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Suspending Majak Daw would have been unfair, says Galbally

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Jon Pierik, Steve Butcher and Cameron Houston

Majak Daw has struggled to secure a regular spot in the senior team.

Majak Daw has struggled to secure a regular spot in the senior team. Photo: Getty Images

Leading Victorian lawyer David Galbally says it would have been ''very unfair'' on Majak Daw had North Melbourne stood him down this weekend despite the young forward being charged with three counts of rape, relating to an alleged sexual assault in Altona North in 2007.

Victoria Police detectives filed a charges summons at court on Monday and Daw was expected to be served with a summons on Tuesday. It is believed the charges relate to allegations of penile, oral and digital rape.

Fairfax Media reported earlier this month that Daw had been arrested and interviewed in May over the offences allegedly committed in 2007, when he was 16.

Daw, 23, has reportedly denied the allegations.

A Victoria Police spokeswoman confirmed that detectives from the Sex Crimes Department had charged a 23-year-old man from Wyndham Vale with three counts of rape. ''The charges relate to an alleged historical assault in Altona North in 2007. As the matter is before the courts, Victoria Police will not be making any further comment,'' the spokeswoman said.

A filing hearing is scheduled for July 11.

Galbally, who is not representing Daw, suggested the Kangaroos had made the right decision.

''My view is it's a very difficult balance between the interests of the club, the interests of the public and the interests of the individual. Nothing has been proven at this point in time,'' he said on 3AW. ''It is the standard of proof that is beyond reasonable doubt and it's got a long way to go. I suppose to stand him down at this early stage would be very unfair, I think.''

Daw, the first Sudanese-born player to play AFL, joined the Kangaroos as a rookie in 2010, but has struggled to secure a regular spot in the senior team. He has played 12 senior matches since debuting last season, including six this season but none since round 12.

In a statement, North Melbourne said the club would support Daw and he would remain available for selection at VFL and AFL level. ''The club respects the integrity of the legal process and asks that the right to privacy of all involved be respected,'' it said.

AFL general counsel Andrew Dillon said the AFL supported the Kangaroos' response. ''This is a very serious matter and it is being treated very seriously by the club and the AFL,'' Dillon said.

''It is now important that the legal process be allowed to run its course. The AFL acknowledges the importance of the presumption of innocence in this case and also the need to treat all parties with respect and understanding.

''Given the specific circumstances of the case, the AFL has determined that the player remains available for selection by his club. However, we will monitor the case and reserve the right to take action under our rules if deemed appropriate. Further, the AFL has determined that a restriction will be placed on the player’s AFL and club promotional and development duties.''

Daw is managed by Craig Kelly's Elite Sports Properties. In a statement, the company said: ''As this is the subject of an ongoing proceeding, it is not appropriate for Majak, or ESP, to make any comment in relation to the matter. He is entitled to a presumption of innocence and we would ask that this and the right to privacy of all involved be respected.''

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