Hayne guilty of rape, maintains innocence

·3-min read

Two-time NRL player-of-the-year Jarryd Hayne has accepted he is going to jail for raping a woman in Newcastle but has maintained his innocence.

Hayne, whose multi-code career included stints at the Parramatta Eels, San Francisco 49ers and Fiji rugby sevens team, was on Monday found guilty of two counts of sexual intercourse without consent.

His victim had testified she told Hayne she wouldn't have sex with him, after realising the taxi he'd taken to her Newcastle home in 2018 was waiting outside for his departure.

Despite her protests of "no" and "no Jarryd", he became "rough, forceful and inconsiderate", pushing her face into the pillow, ripping her jeans off and raping her, she said.

Hayne testified the pair hadn't had "sex" as per the then-26-year-old's request but, after kissing, she consented to him doing other sexual acts on her.

"I'd rather go to jail knowing I spoke the truth than a free man living a lie," Hayne told reporters outside court.

"It's unfortunate, it's disappointing but at the end of the day they've come to a decision and I respect that."

The Sydney District Court jury, rehearing the case after a hung verdict in Newcastle in December, spent almost 18 hours deliberating before returning the verdicts on Monday afternoon.

They cleared Hayne of two counts of aggravated sexual intercourse without consent inflicting actual bodily harm, related to bleeding the woman sustained during the incident.

But, in returning guilty verdicts to two alternative charges of sexual intercourse without consent, the jury found beyond reasonable doubt Hayne had sexually assaulted the then-26-year-old.

The Crown had argued the former State of Origin player felt entitled to sex when he went to the woman's home, having left his friends drinking at a bucks party and also missing watching his old teammates in the NRL grand final that evening.

Hayne also testified that the woman had become "filthy" and he knew she did not want sex after she'd found out about the taxi outside.

But he wanted to "please her" and the pair kissed before he commenced consensual oral and digital sex, he said.

He rejected the suggestion the woman was retreating up the bed to get away from him.

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

Noting Hayne faced an "inevitable" jail term, Judge Helen Syme strengthened Hayne's bail conditions to include daily reporting to police, a $50,000 surety and a ban on leaving his local area on the Central Coast except for specific reasons.

That's in addition to Hayne forfeiting his passport, being banned from contacting the victim and promising to forfeit $20,000 if he breaches bail.

Detective Superintendent Stacey Maloney thanked the "amazing, courageous and resilient" victim for going through the court process.

"Her courage, resilience and steely nature through this process has been something that the investigators have worked with on a daily basis with her," the NSW Police Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad commander told reporters after the verdict.

"In terms of victims coming forward, I know there has been a lot of comments around this lately, but we want people to come forward to us, we want to hear your story.

"We need you to know that we believe you and we'll be on the journey with you in relation to this process."

Hayne faces a sentence hearing in Newcastle on May 6.