As the Broncos trio are finally cleared of the mess that surrounded them for months – surely the public must now be told the identity of the female that was implicated in the situation prior to the NRL semi finals.
Police have today said there is insufficient evidence to charge three Brisbane Broncos over assault and drug allegations.
But Karmichael Hunt, Darius Boyd and Sam Thaiday have still been fined by Broncos bosses for bring the club into disrepute.
Broncos chief executive Bruno Cullen told reporters the club had fined the players $20,000 each.
Cullen said the three players would also miss out on third-party sponsorships.
He said the players had been “stupid” for putting themselves in the position in the first place. But while these comments may be true, the damage to the Broncos reputations is huge and yet their accuser is allowed to walk away totally free from any shame or implication in the event – something that surely needs to be changed to make things even for all sides in future situations?
The $20,000 fines will be spent on counselling programs, with any left over donated to charity, he said.
He said the fines only related to the sexual assault allegations, not the drug use claims.
A team of 12 police investigators probed allegations of sexual assault against a 24-year-old woman in a Brisbane nightclub toilet on September 13.
During the investigation, police discovered footage of alleged drug use on a mobile phone video camera.
Queensland police commissioner Bob Atkinson told reporters there was insufficient evidence to lay any charges.
It is believed video footage on a mobile phone seized from one of three players involved in an alleged sexual assault of a 24-year-old woman in a Brisbane nightclub toilet on September 13 also showed people taking drugs.
As the incident made headlines across Australia, Hunt was left by his girlfriend Emma Harding.
Cullen said the entire Broncos squad was on notice over behaviour standards.
“The whole squad is on notice at the moment,” Mr Cullen said.
“These are not good times, they are very difficult times to handle.”
He said the three players were on their “final warnings” in regard to behaviour.
Cullen said he believed the size of the fines was appropriate.
“It is said that professional footballers can accept any fine, but I can tell you now under the financial conditions of today a $20,000 fine is a fair whack,” he said.
“The players will be subject to sanctions with regard to third-party deals with sponsors and I can guarantee that in at least two cases that will cost the players $60,000.”
He said the club had been advised by several sponsors that they no longer wanted the players to endorse their products.
Barrister Tim Carmody – who was last month asked by police to review evidence gathered in the investigation – accepted that there was insufficient evidence to charge the three men.
The players’ legal representative was advised of police findings on Monday morning.
The woman was also advised.
Deputy Commissioner Ian Stewart said the woman had accepted the findings and had been offered support.