Ex-NRL star George Burgess has been cleared of allegations that he groped a woman during a visit to her home to hand over a signed jersey.

The 32-year-old was found not guilty on Friday on one charge of sexually touching the woman without consent over an incident in March 2022.

The woman, who cannot be legally named, claimed the rugby league player touched her buttocks and made suggestive comments about her “juicy arse”.

Burgess had visited the woman’s home to give her a signed St George Illawarra jersey, Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court was told previously.

He denied trying to kiss or have sex with the woman, who he had known for more than 10 years, although he admitted he wanted to “hit (her) up to be intimate”.

Burgess was not in court in person as Magistrate Emma Manea acquitted him of the charge, instead appearing via a livestream.

A woman shook her head in the courtroom after the decision was handed down, bursting into tears after saying “what have you done to women?” to the magistrate.

Manea said that she did not accept all of Burgess’s evidence, but she believed that he had not touched the woman sexually without her permission.

The court previously heard the UK-born ex-NRL player tried to kiss the woman multiple times at her apartment, but he failed as she swerved each time.

He said he never touched the woman’s backside, but he admitted he placed his hand on her lower back while she made tea in the kitchen.

The pair then sat together on the couch, where the former front-rower put his arm around her to get a photo, Burgess said.

“I was being cheeky, I was being friendly … it was nothing more than that,” he told the court previously.

Burgess also admitted asking the woman to cuddle on the sofa and stay for five minutes to “be naughty” with him, but he denied sticking his hand down the front of his pants.

After seeing the woman was “a bit uncomfortable”, Burgess said he got up, left her apartment and went home.

Burgess received a Snapchat message from the woman the next day, accusing him of sexual assault and groping.

The 32-year-old retired from rugby league in November after playing for South Sydney – where he won an NRL premiership – as well as the Wigan Warriors and finally St George Illawarra.

He has 153 NRL games to his name, as well as 15 Tests for England.

Source: https://amp.9news.com.au/article/4a13407b-85a3-4632-98ba-20e89fe87e86