News, Culture & Society

Jarryd Hayne’s accuser did three key things that prove she didn’t consent to footy star, court told

A woman who accused former NRL star Jarryd Hayne of sexual assault did ‘certain acts’ which were consistent with demonstrating she was not consenting during a fleeting encounter at her home, a jury has been told.

Crown prosecutor John Sfinas addressed the jury in his closing arguments on Thursday afternoon as the two-week NSW District Court trial enters its final stage.

The 35-year-old Dally M winner has pleaded not guilty to two counts of sexual assault without consent, with the jury hearing more than eight days of evidence.

Mr Hayne denies sexually assaulting the woman at her home on Newcastle’s outskirts in September 2018, on the night of the NRL grand final, claiming they engaged in consensual sexual acts.

The former footy star is accused of pulling off the woman’s pants before allegedly performing oral and digital sexual acts on her without her consent, causing cuts and substantial bleeding.

The woman accusing Hayne (pictured outside court) of sexual assault showed she did not consent with her words and actions, the Crown prosecutor told the court  

The evidence concluded in the former NSW and Parramatta fullback’s trial, with closing submissions from the crown prosecution beginning on Thursday afternoon.

The woman and the crown prosecution have argued that while she had sent him sexually suggestive messages via social media, the first time that they met at her Fletcher home – which she shared with her mother – she was not consenting to sexual intercourse.

She said she refused to consent because he had a cab waiting in her front yard, just outside her bedroom window, which he had paid $550 to ferry him from a buck’s party to Sydney where he was booked in to attend a midnight event.

During his closing address to the jury, Mr Sfinas said in terms of demonstrating a lack of consent, it’s separated into words and actions.

‘The Crown says the complainant in this matter said words and made actions,’ he told the jury.

The jury heard the woman held up her pants when Mr Hayne tried to remove them, while saying ‘no’ and ‘stop’ and resisting Mr Hayne.

She had also texted her friend in the hours following the alleged incident, saying: ‘I feel like I let it happen to myself by not screaming at him.’

‘You might think trying to hold up her pants is an act, moving away from someone, being pushed and trying to push back against it,’ Mr Sfinas said.

‘They are actions, so while she says here, ‘I feel like I let it happen to myself’, the Crown says she did actually do certain acts which are consistent with demonstrating resistance.’

The former Parramatta star (pictured outside court with wife Amellia Bonnici) has pleaded not guilty to two counts of sexual assault without consent

The former Parramatta star (pictured outside court with wife Amellia Bonnici) has pleaded not guilty to two counts of sexual assault without consent 

Mr Sfinas told the court the woman had always been ‘forthright’ about her intentions with Mr Hayne.

In the beginning of his address, Mr Sfinas told the jury they were asked by Ms Cunneen to view the alleged victim’s evidence ‘through a prism that she embellished and lied to police’.

He told the court: ‘It is the crown submission that she did not lie. She did not exaggerate and she did not embellish.’

Mr Sfinas asked the jury to accept the woman’s evidence, saying she was forthright about her original intentions when texting Mr Hayne in the weeks leading up to the alleged incident.

‘She didn’t diminish, she didn’t minimise, she didn’t try to make herself look better,’ he said.

‘Yes she was sexually interested and sexually attracted … she wasn’t that desperate to meet him.’

The jury was told the woman was ‘open’ to the possibility of sex with Mr Hayne but then it diminished when she realised there was a taxi waiting for the former NRL star outside.

Mr Sfinas said this was the ‘defining moment’ for the woman as she felt like she was simply a ‘diversion’.

‘She realises he didn’t intend on staying too long given a taxi was waiting for him and hurrying him up,’ he said.

The court heard the woman did not initially report the matter to police because she was scared about what could happen to her.

In a message to a friend, the court heard she wrote: ‘I’m too scared to report it, he would have the money to ruin me and the last thing I need is my life in the public eye.’

The woman accusing Hayne felt like 'absolute crap' when the footy star's taxi driver knocked on the door of her home on the night of the alleged attack, the court heard

The woman accusing Hayne felt like ‘absolute crap’ when the footy star’s taxi driver knocked on the door of her home on the night of the alleged attack, the court heard 

The crown said it was compelling evidence because at the time the alleged incident occurred, the woman said she wasn’t sure what had even happened.

Mr Sfinas said the woman wasn’t sure she had been digitally penetrated.

‘It was at a time she did not want to go to police, it significantly informs her authenticity,’ he said.

‘You might think these actions are not consistent with someone who prepares to lie, embellish, exaggerate or mislead.’

The court heard the taxi was the ‘straw that broke the camel’s back’.

Mr Sfinas read to the court some of the woman’s prerecorded evidence in the trial.

When asked how she felt after the taxi driver knocked on the door, the woman said ‘like absolute crap’.

‘I felt like it was obvious what he wanted, I felt sad and stupid for flirting with him at the start,’ she said.

‘There was no way in hell I was going to touch him … I was angry, I was hurt, I was sad, I felt like in my mind I thought this could one day, maybe turn into something so when I worked out he only wanted (sex) I felt crap.’

The closing addresses will continue before Judge Graham Turnbull on Friday.