Manly star Brett Stewart has been found not guilty of accusations that he sexually assaulted a 17 year old girl at a Manly function earlier this year.

Manly Chairman Scott Penn breathed a sigh of relief after the ordeal dragged on for some time. He is happy that the Manly club can now focus their attention on the off-season in preparation for the 2011 season.

He also stated that Stewart has been granted indefinite leave, and that he can take as much time as he needs to recover from his traumatic experience.

“As a club we all knew the type of quality person Brett Stewart is and from day one of the allegations there was an insistence that like every Australian citizen he should be allowed to have his day in court,” Penn said in a statement.

“That has been a long time coming – particularly for his close knit family. They have been hurt by the allegations but believed in the justice system to deliver the right verdict and it has.

“We will give Brett and his partner Jamie Baker all the time they need to recover from the traumatic last year and a half.

“Since Brett Stewart arrived home from England and the successful 2009 World Club Challenge his life has been under intense scrutiny. Everyone at the Sea Eagles from the staff in the front office, the coaching staff, team mates, sponsors, members and supporters wish him well and a successful return from a long period out with injury to his famous number one jersey next season.”

Brett Stewart only made one appearance for the Sea Eagles in 2010.

By ricky

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