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Appo outed on sexual harassment charge

The Queensland Racing Integrity Commission’s internal reviewer Kane Ashby has published reasons for rejecting an application on penalty from jockey Beau Appo on sexual harassment charges.

Appo was disqualified for six months with three months suspended after a protracted series of stewards hearings.

In February, he was charged with sexual harassment of a person employed in the racing industry.

The charge specified Appo sent text messages to a female licensee during a period from June to September last year which constituted sexual harassment.

Appo who pleaded not guilty to the charge sought an internal review of the penalty.

Ashby said any form of conduct that constituted sexual harassment was completely unacceptable in the workplace.

“All licensed participants should be able to attend their workplace and carry out their duties without fear of inappropriate or unwelcomed sexual advances and such conduct is a serious offence that adversely impacts upon the reputation of the racing industry,” Ashby said.

Ashby said he accepted the sexual harassment commenced following an emotional break-up which Appo in his own words took badly and in hindsight could have handled better.

He said he noted Appo’s not guilty plea, disciplinary history, penalty precedents for similar related offences, mitigating circumstances and also noted the inappropriate and unwelcomed sexual advances were repeated on multiple occasions.

Ashby confirmed the stewards’ penalty and Appo can now appeal further to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

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