NRL veteran Scott Bolton has escaped conviction after pleading guilty to the common assault of a woman in a Sydney bar.
The North Queensland Cowboys prop, 31, had formally denied a charge of indecent assault against the woman at Bondi Beach Public Bar in May 2018.
In Waverley Local Court today, following discussions with police, that charge was withdrawn and Bolton entered his plea to the lesser charge of common assault.
He was handed a 12-month conditional release order and escaped conviction.
"Mr Bolton is not placed on a pedestal by the court, he is expected to behave as any other member of the public behaves," magistrate Greg Grogin said.
The magistrate noted the high-profile rugby league player has been scrutinised by the media, club officials, the public and "no doubt his family".
"(But) it can't be forgotten that Mr Bolton put himself in the spotlight by committing an offence," the magistrate said.
At the time of the assault, the Cowboys were in camp in Sydney having played the Penrith Panthers the previous day, May 4.
Bolton was charged on May 6 and later fronted reporters to tearfully say he couldn't speak about the matter because of police and NRL integrity unit investigations.
"What I can say is that I am taking the matter very seriously and co-operating fully with both the police and the NRL integrity unit," Bolton said at the time.
"I would ask that you respect the privacy of my wife and my family who are supporting me through this difficult time."
Bolton made his NRL debut with the Cowboys in 2007 and helped guide them to the 2015 premiership.
He played 13 more games in 2018 after the incident, with the team finishing the season 13th on the ladder.