Jarryd Hayne to be jailed after being found guilty of rape

Jarryd Hayne playing for the Gold Coast Titans in the NRL.

Australian Rugby League player Jarryd Hayne has been found guilty of sexually assaulting a woman in 2018.

The 33-year-old former athlete had denied charges he attacked the 26-year-old woman in her house in Newcastle.

Hayne was one of the sport’s most high-profile athletes and his conviction comes amid an intensifying debate about rape in Australia.

A judge said Hayne would be sentenced at a later date, but that a jail term was “inevitable”. Prosecutors alleged Hayne sexually assaulted the woman in her bedroom, causing two injuries.

The former National Rugby League (NRL) player insisted all sexual activity was consensual and that the injuries had been accidental.

The woman testified that Hayne was “rough, forceful and inconsiderate”, despite her protests of “no” and “no, Jarryd”, and pushed her face into the pillow before ripping her jeans off.

Hayne testified that the woman had become “filthy” after finding out a taxi was waiting for him outside her home, and he knew she did not want sex.

But he wanted to “please her” and the pair kissed before he commenced consensual oral and digital sex, he said. “She said she didn’t want to have sex,” Hayne said. “We didn’t have sex.”

He rejected the suggestion the woman was retreating up the bed to get away from him, saying she had helped him remove her pants. The assault lasted for about 30 seconds before the woman started bleeding from her genitals.

The crown argued that Hayne had no reasonable grounds for believing the woman would have consented to any sexual activity that evening.

But Hayne’s barrister argued that his client had been content to “take it or leave it” and fully respected the woman’s wishes to not have sex after she found out about the waiting taxi.

The victim’s mother was also at home at the time and Hayne left afterwards in a taxi.

In the victim’s evidence, which was replayed from a first trial last year, she said she had refused to consent to sex because he already had a taxi waiting outside.

That earlier trial ended in a hung jury. This time, it took the jury three days to find Hayne guilty of two counts of sexual assault.

He was found not guilty of the more serious charge of aggravated sexual assault while recklessly inflicting actual bodily harm.

Hayne is due to face a sentencing hearing on 6 May.

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