AFL involved in Patton investigation

The AFL Integrity Unit is investigating allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct on social media by Hawthorn forward Jonathon Patton.

JONATHON PATTON.
JONATHON PATTON. Picture: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Hawthorn have confirmed the AFL Integrity Unit is involved in the investigation into allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct on social media by key forward Jonathon Patton.

Patton, 27, has been absent from the Hawks' pre-season training this week after being stood down from all duties by the club.

The decision came after multiple women made public allegations of lewd behaviour by the 2011 No.1 draft pick.

Hawthorn CEO Justin Reeves addressed the matter in a letter to members posted on the club's website, in which he confirmed the AFL's direct involvement in the investigation.

"This is a difficult time for all involved and it is important our club ensures that Jonathon receives the support he requires during this period," Reeves said.

"We take this matter very seriously and our Integrity Committee is working in conjunction with the AFL's Integrity Unit to undertake the investigation into these complaints within the framework of the AFL's Respect and Responsibility Policy.

"We anticipate this process will take some time and we will provide a further update when more information is available."

The probe into Patton's behaviour was launched last weekend in response to one woman's allegations.

More women have since come forward with similar claims.

"The complaints made are of behaviour that does not reflect the values of our club," Reeves said.

"We are a club that is proud of our family values and we strive to exemplify them across every element of our club.

"Hawthorn actively promotes and advocates for both respect and equality for all and we demand this standard from all involved with the club."