Former Super League player Jamie Bloem has revealed the "horror" that he experienced when he was charged with sex offences.
The 41-year-old, who has been declared innocent of all charges, was arrested on suspicion of having sex with a minor as well as having contact with a minor, but he was bailed on the same day for the latter charge.
The arrest came after a conversation with a 15-year-old female Facebook 'friend' was reported to the authorities but Bloem has claimed that it was an innocent chat and he was not aware of her age.
"I went through every emotion," Bloem told the Daily Star. "Horror at being arrested, relief at the sex charge being dropped and then the horror that people might believe it was actually true.
"I was too scared to go out of the house for a while, out of embarrassment that people might think I'd done something. I received two death threats, but the lowest of the low was when social services came to ascertain whether I was a threat to my own daughter."
Bloem, who became a referee following his playing days, was dropped from his duties and also lost his job as a radio summariser after the allegations emerged.