Rookie charged with intentionally filming sex act
THE Manly Sea Eagles promoted teenage star Manase Fainu to first grade knowing he was charged with intentionally filming a sexual act and then posting it on social media.
The Saturday Telegraph has been told it will be alleged a woman was made aware of the post on Snapchat and immediately contacted police.
Fainu allegedly deleted the post and was charged by police. The NRL integrity unit has been made aware of the incident.
It is alleged Fainu engaged in consensual sex with the woman, who was unaware of being filmed. She and Fainu are known to each other.
The police offence states Fainu "intentionally recorded intimate image without consent."
He asked the court in May that the matter be dealt with under section 32 of the mental health act. He did not enter a plea and was granted bail.
Fainu, who made his Manly NRL debut at hooker against Penrith last weekend, will appear in Fairfield Local Court on August 7.
Manly has been told by the NRL that the club can continue to select Fainu until a court verdict is reached.
If found guilty, Fainu, 19, faces having his Manly contract - which ends after next season - terminated. He was previously in Manly's development squad.
"The integrity unity is aware of the matter and will let the legal process take its course before determining what action if any is required," an NRL spokesman said.
Manly privately conceded on Friday the club harboured reservations about naming Fainu last week, given officials knew he had been charged.
But with the NRL opting against standing the player down, Manly selected Fainu.
The NRL and Manly would take strong action against Fainu if found guilty in court. Possible penalties would include contract termination, suspension or fine.
NRL management remains stunned Fainu would face such a charge given the ongoing counselling and education players receive in regards to behaviour and social media.
Sea Eagles chief executive Lyall Gorman said he wasn't aware of any details about Fainu when contacted by The Daily Telegraph Friday afternoon.
The NRL has previously allowed players facing charges to continue playing. Manly has asked the NRL integrity unit for continued guidance on the matter.
A section 32 application is open to "a defendant who has a developmental disability, a mental illness or a mental condition for which treatment is available in a mental health facility, but who is not a mentally ill person."
It is unknown whether Manly has offered support for Fainu.
Fainu was elevated into Manly's NRL squad last week after the club released Jackson Hastings and lost regular hooper Api Koroisau to long-term injury.
He revealed late last month he was considering quitting rugby league to take up a Mormon mission.
Fainu is expected to be named in the Sea Eagles side for next Saturday's match against Melbourne Storm at Brookvale Oval.