NRL player Luciano Leilua will challenge domestic violence allegations, Sydney court hears – The Guardian

North Queensland Cowboys forward was charged after allegedly assaulting a woman known to him
North Queensland NRL forward Luciano Leilua will challenge a domestic violence assault case as his lawyer presses for police to drop the charges, a court has heard.
The 26-year-old was charged after allegedly assaulting a woman known to him, and smashing her phone at a home in Sydney on 3 October.
The alleged incident led to him being stood down under the NRL’s no-fault stand-down policy and forced out of Samoa’s side for the rugby league World Cup.
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Leilua’s lawyer, Elias Tabchouri, told Campbelltown local court on Tuesday that the woman had not made a statement in an admissible form.
“His career has been placed on hold,” Tabchouri told the court.
He said “urgent representations” were being made to police for a withdrawal of the charges because no complainant statement had been filed.
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The case will be mentioned again next Tuesday. Leilua has been excused from attending if legally represented.
Any contested hearing could not occur before May, the court was told.
The NRL said the decision to stand down Leilua should in no way be interpreted as a view on the innocence or guilt of the player.
“The discretionary no-fault stand down condition has been applied in this instance as the criminal charges involve allegations that the player has acted violently in relation to a female,” the league said on Thursday.
Leilua will be able to train with North Queensland once they return in November, but he will have to wait until the completion of court matters before a potential NRL return.
A mid-season signing from Wests Tigers, Leilua had made a significant impact on his arrival at the club in 2022 and is a significant part of their plans for at least the next three seasons.
In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is on 13 11 14 and the national family violence counselling service is on 1800 737 732. In the UK, Samaritans can be contacted on freephone 116 123 and the domestic abuse helpline is 0808 2000 247. In the US, the suicide prevention lifeline is 1-800-273-8255 and the domestic violence hotline is 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). Other international helplines can be found via www.befrienders.org

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