Roosters star BJ Leilua charged with assault
MICHAEL CARAYANNIS AND EMMA PARTRIDGE
Star Sydney Roosters outside back Joseph ''BJ'' Leilua has gone from the verge of Origin selection to a jail cell in the space of a week.
Leilua has been banned from licensed premises and spent a night in jail after allegedly assaulting his former girlfriend.
Leilua's playing future is in doubt after being accused of spitting on his ex-girlfriend and sending lewd photos of her after an argument at a St George hotel early on Saturday.
Detective Inspector Gary Ballard, of St George Police, said Leilua, whose full name is Joseph Ikenasio Poiva Leilua Kelemete, went to Kogarah Police Station on Saturday.
He was charged with assault, breaching an AVO and using a phone to harass after the incident at the Allawah Hotel. He was refused bail.
Leilua appeared via video link before Parramatta Bail Court on Sunday, and was released after $6000 was posted for his bail. He was ordered to live with a parent at Arncliffe, and is not allowed to enter licensed premises until he appears at Kogarah Local Court on June 7.
A police spokesman said Leilua allegedly sent personal photos of the woman via his mobile phone to other people.
Leilua had been due to play in last night's match against Canterbury at Allianz Stadium but Roosters chief executive Steve Noyce confirmed he would be stood down.
''He was arrested,'' Noyce said yesterday. ''Obviously these matters are very serious and he goes before court in about two weeks' time. We will respect that legal process and work through it with him and the legal people. Next week we have the bye. This situation just happened over the weekend. We need to at this stage make sure we respect the court process.''
An NRL spokesman said it would monitor the situation closely. Given the NRL's stance on violence against women, Leilua could face a lengthy period out of the game if found guilty. Police allege Leilua approached the woman inside the Railway Parade hotel about 1.30am.
''He was then taken out of the hotel by security, and a number of text messages [were] received after the fight,'' Inspector Ballard said. ''The victim came in and reported the matter and as a result some time later the accused attended St George police station, where he was arrested and charged.''
Earlier this month the woman was granted an AVO.
The Roosters trumpeted a two-year contract extension of the St George junior in April.
''BJ is an exciting young talent and we are very pleased to ... extend his time at the club,'' coach Brian Smith said at the time.
With the Roosters having a bye next weekend, Leilua could be eligible for the club's next game against Brisbane on June 10.
- Sydney Morning Herald