The Sydney Swans have stood down Elijah Taylor after the AFL player was charged with assault.
Police arrested the 19-year-old and charged him with aggravated assault occasioning bodily harm following an incident in Perth on Sunday.
Kayo is your ticket to the 2020 Toyota AFL Premiership Season. Watch every match of every round Live & On-Demand. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >
“We are extremely disappointed to have one of our players in this position,” Swans CEO Tom Harley said in a statement.
“As a result of the serious nature of these charges, coupled with Elijah’s failure to abide by club directives on a number of occasions this year, we have made the decision to stand him down from all club commitments immediately. We will review this position as the situation unfolds.
“We believe this is the most appropriate course of action giving respect to all involved, and in light of the impending court proceedings.
“This is a difficult situation and one we will work with relevant experts and authorities to navigate.
“The club, together with the AFL, will ensure Elijah and those involved receive the appropriate assistance and support.
“Finally I would like to reiterate that our club has very strong values, which include respect, tolerance and a condemnation of violence, especially against women. We expect everyone at our club to uphold these values without compromise.”
EX-GIRLFRIEND SPEAKS OUT
Taylor’s ex-girlfriend says she is shaken up after the young gun was arrested and charged.
Lekahni Pearce spoke to Channel 7 in the wake of the incident and said she was still trying to process what had happened.
Taylor was picked up by the cops on Sunday and taken to Cannington Police Station where he was interviewed for several hours before being charged and released.
“Cannington Detectives have charged a 19-year-old man following an incident in Perth yesterday morning, 13 September 2020,” said a statement from WA police.
“It is alleged that between 6am and 8am the man assaulted an 18-year-old woman who is known to him at a hotel in the Perth CBD.
“The 19-year-old man from Maroubra (NSW) has been charged with Aggravated Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm and was bailed to appear in the Perth Magistrates Court on Wednesday 30 September 2020.”
If found guilty, the offence carries a maximum penalty of three years behind bars and a fine of $36,000 in the Magistrates Court of Western Australia, and a maximum term of imprisonment of seven years if it is dealt with in a higher court.
Circumstances of aggravation in WA include when the alleged offender is in a domestic relationship with the victim, where a child was present, where the conduct breaches the terms of a restraining order, or where the victim is 60 years or older.
A member of Taylor’s family told 7 News Perth they “did not condone violence against women”.
On Monday, Minister for Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Simone McGurk said: “The AFL, its leaders and players have a real opportunity to influence behaviour among a group of male role models, as well as the wider community, and they should grab it with both hands and run with it.
“We are calling on any individual or organisation — not just the AFL — to do the decent thing, show leadership and speak out.”
It’s the latest blow for Taylor, who made headlines last month when Pearce entered the club’s quarantine accommodation in Perth, which was not permitted in the AFL’s return to play protocols.
Taylor’s partner was alleged to have crossed a golf course and jumped multiple fences in order to enter the Swans’ biosecurity bubble. She spoke with Channel 7 soon after, confirming the true events surrounding the meet up, claiming there was no scaling of any fences.
“No security, I didn’t see a security guard,” she said.
“I just walked through, went to his room. That’s how easy it was. I didn’t jump any fences.”
The Swans were given a $50,000 fine, and Taylor was stood down from the club for the remainder of the season.
Originally published as Swans take action after AFL star’s arrest