First Nations PlayersGeelong CatsRumours & Gossip

Former Cats player allegedly sues club for failing to protect him against sexual abuse

Former Geelong Football Club player claims that he was gang-raped at the Cats’ country recruits residence by three older footballers.

Former Geelong Footballer accuses three players of historic gang rape. He is suing the Cats because they failed to protect him against sexual abuse.

The former player claims that he was only 15 or 16 years old when he was sexually assaulted at Aberdeen House in the early 80s by three older athletes.

The man is a prominent Indigenous Elder in his late 50’s who filed a Supreme Court case against the Cats for a jury trial this week, claiming that the club was “obliged to take reasonable care” of his safety, welfare and supervision while he lived at the football home as a teenager.

Angela Di Carluccio, an attorney at Arnold Thomas & Becker, said that her client had shown courage and strength by coming forward to speak about his abuse.

He is a proud, well-respected Indigenous man who has worked hard to overcome his trauma in order to positively contribute to his community.

The unnamed former athlete played for the club’s Under-19s team but quit the game shortly after the alleged attack.

In court documents, he claims that the Cats are “vicariously responsible for the abuse”, because they hired the three alleged perpetrators.

These three players were not named in the writ and they have not been added to the list of co-defendants.

The document says that “(Geelong FC placed senior players in positions where they had power, authority, trust, and control, as well as the ability to gain intimacy with the plaintiff. This gave them the opportunity (to abuse him).”

The Plaintiff was vulnerable due to his age, separation from family members and his dislocation from home.

The writ that was served on the club also claims that Geelong FC did not protect minors against abuse, separate minors and adults at Aberdeen House or supervise the houseparent.

The ex-player claimed that he suffered a mental injury as a result. This led to him losing his earnings, earning capacity and incurring medical expenses and other costs.

Ms Di Carluccio stated that the Cats “had a duty to take care of his welfare and safety”, while he was living at the property.

She said, “There was an inability to supervise Aberdeen House properly or to separate my client from adult male players.”

A Geelong FC spokesperson said that the club would not be able to comment.

The vendors of Aberdeen House reported that during a recent sale, people from the community came up to them to tell them about the Cats and the property. They also said that the Cats “went to wild parties” at the house.

The Geelong Advertiser was told by a listing agent that the house will be sold in 2021. It was bought by the club for its 1963 premiership season and used as a country player’s residence.

The agent stated that the Cats owned the property until the early 1990s. There was also a house mother’s unit in the back yard.

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