NRL star breaks down over indecent assault charge
NORTH Queensland star Scott Bolton has spoken publicly for the first time since he was arrested and charged with assaulting a woman in Bondi on Saturday night.
The 30-year-old was in tears as he addressed the media on Tuesday, walking away from microphones after asking for his family's privacy to be respected.
The Cowboys veteran has been granted conditional bail and will appear in Waverley Local Court on June 19 to respond to a charge of assault with an act of indecency.
He was arrested on Sunday morning and charged after attending Waverley Police Station in Sydney's eastern suburbs.
The premiership-winning star has reportedly told the club he is innocent of the accusations, despite a report in The Courier-Mail claiming police will allege Bolton "grabbed" a 49-year-old woman's genitals during a boozy night out with teammates at a Bondi bar.
The NRL's integrity unit has made a decision to allow Bolton to continue playing before his day in court.
Bolton has been married to his wife Michelle since 2016 and has a clean record with the game's integrity unit.
He finally spoke out about the accusations against him on Tuesday, reading out a statement to declare he is taking the matter "very seriously".
"I understand that our members, partners and fans would like me to talk about the allegation that has been made against me," he said.
"However, since this is a matter that involves the police and the NRL integrity unit, I am unable to make any comments about the incident right now.
"What I can say is that I am taking the matter very seriously and cooperating fully with both the police and the NRL integrity unit.
"I have been approved to play by the NRL and the club during the investigation and so will work with the coach and our football department to decide whether I will play this week or not.
"I would ask that you respect the privacy of my wife and my family who are supporting me through this difficult time."
Emotional sounding NQ Cowboy Scott Bolton says he can't talk about 'incident' cause it's before the police but says clear to play. pic.twitter.com/Sdr6ItMphD— Kerrin Binnie (@kerrinbinnie) May 8, 2018
Scott Bolton in tears as he breaks his silence “ I ask you respect the privacy of my wife and family who are supporting me “ @9NewsAUS— Damian Ryan (@DamoNews) May 8, 2018
North Queensland are unsure if Bolton will line up for Thursday's NRL clash with the Wests Tigers.
The Cowboys prop has flown home to Townsville after being charged with assault with an act of indecency.
North Queensland stayed on in Sydney after Friday's pressure-relieving win over Penrith and on Saturday night the squad was out for dinner at a Bondi bar where the alleged incident took place.
Police were called to a Campbell Parade bar late on Saturday after a female patron made a complaint.
"Everyone was in the venue," hooker Jake Granville said.
"It (the charge) is not what you want in your lead up and we're sticking together.
"We've got a big job to do on Thursday night against the Tigers."
While the NRL says Bolton can continue to play while his court case is pending it appears unlikely he will return to Sydney to play in the game at Leichhardt Oval.
The Cowboys have former Brisbane prop Francis Molo in their squad, who is a chance to come into Paul Green's 17 for Bolton.
The allegations against Bolton, who has played 215 games for the Cowboys including their 2015 grand final win, took his teammates by surprise considering his good standing in the game.
"For 10 years he's never put a foot wrong and it's something that was really weird," winger Kyle Feldt said.
"He's busted his butt for us so we've got support for him, we're all going to be there for him no matter what.
"He is a good guy and I don't think anyone's got a bad word to say about him."
The Cowboys have not imposed an alcohol ban on the playing group for the remainder of their Sydney stay, however, Feldt said they were unlikely to be drinking a few days out from a game anyway.
Five-eighth Michael Morgan said all NRL players were mindful of their responsibilities after last year's collective bargaining agreement negotiations.
"I think that the outcome of all the CBA things that went on, players understood that they are partners in the game and they all want what's best," Morgan said. "Speaking completely away from this situation, we know that you can't be giving the game a bad look because we are genuine partners."
- with AAP