension that you don’t know where he’s going to turn up in attack, you don’t know what he’s going to do and he does it with skill, he does it with pace, he does it with precision and a smile on his face.”
But Beale’s brilliance on the field has also often been accompanied by off-field controversies and a long battle with alcoholism.
*Additional reporting AAP