Twist in Jack de Belin’s rape trial saga as it’s revealed his footy club put him on a new $3million contract while he was in the middle of ongoing legal battle
- Jack de Belin, Callan Sinclair were found not guilty of a sexual assault charge
- Jury was discharged after failing to reach verdict on five other counts, Monday
- De Belin signed contract with St George Illawarra in September for four years
Jack de Belin signed a fresh contract with St George Illawarra worth about $3million in the middle of his rape trial but the details were kept confidential while he remained in front of the courts.
A jury found the suspended Dragons forward, 30, not guilty of a sexual assault charge – but failed to reach a verdict on five further counts.
Judge Nicole Noman discharged the Sydney jury after they failed to break a deadlock on the remaining charges just before 3pm on Monday afternoon.
That means de Belin and his friend Callan Sinclair, 24, face the prospect of a possible third criminal trial.
De Belin and St George Illawarra agreed on a four-year contract back in September last year, meaning the 30-year-old could potentially compete in the NRL up until 2024, The Daily Telegraph reported.
The saga’s not over: De Belin was wordless as he left Downing Centre District Court after a second jury failed to reach a majority or unanimous decision about five of the six charges against him. A jury at a separate trial likewise failed to reach a verdict
But the NRL won’t permit him to take to the field unless he is found not guilty of all sexual assault allegations or the charges against him are dropped.
The Dragons will terminate the contract if de Belin is found guilty.
The new contract came after de Belin was chased by the New Zealand Warriors with a four-year deal worth about $800,000 a season.
St George Illawarra then presented de Belin with more cash than his earlier contract in a ploy to keep him at the club.
Callan Sinclair leaves the Downing Centre District Court in Sydney on Monday
De Belin and Sinclair have always insisted they had a ‘consensual’ threesome with a 19-year-old woman at a North Wollongong unit following a dance floor rendezvous in December 2018.
But prosecutors alleged the pair ‘took turns’ in assaulting the crying young woman that evening.
Monday’s less-than-decisive outcome could result in yet another retrial for de Belin – who has been suspended by the NRL under its no-fault stand down policy since March 2019 – and Sinclair. A jury in the pair’s first criminal trial last November likewise failed to reach a verdict.
The charges could also be withdrawn altogether, depending upon whether the Director of Public Prosecutions elects to pursue the matter.
The jury did find both men not guilty of a single charge of sexual assault in company, beyond all reasonable doubt.
That charge was that De Belin had allegedly penetrated the woman’s anus without consent that night, in company with Sinclair.
The St George Illawarra forward, 30, has been benched while facing the charges in court
WHAT ARE THE CHARGES JACK DE BELIN AND CALLAN SINCLAIR FACED?
Charge one: De Belin is accused of inflicting bodily harm on the 19-year-old woman during an alleged sexual assault
Charge two: Sinclair is accused of being part of a joint criminal enterprise when De Belin assault the woman
Charges three, four and five: Sexual intercourse without consent in company charges, relating to vaginal and oral sex acts allegedly committed by the men
Charge six: De Belin anally raped the woman in company while Sinclair was in another room
The trial heard Sinclair was in the shower at the time of the alleged incident.
De Belin described the anal penetration as accidental and apologised at trial.
While the jury rejected that charge they were split on five further offences.
They couldn’t break the deadlock, even when the judge granted them the power to deliver an 11-1 majority verdict.
The charges still outstanding are: that De Belin allegedly inflicted bodily harm on the woman during a sexual assault.
That Sinclair was part of a joint criminal enterprise when de Belin allegedly assaulted the woman.
And there are three further charges of sexual assault in company relating to vaginal and oral sex acts committed by the men when they ‘took turns’.
The court heard on Monday afternoon that each juror was ‘resolute and firm’ in their positions and the deadlock was unlikely to be broken with more time.
The hung jury was dismissed at 3pm by Judge Nicole Noman.
The trial featured 13 days of evidence and almost six full days of deliberations.
The case will return to court on May 28.