A star striker for Indonesia’s most successful football club has been arrested by Australian police and charged with indecently assaulting a fellow passenger on board a flight from Bali to Sydney. Marco Simic was charged with indecency without consent and common assault following his arrest on Sunday 10th February. He appeared today at Downing Centre Local Court where he was given conditional bail pending a full trial.
Simic had been travelling to Sydney with his teammates as part of the Persija Jakarta squad ahead of a match against the Newcastle Jets in the AFC Champions League Qualifiers. It’s believed that a young female passenger told cabin crew the player had indecently assaulted her during the overnight flight who in turn radioed ahead to inform local authorities about the allegation.
On arrival in Sydney, the Australian Federal Police were waiting to question Simic. The 31-year old footballer was taken to Mascot Police station where he was eventually charged with assault.
After being released on bail, Simic continued to play in Tuesday night’s qualifier but his club lost against the Newcastle Jets 3-1.
“Passengers flying into Australia ought to feel safe knowing that any activity that occurs on a flight arriving into our country can be investigated by police,” Superintendent Peter Mullins of the Australian Federal Police said.
“If something happens on board a flight, we encourage you to speak with the cabin crew who can then report the matter to police.”
Simic’s arrest follows a number of high profile incidents in which airlines have failed to take allegations of sexual assault seriously. The proactive approach taken by the AFP is in sharp contrast with how law enforcement treats victims in some countries.
You might wonder how perpetrators think they can get away with sexually assaulting someone in such a confined and public environment but sadly some people really do prey on their seat neighbours.