The former teammates of amateur rugby union player, Michael Quinn, who was sentenced to 12 years in jail in the US over the attempted rape of a child have spoken out about the anger they feel toward him and the random abuse they have received since his arrest.
Speaking to ABC’s 7.30 some of the players from the Melbourne Chargers rugby union club said they are horrified to learn that the 33-year-old was using their team trip in May as an opportunity to try and organise sex with a child as young as six and they say he belongs in jail.
"That's the gut-wrenching part, the betrayal of it," club president Dan Syrus said.
"Someone infiltrates something we hold dear as a club and they take advantage of it and try to use it for whatever activities they want to do from a depraved perspective."
The club’s vice-president Matt Arthy said he feels no remorse for Quinn.
“He got caught in the act ... I don’t feel sorry for him,” Mr Arthy said.
On their Facebook page Melbourne Chargers describe their club as an “inclusive rugby team”, and say they have been founded by a group who “who love rugby and who happen to be gay.”
One of their core values states that the organisation “welcomes everyone with an interest in rugby whatever their age, fitness level or sexuality.”
But since Quinn’s arrest two club sponsors have relinquished deals with the club and some players have walked away. Arthy told the ABC that the stigma and unwarranted bullying of players has been stressful for those who remain.
"The thing that really — not hurt me but made me feel really down and out — was you wake up at 2:00am to a buzz on your phone … and you get the subject line of 'you child fiddling faggots'," Mr Arthy said.
"And that kind of terminology in the first place is disgusting, but to have that when you know that you couldn't have done anything … what would have we done?
"We would have called the cops straight away if we knew."
Quinn’s depravity was exposed by an undercover sting operation which found him organising to rape a six-year-old boy with others whom he believed to be paedophiles on the dark web.
Authorities have maintained that none of his teammates he was travelling with knew what he was planning to do. Homeland Security special agent Kelly Kottas told reporters shortly after Quinn was detained his teammates “were unaware of where he was at that day or what his activities were.”
“They're completely not involved in this at all," Kottas told AAP.
After a testing year the club is trying to put the incident behind them and look more positively into the future.
Club committee member Leon Kennedy told the ABC: “I think the Chargers have got some really good stuff coming on.”