A Sydney magistrate has scolded North Queensland Cowboys forward Scott Bolton before he handed the NRL player a 12-month good behaviour bond.
- The North Queensland Cowboys prop was accused of touching a woman on the upper thigh at a Bondi bar in May 2018
- Bolton was charged with assault with an act of indecency but pleaded guilty to a lesser charge in Waverley Local Court
- He was handed a 12 month good behaviour bond
Bolton, 31, appeared in Waverley Local Court ready to fight a charge of assault with an act of indecency.
However, after negotiations with the prosecutor he pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of common assault and was sentenced by the magistrate.
The court heard the North Queensland Cowboys prop was charged in May 2018 after a woman accused him of touching her at Public Bar in Bondi.
A set of agreed facts state that Bolton was intoxicated as he slumped next to her on a sofa and when she stood up to get away from him he touched her on the upper thigh.
The woman then alerted bar staff who called police.
When officers later showed security camera vision of the incident to the Cowboys veteran he said, "yes, it's clearly me".
Bolton, who has been married since 2016, had been drinking during a night out with team mates after a win against Penrith.
Magistrate Gregory Grogin told the court the fact Bolton was a professional rugby league player would not mean he would be given any special treatment.
"Mr Bolton is not placed on a pedestal by the court," Magistrate Grogin said.
"He is expected to behave as any other member of the public behaves."
The Magistrate acknowledged Bolton had been under significant stress and media scrutiny since the charges were laid.
"As a result of his actions, he has come under the scrutiny of no doubt his family, club officials, the media and no doubt the public … but it can't be forgotten that Mr Bolton put himself in the spotlight by committing an offence," the magistrate said.
"The fact that he is a rugby league player is of no consequence of the court or to me."
The magistrate said he accepted Bolton had never been in trouble with the law before and had shown remorse, but added it was necessary to send a message that "people must know you are not to touch anybody else in an unlawful way".
No conviction was recorded.