St George Illawarra player Jack de Belin arrives at Wollongong Local Court on Tuesday morning. Picture: Dean Lewins/AAP
St George Illawarra player Jack de Belin arrives at Wollongong Local Court on Tuesday morning. Picture: Dean Lewins/AAP

Dragons star de Belin pleads not guilty to rape

ST GEORGE Illawarra star Jack de Belin has entered a not guilty plea in Wollongong Local Court over the alleged rape of a 19-year-old woman on December 9.

The incumbent NSW State of Origin lock also asked the court to alter his bail conditions, with his lawyer saying de Belin's rugby league commitments made it difficult for him to report three times a week.

According to Illawarra Mercury court reporter Shannon Tonkin, police were resisting the change of conditions, but the magistrate granted the application, saying de Belin was "too high profile" to be considered a flight risk.

His co-accused, friend Callan Sinclair, 21, also pleaded not guilty through his lawyer, Graeme Morrison.

Sinclair was supported by his parents.

Callan Sinclair also pleaded not guilty at Wollongong Local Court. Picture: Dean Lewins/AAP
Callan Sinclair also pleaded not guilty at Wollongong Local Court. Picture: Dean Lewins/AAP

It is alleged that de Belin, Sinclair and a 19-year-old woman had attended a Christmas pub crawl in Wollongong and left in a taxi, with the woman believing they were on their way to another night spot.

Instead, the trio arrived at a private residence.

According to the woman's statement to police, the men claimed they needed to get changed, and she needed to use the bathroom, so she followed them inside the apartment.

When she came back out of the room, about 1.30am, she alleges both men were naked and they sexually assaulted her.

After the alleged assault, the woman says she told a friend and went to hospital for treatment.

De Belin voluntarily fronted Wollongong Police Station about 3.40pm on December 13, and was charged with one count of aggravated sexual assault in company.

The matter has been adjourned until April 17.

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