Former NRL star Brett Finch has pleaded guilty to using a sexting hotline to share child abuse.
The former NSW state home had six charges dismissed on Tuesday but pleaded guilty to one count of using a carriage service to supply child abuse materials.
Finch, 40, was arrested last year when strike force detectives raided his Sans Soci home for allegedly taking part in an adult phone service used to transmit child abuse.
Police seized the mobile phone for forensics and he was charged with five counts of preparing child abuse services using a carriage service.
Police laid two new charges earlier this year for using a carriage service to deliver child abuse material.
He appeared in Sydney’s Downing Center Local Court on Tuesday with his lawyer Paul Magir, who entered a guilty plea to one of the charges.
Finch was charged with an additional six counts of using a carriage service to release child abuse material.
He was arrested on December 14 last year and held on bail.
NSW Police’s Child Exploitation Internet Unit launched Strike Force Hank last year to investigate an adult phone service used to distribute and discuss child abuse.
Police arrested seven other people – aged between 34 and 71 – in raids in Sydney, Coffs Harbor and Shoal Bay last year.
Finch’s shock arrest comes a week after he spoke about the alcohol and drug addiction issues that plagued his post-playing career.
More NRL news
Team tips: Panthers poised to make big strides, Souths rocked by Latrell coaching
Talking PTS: Bellamy’s ‘Devastating’ Switch; The rising star Kevvi is not to be defeated
Hops: Ceraldo’s secret meeting with $500m pub baron helped seal Dogs deal
He’s a Dolphin: Why Bennett’s Munster Coup May Have Made $6M
Manly saga on: Why Des may have painted a target on his own back.
Finch represented Canberra, Sydney Roosters, Parramatta and Melbourne in a 270-game NRL career that included the Storm’s 2007 grand final win over Parramatta, which was wiped from the history books due to salary cap fraud.
He is remembered for kicking the game-winning field goal in the 2006 season between the series after coming on as a late substitute due to the Blues’ injury crisis.
Following his retirement from the field, Finch moved into media and held commentary jobs for Channel 9 and Fox Sports.
In the year He checked himself into a mental health facility in 2019 and has since said he’s hit “rock bottom” after stopping by Channel 9 in 2016.