A former NRL star is fighting allegations he twice grabbed a woman’s bottom without her consent after meeting up to exchange a signed jersey for a cancer charity event.

George Burgess, 31, pleaded not guilty last year to a single charge of sexually touching another person without consent while at the woman’s Mascot home in Sydney last year.

The former St George Illawarra Dragons forward admitted to going to the home of the woman, whom he had known for about a decade, after agreeing to provide a signed jersey.

The woman, who cannot be named, told police in body-worn footage played in court on Monday that Mr Burgess tried to kiss her moments after handing over the charity item.

“That’s when I said, ‘Do you want a cup of tea?’ to defuse the situation … I opened the cupboard and he’s turned around (and) grabbed me on the bottom,” the woman told police.

“I froze on the inside and was just looking at the tea. He put a hand either side of my body and pressed right up against me. … I told him, ‘This is not going to happen’.”

The woman told officers that she asked Mr Burgess about his wife and kids, to which he allegedly replied: “You know how it is.”

Police allege Mr Burgess again tried to kiss the woman after the tea was tipped out because of off milk before suggesting the pair “cuddle” on the couch.

I got all hot and sweaty. That’s when he turned around and said, ‘You’re getting hot, why don’t you take your jumper off?’ the woman told general duties police in the footage played to the court.

“He leaned back and that’s when he put his hand down his pants. I wasn’t sure what he was going to do. He stood and said, ‘I love your juicy a**e and grabbed my a**e’.

“I said, ‘Nothing is going to happen’. He said, ‘Stay and be naughty with me’. He tried to kiss me again … I said, ‘I’m a good girl and this isn’t happening’. He had a chuckle.”

Police prosecutor Adrian Wash told Sydney Downing Centre Court that Mr Burgess left the property after telling the woman that they would “talk in another 10 years”.

Days after, the woman confronted Mr Burgess in Snapchat messages that were also provided to police. In the messages, Mr Burgess apologised for the alleged incident.

Mr Burgess’ lawyer, Bryan Wrench, told the court the former NRL star did not contest going to the home for the jersey but was in “complete denial” that he grabbed her.

Mr Wrench told the court there was no DNA evidence on the woman’s jumper from Mr Burgess and called into question evidence taken by police from her phone after the report.

The court was told Snapchat messages, which automatically delete, were not recorded from before the incident and the pair had been “best friends” on the app.

The woman took notes after the alleged incident and reported immediately to her friends and then partner, the court was told, but did not report it to police until some days later.

The officer in charge of the investigation, Detective Senior Constable Olivia Matthews, said the woman had told her that she had delayed reporting the allegations to police owing to concerns about “repercussions” from potential media reports.

Nonetheless, Mr Wrench told the court the woman had been interviewed by The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail following publication of the allegations last year.

At the time of Mr Burgess’ arrest, the Dragons said they informed the NRL integrity unit, but he wasn’t stood down from playing.

Mr Burgess retired from the game later that year but in a May Instagram hinted at a return to the sport with the caption: “The comeback is on.”

Later that month, Mr Burgess announced he would return to play with the Cairns Brothers in the Cairns and District Rugby League competition.

Magistrate Emma Manea told the court that a number of witnesses were expected to be called later on Monday, including the woman, a friend, and other police officers.


Source: Fox Sports https://www.foxsports.com.au/nrl/nrl-premiership/burgess-alleged-be-naughty-with-me-offer-as-former-nrl-star-fights-groping-allegation/news-story/891d94db6a460d894fe25b45c80fb164