Former NRL and Super League star Brett Finch has been arrested for allegedly sharing child abuse material on his mobile phone.
Finch, 40, was arrested and charged with five counts of use carriage service transmit or publish or promote child abuse, according to the Daily Telegraph.
He was granted conditional police bail to appear at Sutherland Local Court on Tuesday 11 January 2022.
Finch is not alone in the alleged crime, with another seven men being arrested as part of the Strike Force Hank investigation by the NSW Police Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad.
The Squad seized mobile phones, electronic items and illicit drugs to help their ongoing investigation into the alleged sharing of child abuse material through an adult telephone service.
“We will allege that each of the men arrested by detectives over the past month expressed desires to engage in sexual activity with children, and in some cases, attempted to access child abuse material from other users of the service,” Detective Superintendent Jayne Doherty said.
“Producing, disseminating or possessing child abuse material are serious offences, and detectives will continue to dismantle these types of operations, so children are free from harmful situations, exploitation and abuse.”
Police sources have also alleged that Finch was accessing online chat rooms where the offending occurred, with police then tracing the electronic devices, allegedly, to Finch and seven others.
In a 15-year NRL career, Finch played 330 games for Canberra, Sydney Roosters, Parramatta and Melbourne. He also represented NSW between 2004 and 2006.
Finch, who made 60 appearances for Wigan in 2011 and 2012 as well as 270 for an array of NRL sides, told the Turn Up The Talk podcast about how he lost his girlfriend and was stood down from two jobs at his lowest point.
The ex-halfback cited mental health issues as the reason why he left Channel Nine after working as a commentator and panellist on the NRL Footy Show in 2016.