Magistrate Jacqueline Trad of the Sutherland Local Court ruled on Wednesday that former Canberra centre Blake Ferguson is guilty of indecent assault. The incident happened on June 16, 2013, on a night out to celebrate Ferguson's selection in the New South Wales State of Origin team.
He was at the 2230 Bar and Restaurant with Josh Dugan, a former Canberra and Blues teammate, when a 24-year-old woman accused Ferguson of squeezing her vagina.
Although sentencing has been postponed until February 2014, hopes for Ferguson's return to the NRL next season is now a big question market. The NRL, for one, had condemned Blake's behaviour. Integrity Unit Chief Operating Officer Jim Doyle said the guilty verdict would work against Ferguson is he is planning a comeback in 2014 to the rugby league.
But since the NRL has not been notified of a contract for him in 2014 even if there are talks of South Sydney, Cronulla, the Warriors and Brisbane getting his services, Ferguson could not be subject to the league's rules or sanctions.
Despite Ferguson's current situation, Mr Doyle stressed, quoted by The Sydney Morning Herald, "Whether someone is a rugby league player or not, the actions are completely unacceptable and entirely contrary to the values of our fans and the game."
He said the NRL, when it would consider any future application, would require a player to be someone fit and proper as a person to be registered.
The NRL had suspended Ferguson this year for repeated alcohol offences, while Canberra fired Blake for refusing to report to the club for duties.
Ferguson tried boxing in November, but he was beaten by Luke Kelly, also a first-time fighter.