Brisbane and St Kilda stars charged - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Brisbane and St Kilda stars charged

By Guy Hand 06/06/2007 07:25:46 PM Comments (0)

Three of AFL football's biggest names will face court over a Melbourne pub brawl on the eve of last year's grand final.

Brownlow medallists Michael Voss and Simon Black and St Kilda forward Fraser Gehrig are among six men who have been charged over a brawl at a St Kilda hotel on September 29 last year.

Police charged former Brisbane skipper Voss with unlawful assault, while current Lions co-captain Black has been charged with recklessly causing injury and assault by kicking.

Gehrig faces one charge of unlawful assault.

Police said the charges related to an incident at the Prince of Wales Hotel in St Kilda, in Melbourne's south.

Former Brisbane and St Kilda AFL player Steven Lawrence has also been charged with intentionally causing injury, two charges of unlawful assault and another charge of recklessly causing injury.

A 39-year-old South Melbourne man also faces charges arising from the incident.

All were charged on summons to appear in Melbourne Magistrates Court on August 7.

Jarrod Rouse, 28, of Box Hill, was charged with conduct endangering life and will face Melbourne Magistrates Court on July 31.

The charges follow several months of investigation by the Office of Public Prosecutions into a brawl following complaints by a female university student and her boyfriend that they were attacked by several AFL identities.

Lawyers representing Black and Voss confirmed the pair were facing charges and would strenuously deny the allegations.

"Both Michael and Simon are disappointed with this decision," their lawyer Michael Bosscher said in a statement.

"They emphatically deny the allegations and look forward to the opportunity of defending themselves before the courts."

Voss, who retired from football at the end of last season and now reads Network Ten's sports news in Brisbane, was a notable absentee from the bulletin.

He is also employed by the network on its AFL coverage.

Gehrig's AFL club St Kilda said in a statement the forward was "obviously disappointed" with the decision to lay charges against him.

"The club has been advised by Fraser's lawyers that he categorically denies the allegations and he will actively defend himself before the court," the statement said.

"The club is obviously disappointed at having an employee involved in any type of police investigation."

An AFL spokesman said the league had no comment to make on the matter as it was now before the courts.

But it is another setback for the AFL, which has been beset by off-field scandal this year including the recent drug-related allegations at premiers West Coast Eagles.

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