Dragons player Jack de Belin committed to stand trial on five charges of sexual assault

Jack De Belin outside Wollongong court on Wednesday. Picture: Adam McLean
Jack De Belin outside Wollongong court on Wednesday. Picture: Adam McLean

St George Illawarra Dragons player Jack De Belin has been committed to stand trial over the alleged rape of a woman inside a Wollongong apartment block last December.

De Belin appeared in Wollongong Local Court on Wednesday morning where a representative of the Director of Public Prosecutions confirmed additional, more serious charges, exclusively revealed by the Mercury on Wednesday, had been laid against de Belin and his co-accused, Callan Sinclair.

The pair are now facing four counts of aggravated sexual assault in company and a new, freshly laid charge of aggravated sexual assault in company causing actual bodily harm.

Callan Sinclair outside Wollongong court on Wednesday. Picture: Adam McLean

Callan Sinclair outside Wollongong court on Wednesday. Picture: Adam McLean

The latter charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison, while the former charges each carry 20 years.

On Wednesday, Sinclair was also committed to stand trial on the same five charges.

In court, prosecutors said the case had been subject to a conference between both parties but no resolution had been achieved and the matter was ready to proceed to trial.

Magistrate Michael Stoddart formally committed the case for trial in the NSW District Court, setting down de Belin and Sinclair's arraignment for August 20.

De Belin did not speak to waiting media as he left the courthouse.

A set of police facts previously sighted by the Mercury said de Belin and Sinclair met the alleged victim at Mr Crown nightclub on the evening of December 8, where they talked as part of a larger group.

It is alleged the woman accompanied De Belin and Sinclair to an apartment in Gipps Street so the two men could "charge their phones".

Once inside the apartment, de Belin allegedly grabbed hold of the woman, forcibly removed her clothing and pinned her on the bed with his right forearm before allegedly raping her.

Sinclair allegedly silently watched on until de Belin said to him "come have a go".

It is alleged the pair then engaged in the joint rape of the woman, at one stage swapping positions between them, before Sinclair allegedly said "I can't get hard anymore" and went to shower.

Police allege De Belin continued to rape the woman, at times putting his hand around her throat, making it hard for her to breath.

Afterwards, the woman said she had a shower before ordering the trio an Uber to take them to Fever Nightclub. She said she left soon after they arrived, and contacted a friend.

She then went to Wollongong Hospital where she underwent a rape test. Police allege she had injuries to her legs, neck, lower abdomen and shoulder.

Meanwhile, de Belin was stood down by the NRL in February after his first court appearance, becoming the first player sanctioned under the game's new 'no-fault' stand-down policy.

The policy stipulates that players facing serious charges - carrying 11 years imprisonment or more - will be automatically stood-down from playing until their court process has concluded.

De Belin failed in his first legal challenge of the no-fault policy in the Federal Court in May, with the court ruling in the NRL's favour ensuring he remains stood down until the conclusion of the criminal case.