Matthew Lodge secures plea deal but faces multimillion-dollar US lawsuit

The former NRL player is likely to avoid jail time by pleading guilty to the misdemeanour reckless assault as his alleged victims file a civil suit

Former Wests Tigers prop Matthew Lodge has secured a plea handled in New York that could let him sidestep a jail sentence, but he still faces paying millions of dollars to the victims of his alleged violent rampage.

Lodge entered a guilty plea to a misdemeanour reckless assault charge in a Manhattan court on Tuesday.

He faces a maximum penalty of one year in jail when sentenced on 17 June.

The more serious charges of misdemeanour burglary, and burglary of dwelling causing injury, with a minimum five-year and maximum 25 -year jail sentence, were dismissed.

The alleged victims of the troubled 20 -year-old slapped Lodge with a 17 -page civil lawsuit on Monday containing frightening allegations of the violence and threats attributed to the 1.93 m, 110 kg rugby league player at about 4am on 16 October.

The lives of five innocent people, including a son of nine years old, were forever changed by the vicious and violent attacks by defendant Matthew Lodge, a professional rugby player with a history of violence and animosity towards girls, the lawsuit states.

It describes how Carolin Dekeyser and a female friend were getting out of a taxi near their friends Upper West Side apartment when a thickly-muscled, visibly intoxicated Lodge approached and spoke aggressively to the driver.

The cabbie urged Dekeyser and her friend to get to the apartment and then he drove away, according to the lawsuit.

Lodge allegedly began asking the women to return to Australia with him and then threatened them by saying, This is the night you die.

The females operated to their friends building but Lodge allegedly followed, grabbed Dekeyser by the shoulders, spun her around to face him and began to ramble about his desire to take the women to Australia to meet his family.

The women buzzed all 10 apartments in the building and Lodge allegedly followed them into the foyer.

Joseph Cartright, a photographer and resident, heard the buzzer and went to the front door to help.

The females allegedly ran to their friend Guillaume Roemaets apartment and when a shirtless, tattooed Roemaet came out to see if he could help, Lodge allegedly said: You dont “re scared”. I have tattoos too. Im going to kill you.

Roemaet allegedly pushed the women back into his apartment and locked the door and Lodge forced himself into Cartrights apartment, where his wife Ruth Fowler and nine-year-old son were.

Lodge allegedly paced inside and told: My name is Matthew Lodge. I come in peace. Salaam Alaikum, and then walked into the bedroom where Fowler was in bed calling police.

Cartright allegedly attempted to cajole Lodge outside their front door and, once he was outside, Fowler shut the door.

Lodge allegedly became enraged and grabbed Mr Cartright, put him in a headlock and repeatedly punched Mr Cartright in the head, landing multiple blows to his left ear and skull.

Lodge allegedly ran back into the apartment and shoved furniture behind the door to avoid Cartright get in.

Fowler grabbed her son and locked themselves in a bathroom, placed her back against the door and used the sink as leverage.

Lodge allegedly was in the kitchen smashing plates and glass and then attempted to punch his style into the bathroom and wood splintered around her head and into the bathroom.

When eight NYPD policemen arrived Lodge allegedly hurled a two-litre bottle of wine at them.

Fearing a hostage situation, the police entered the apartment with their handguns depicted, but received Lodge cowering in a bedroom closet, according to the lawsuit.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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