Star of police campaign bashed girlfriend
A former NRL rising star who has become the face of a bikie gang reform program, boasting about turning his life around, is awaiting sentencing on domestic violence charges, it has been revealed.
Dan Kilian, who played under-20s for the Gold Coast Titans and Newcastle Knights before becoming a Rebels recruit, fronts a 27-minute video released by Queensland Police on February 4.
The program is for former outlaw motorcycle gang (OMCG) members "wanting a lasting way out of gang life".
The two Gangs Exit episodes, including 'Man Mountain - The Dan Kilian Story', were produced in partnership with the Australian Federal Police and the Queensland Government.
However, sources told news.com.au that 24-year-old Kilian was convicted in mid-January of assault and strangulation offences against his former partner.
He is awaiting sentencing in the ACT Magistrates Court.
Asked by news.com.au if Queensland Police was aware of Kilian's latest crimes before the video was released, a spokeswoman said it "did not disclose these matters in the video so as to protect the privacy and confidentiality of the victim".
"The QPS liaised with the victim throughout the production and release of the video however we regret if the video has caused any concern to the victim or her family," the spokeswoman said in a statement on Monday night.
"The whole intent of the Exit productions is to expose the risks and dangers of being involved in OMCGs and encourage people to seek help, including opening up the dialogue that needs to be happening about domestic violence in these gangs.
"The production featuring Dan Kilian focuses on the impact of his involvement in an OMCG and exposes the subsequent challenges, including his own relationships.
"These prevention videos are not about individuals being portrayed as society's role models. Far from it, they are personal accounts about the impact of domestic violence, the impact of gang membership, the challenges of drugs, mental health and about the benefits of seeking professional help."
She said the decision to release the video was made as part of the Queensland Police domestic and family violence prevention strategy.
But the woman has slammed police, telling The Courier-Mail she felt misled and had been traumatised by the release of the video.
"Fundamentally the QLD Government and AFP are promoting their cause while deliberately not telling the whole story as it doesn't fit their narrative," she told the newspaper.
"It was going to be transparent about the current situation he was in. They were going to change the attention to the other guy (in the second film) and take the spotlight off Dan as his current actions aren't one of someone who had reformed and unfortunately he had relapsed."
According to QPS, women in relationships with gang members are 640 per cent more likely to be a victim of domestic and family violence than the general population.
"The severity of DFV incidents is 428 per cent higher in an OMCG relationship, including a significantly higher presence of strangulation," the force states.
Kilian spent two years and two months behind bars in Queensland and New South Wales, including for trafficking more than 10,000 ecstasy pills for the Rebels.
In the Gangs Exit video, he said he was "all about reformation instead of incarceration".
"The power of reformation is extremely powerful, if done the right way with the right people," he said.
"It's not shameful. Anyone who looks down upon it, it's unintelligent. Because it's the way of the world now. And as much as we should chuck people in jail for their wrongs, we should also try and reform them."
In the film, Kilian said he is "still not perfect".
"It's not until I become a great father, a great person, a great worker, a great friend, I think then I'll forgive myself," he said in the video.
"That's been one of my biggest drivers for change and reformation and to help others, is the guilt that I carry. It's not the only thing I'm guilty about in my life.
"So my reasoning for reformation is to try and give back, give back to the NRL, give back to young men, give back to my family in a way where I can say thank you for your support and also sorry for what I've done. And I live my life, nearly every day, trying to do that.
"It's hard to move on when you're still getting stones thrown at you for what you've done.
"You do one crime and get punished 100 times in all different facets of life. Whether it's people's opinions, whether the court of law, whether it's a job you go to that you don't get. There's always a knock on the door for what you've done.
"But that comes with it and if you make that choice to do those crimes and to do those things and to join those (OMCG) clubs, then that's what you've got to be willing to have in your life.
"You have to think, when you're committing to this lifestyle, whether you're in it or whether you get out of it, it's kind of a stamp that sticks with you for a long time.
"And then you have to find people who are going to accept you for that. Not only from people that are going to employ you, from partners who are going to accept that, partner's families that are going to accept that.
"It's very, very hard. I've learnt for myself, I get judged every day for who I used to be."
Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll said the people featured in the videos "chose to participate because they want to highlight to others the effect gang membership has had on their health, families and future".
"For many ex-gang members, staying out of gangs and criminal activity is influenced by a range of factors and motivators, which individuals find difficult," she said last Thursday.
"It is these factors the Exit Program are trying to address in order to reduce gang-related crime and the harm it causes families and communities."
Police said Kilian was not paid for his appearance in the Gangs Exit episode.
"No person who appears in the features has received any benefit from the Queensland Police Service for their role," the spokeswoman told news.com.au.
She said police will soon commence production of a story featuring the risk to women in relationships with OMCG.
Originally published as Star of police campaign bashed girlfriend