A short and graphic video has proved to be a vital piece of evidence in Australian rugby league star Jarryd Hayne’s conviction for sexual assault.
The 33-year-old had already faced court once, but last year’s trial has ended in a hung jury. This time, however, a second jury of seven men and five women found the NRL star guilty of two counts of sexual intercourse without consent.
Reportedly, the deciding factor behind the guilty verdict was a short video sent by the victim to her friend, which depicted bloody bedsheets shortly after the assault.
Hayne, once an icon of rugby league in Australia – indeed a two-time winner of the NRL’s player of the year award – is now facing up to 14 years in jail.
The ex-Parramatta Eels fullback had pleaded not guilty, but the evidence given by the victim was enough to convince the jury that she had not consented to the ex-NFL rookie performing oral and digital sex on her.
The victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, claimed to have backed away when Hayne attempted to preform sexual acts upon her on NRL grand final night in September 2018.
She was left with two lacerations on her vagina which bled profusely. The video evidence backed her claims up.
The victim later sent him a string of text messages saying “I am hurting so much” and “I know I’ve talked about sex and stuff so much but I didn’t want to do that after knowing the taxi was waiting for you.”
Hayne had organized a taxi driver to take him back to Sydney immediately after his time with the victim as he was required to attend an event at Alexandria at midnight.
When the taxi beeped outside her bedroom window, the victim decided there was “no way” she was going to consent to sex. In her testimony she explained, “my heart dropped because I felt like he had only come there for one thing.”
Alongside the video and text evidence, Hayne was also recorded on police phone taps which were played to the court. The tapes, which have now been released by the court, depict Hayne speaking to his former NSW teammate Mitchell Pearce, describing the victim as a “full blown weirdo” and saying she “was filthy.”
Hayne emerged from Sydney’s Downing Centre District Court with his wife, Amellia Bonnici, and stated that he would “definitely appeal” the guilty verdict.
For now, Hayne’s barrister Richard Pontello SC has managed to see the 33-year-old granted bail on the condition he hand over a AU$50,000 (US$39,000) surety.
The rugby league World Cup winner will now face a sentencing hearing on May 6 in the Newcastle District Court and faces a maximum possible sentence of 14 years in jail.