Ex-NRL player fails in casino grope appeal


A former NRL player who groped a female casino worker while celebrating Queensland winning the 2017 State of Origin decider has lost his bid to appeal his conviction.

Nathan Sologinkin denied touching the croupier between her legs as he passed her in the crowded Treasury Casino in Brisbane on July 13, 2017.

But he was convicted of indecent assault by a Brisbane District Court jury in October last year and handed a four-month jail sentence, wholly suspended for 12 months.

“This was a crude and opportunistic sexual offence by a man of mature years against a vulnerable woman in her workplace,” Queensland Appeal Court Justices Walter Sofronoff, Anthe Philippides and Thomas Bradley said in a judgment published on Friday.

“Indeed, a man of maturity and ordinary insight would recognise in himself the risk which attends drinking too much and would, for that reason, guard against losing control of his sexual impulses.”

Sologinkin was “unwilling or unable to express the slightest regret” after being found guilty, they added.

“The appellant’s past good character may be accepted as a fact, but what was conspicuously and seriously lacking was any insight that should have evoked from him, ultimately an acknowledgement of his wrongdoing after his guilt had been established beyond any reasonable doubt.”

The judges said the jury could have been under no misapprehension there was touching of some kind because of a video recording.

“The only question for the jury was whether there was an intentional touching, that is to say, whether the appellant deliberately reached out to touch the complainant between her legs for his own sexual gratification,” they said.

Rejecting Sologinkin’s claim the croupier’s evidence lacked credibility and reliability, the judges said he “took the opportunity to put his hand between her legs to feel her genitals”.

“The video recording, in its depiction of this interaction and in its depiction of the complainant’s horrified reaction, supported the complainant’s evidence,” they added.

The appeal court judges also rejected Sologinkin’s argument that he had suffered a miscarriage of justice because of a direction regarding intentional and accidental touching given to the jury and that an appropriate penalty was a fine, good behaviour bond or community service.



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