Richmond premiership footballer could face jail over nude photo scandal

A Richmond footballer has become the centre of a topless photo scandal.

A Richmond footballer has become the centre of a topless photo scandal. Photo: AAP

A member of Richmond’s AFL premiership-winning team faces a possible jail term after police confirmed they are investigating the distribution of a photo of a woman posing nude with his premiership medal.

It is understood a woman consented to topless photos being taken on the night of Richmond’s AFL grand final win over the Adelaide Crows.

She reportedly had no knowledge of the two photos being distributed, and the football player, who allegedly took the photos, reportedly told her he had deleted the images from his phone.

However, the photos began circulating and it was not long before they became public.

The woman’s face cannot be seen in either photo and the football player whose medal was photographed has not been formally identified.

Victoria Police told The New Daily that Yarra Crime Investigation Unit detectives are investigating an image distributed on social media “without consent”.

Police declined to comment further on the matter as the investigation is “ongoing”.

When contacted by the The New Daily, the AFL declined to confirm or deny Herald Sun reports that the AFL Integrity Unit was investigating the leaked photo and had been in touch with the woman who has asserted “revenge porn” claims.

Sexting laws, introduced to combat revenge porn, involve penalties of up to two years’ jail.

The Richmond Football Club told The New Daily on Wednesday that it was aware of “a photo”.

“As the matter is subject to a police investigation we will fully assist with their enquiries, should they be required,” the club’s statement read.

“At the Richmond Football Club we feel very strongly about the positive role of women at our club and in sport generally.

“We are committed to creating an environment where women can thrive and we are dedicated to promoting attitudes and behaviours that are respectful and supportive of women.”

‘It’s not what we’re about’

Richmond president Peggy O’Neal was probed about the matter on ABC’s Q&A on Monday night when she appeared as a panellist.

“We can only guess who took the photo and who sent it, but it would seem one of your players is involved. How does that represent respect and policy and does Aussie Rules football have a problem with women?” the audience member asked.

Ms O’Neal, the club’s first female president, said that while she could not comment on the event, the club did not stand for disrespect towards women.

“I don’t have all the facts about that. But if it turns out that it is disrespectful to women, we certainly don’t stand for that, that’s not what our club’s about,” she said.

“And if someone has made a disrespectful and humiliating gesture, then of course it will be taken into account. That isn’t what we’re about. That isn’t what the AFL is about.

“I think that our club has shown it’s for equality, it’s for inclusiveness and it wants to promote women. So, the fact that someone has made a terrible judgement and maybe has been disrespectful …

“I think that doesn’t say that’s what the club’s about or what sport’s about, and people make errors in judgement all the time.

Ms O’Neal said the incident had only been brought to her attention within a few hours of appearing on the ABC on Monday evening.

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