hand Bulldogs file to state prosecutor, by Les Kennedy,
Jacqueline Magnay and Stephen Gibbs - 2nd April 2004
The Sydney Morning Herald)
taped-shut cardboard box, 20cm deep by 40cm square,
yesterday held the answers to the future credibility,
lives and careers of at least six Bulldogs players
and one young woman.
from public gaze within the box was a hefty brief
of evidence stemming from the intense police investigation
into allegations by the 20-year-old woman that she
was sexually assaulted by players from the team during
their pre-season stay at the Pacific Bay Resort at
Coffs Harbour on February 22.
box - containing statements from 24 players who were
on the trip, records of interview with team support
staff and club management and DNA swab analysis -
arrived at the city offices of the Director of Public
Prosecutions at 2.05pm yesterday.
Strike Force McGuigon presentation to the DPP also
took place as two other detectives reinterviewed five
Bulldogs players at Orange Police Station yesterday.
Police have spent most of this week reinterviewing
all of the Bulldogs players and briefing club officials
and their legal counsel, Jim Young and Mark Matulich.
say it could take up to two more weeks before they
receive an opinion from the DPP as to whether there
is sufficient evidence to prosecute any player.
chairman George Peponis said these latest interviews,
conducted in the midst of the club's country public
relations initiative, had been flagged by the police.
said earlier this week he was "quietly confident"
players would be cleared of the allegations levelled
night, the Bulldogs' first-grade squad took part in
an open forum, answering public questions at the Orange
Ex-Servicemen's club. For the first time, coach Steve
Folkes spoke out about the crisis that has enveloped
all the articles and radio and stuff written on us,
I reckon probably five per cent is true and 95 per
cent has been fabrication, innuendo, rumour and misinformation,"
he told the Central Western Daily newspaper.
just been twisted because it sells newspapers or it
increases ratings. We supposedly behaved like drunken
louts in Coffs Harbour from anonymous sources yet
the NRL investigated and the owner of the Plantation
Hotel where we supposedly carried on like that gave
us glowing references.
not saying we haven't done anything wrong, far from
it, but the amount of adverse publicity we've received
since Coffs Harbour has been disgraceful. We've had
more front pages than the 9-11 disaster in New York.
All this has come from an allegation which is at this
point unproven yet the media have speculated wildly
about everything and anything to do with it.
hide behind the word alleged, they hide behind the
word anonymous source, they hide behind 'I'm only
doing my job'. When the truth comes out at the end
of all this, they're the ones that are going to have
egg on their face."
the woman at the centre of earlier Bulldogs sexual
assault allegations in March 2003, Valerie Margaret
Galloway, said she was planning to take legal action
against the club and the NSW police for emotional
distress. Her case was dropped by the DPP last year
for lack of sufficient evidence but she maintains
the case was bungled.
in another blow for the club, no Bulldogs players
were named in the Australia squad announced by the
ARL yesterday. Test incumbent Willie Mason was dropped
and Braith Anasta and Hazem El Masri were overlooked,
as was Brent Sherwin, despite the season-ending injury
to halfback Andrew Johns.
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