Victoria Police have announced they’ve dropped the investigation into the nude photo reportedly leaked by a Richmond Football Club player, after the victim in question requested the probe be withdrawn.
Police had been investigating the leak of the photo which showed a woman topless while wearing a 2017 AFL Premiers medallion. The photo was widely circulated shortly after the Tigers took out the AFL Grand Final in late September.
Early Tuesday evening, however, Victoria Police revealed that their investigation would be put on hold indefinitely at the request of the unidentified woman.
A spokesperson for Vic Police confirmed that the victim had requested that police withdraw their enquiries effective immediately; a request police agreed to.
At the request of the complainant the investigation into the circulation of intimate images has ceased. This current development does not preclude the investigators from reopening the investigation at a later date.
The photo-in-question did not show the woman’s face, nor did it identify the Richmond player who took the photo. Police previously asserted that they had identified the player at the centre of the issue, and Richmond club officials confirmed the AFL’s Integrity Unit was also looking into the incident.
Legal representatives for the woman assert that she did not consent to the image’s distribution, and that her “trust and privacy has been breached by the unauthorised distribution of the photo.” However, they stated that in light of the decision to cease the investigation, her “welfare is our main priority, as is restoring her privacy.”
Richmond club boss Brendan Gale stated firmly that the club “feels very strongly about creating an environment where women can thrive and this club feels very strongly about promoting attitudes and behaviours that are respectful of and supportive of women.”
In Victoria, it is a criminal offence to distribute an intimate image of someone without their knowledge or consent. It is an offence that carries a potential jail term of two years.