Ex-NRL superstar Jarryd Hayne found guilty of sexual assault

  • 22/03/2021

Former NRL star Jarryd Hayne has been found guilty of sexual assault.

Hayne, 33, had pleaded not guilty to two counts of aggravated sexual assault stemming from an encounter with a then-26-year-old woman in her Newcastle home.

After 18 hours of deliberation, the Sydney District Court jury found him not guilty of both counts of aggravated sexual intercourse without consent inflicting actual bodily harm, but guilty of two alternative counts of sexual intercourse without consent.

He accepts the woman told him she wouldn't have "sex" but testified they later kissed and he commenced consensual oral and digital sex.

Upon delivering the verdict, Judge Helen Syme ordered that Hayne be taken into custody, adding that his current bail conditions were "not sufficient" to prevent the risk of him not appearing at his sentence hearing.

Hayne faces a maximum penalty of up to 14 years in jail. His hearing will take place in Newcastle District Court on May 6. 

The prosecution had argued that Hayne had felt entitled to sex, leaving a friend's stag party and missing watching some of his State of Origin teammates in the NRL Grand Final that evening to travel to the woman's home.

She testified that a "rough and forceful" Hayne had ignored her pleas to stop his sexual advances, instead ripping off her jeans.

"She said she didn't want to have sex," Hayne said. "We didn't have sex."

Hayne had claimed that he knew the woman wasn't interested in sex, and that she'd become "filthy" when she discovered he'd had a taxi waiting for him outside throughout his visit.

"My heart dropped because I felt like he had only come here for one thing," the woman - who cannot be named for legal reasons, said.

"I felt like - excuse my French - absolute shit about him getting a taxi driver to wait outside for that amount of time because he's coming over to have sex and leave," she added.

At the time of the incident, Hayne had just completed his final season in the NRL to end a decorated playing career that featured two Dally M medals, as well as a short stint in the NFL with the San Francisco 49ers.

Before the incident, Hayne said he went into the woman's bedroom and attempted to serenade her with some of his "go-to" songs on YouTube, including an Ed Sheeran cover of Oasis' classic 'Wonderwall'.

The woman described being overpowered by Hayne, and then suffered two lacerations and began bleeding about 30 seconds into the encounter.

In 2015, Hayne was accused of sexually assaulting a woman at his apartment in California. The lawsuit was ultimately "voluntarily dismissed".