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Rugby league-Australian Hayne jailed for sexual assault - Metro US

Rugby league-Australian Hayne jailed for sexual assault

FILE PHOTO: Australia v Fiji - Rugby League World Cup 2013 Semi Final

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Australian rugby league international Jarryd Hayne has been sentenced to five years and nine months in jail after being found guilty of sexually assaulting a woman at her home in New South Wales state in 2018.

A jury in March found Hayne guilty of two counts of sexual intercourse without consent after his first trial in Newcastle ended in a hung jury in December.

Newcastle District Court Judge Helen Syme said on Thursday Hayne was fully aware the victim was not consenting and went ahead anyway, state media reported.

“The reliability and honesty of the victim’s evidence was tested at length and in my view, her reliability was not in doubt. She said no several times,” the Australian Broadcasting Corporation quoted Syme as saying.

“The use of force was such that the victim had no prospect of stopping him physically.

“He was at least twice her weight at 100 kilograms and an athlete at the top of his form.”

Hayne, 33, had faced a maximum possible sentence of 14 years in jail.

The incident happened on the night of the 2018 NRL Grand Final, when Hayne was in Newcastle for a friend’s stag party.

Hayne played nearly 200 games for Sydney-based NRL team Parramatta Eels, winning the Dally M Medal, the league’s highest individual honour, in 2009 and 2014.

The Sydney-born fullback scored 11 tries in 11 appearances for the Kangaroos, Australia’s representative rugby league team, and was named in the NRL’s team-of-the-decade for 2010-19.

He also had a brief career in American football, winning a contract with NFL side San Francisco 49ers in 2015, before quitting the game the following year to play rugby sevens for Fiji in a failed bid to earn selection for the Rio Olympics.

Hayne was accused of sexual assault in a civil lawsuit brought by a woman in California in 2016 after police decided not to charge him over an alleged incident in 2015.

Hayne said at the time he “unequivocally and vehemently” denied the allegations.

The case was settled in 2019 before going to trial.

(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)

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