Ex-Rugby League star guilty of sexual assault in Australia

Jarred Hayne outside the Newcastle Court on Thursday
Jarryd Hayne denies the allegations against him

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.

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 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 has twice won the NRL’s player of the year award and has played 11 Tests for Australia, helping them to win the 2013 World Cup.

The verdict comes a week after tens of thousands of people turned out to marches across Australia, protesting against the sexual abuse and harassment of women in the country.

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