Former NRL star Jarryd Hayne’s fame and fortune does not give him a “pass” for allegedly forcing himself on a woman he thought had “promised” him sex, a court has heard.
The former Parramatta fullback is on trial at Newcastle District Court fighting claims he sexually assaulted the woman, then 26, after arranging to go to her house the night of the 2018 NRL grand final.
The court has heard the woman suffered two lacerations to her genitalia when Mr Hayne, 32, allegedly pulled off her pants and began digital and oral sex on her as a taxi waited outside her home on Newcastle’s outskirts.
Mr Hayne claims the sex was consensual and the woman’s injuries were caused by a stray fingernail.
He had been in Newcastle that night, September 30, 2018, to attend a buck’s party for a former Fiji teammate.
On day seven of the trial, Crown prosecutor Brian Costello began his closing address by telling the jury how the woman’s “significant” injuries and bleeding painted a “vivid picture” of a rough sexual assault.
Mr Costello said the jury should reject Mr Hayne’s evidence as being unreliable, adding the fact he had “achieved a level of fame few of us have achieved in our lives” did not permit the jury to “give him a pass”.
“We are all equal before the law,” he said. “No sympathy you feel for the accused can stand in the way of delivering a true verdict.”
The court has heard a $550 taxi was arranged for Mr Hayne to travel back to Sydney but he made a pit stop at the woman’s home after the pair had exchanged explicit messages on Instagram and Snapchat over several days.
Mr Costello said Mr Hayne effectively invited himself over to the woman’s house, ditching his friends at the party and missing out on watching a grand final featuring some of his former State of Origin teammates.
“He’s given that up for one plain and obvious reason – the sex he thought he had been promised by way of those communications,” he said.
“The reason he went there was for sex; pure and simple.”
Mr Costello said the drunk footballer arrived about 9pm and was at least in a reckless state of mind when he “simply ignored” or “failed to consider” the woman’s consent and forced himself on her.
Mr Hayne admitted during the trial the woman was “upset” at learning about the taxi waiting outside, and told him she didn’t want to have sex.
The prosecutor said nothing the NRL star did after that point – including accidentally breaking a bed slat and leaving her bedroom to watch the game – would make her “more enthusiastic” about sex.
Mr Costello said if the woman’s account of trying to evade his attempted kissed and saying “no” and “Jarryd stop” was true, it was clear the footballer knew she was not consenting.
The only thing that stopped Mr Hayne was the significant bleeding, he said.
The woman’s decision to reject requests to meet Mr Hayne at the buck’s party showed she was cautious and had no “clamouring desire on her part to leap straight into bed” with him.
Mr Hayne’s barrister, Phillip Boulten SC, said the allegations set out by the woman “did not occur in the way that she claims that they did”.
The woman consented to the sexual acts and if not for the injury and bleeding “you might have thought none of us would be here,” Mr Boulten said.
“It is the blood that has caused most of the anxiety,” he said. “She was shocked he was shocked … and it is impossible not to feel sorry for her. It was turning out really awful, but not for the reasons she says.”
Mr Boulten said it was his “famous” client who was “the sex object” in this situation, which he said was proved by the woman’s previous sexual messages that “left no room for imagination”.
He said Mr Hayne did not ignore her protests or overbear the woman, because she reciprocated his kisses and was a willing participant in the oral and digital sex.
Mr Boulten said the history of that night had now “rewritten itself” and suggested the woman “might even have convinced herself that she did not consent”.
“But the accused Jarryd Hayne had every reason to believe she was consenting, because the truth is she was,” he said.
He said embarrassment at factors such of the taxi waiting outside, the fact the woman told her mother she wouldn’t be having sex with Mr Hayne and the resultant injuries could be reasons for her creating the story.
The fact he knew the woman’s mother was at home watching TV in the next room made the allegations unlikely to be true: “If he had forced her to do something against her will, you would think Jarryd Hayne might thing ‘Geez, there’s a risk involved in this’.”
Mr Boulten said expert evidence before the court showed Mr Hayne “did not bite” the woman and her wound was “an inadvertent injury that was caused through his finger penetrating her”.
Earlier, the court was read excerpts of a statement from defence witness Monique Smiles, who exchanged Instagram messages with the alleged victim about 10.18pm on the night of the incident.
The Newcastle-based solicitor said the woman said something along the lines of “he went down on her and that was it” and that “she felt a bit used and he just left”.
“I feel a bit like an idiot,” the court heard the woman wrote.
Mr Costello said it was not surprising the woman would not disclose the intimate details of her injuries and the alleged assault to someone she had never met.
He said the complainant was a frank and honest witness who “she just tells it like it is”, making reference to an in-court outburst when she called Mr Hayne a “f***ing piece of shit”.
“She told it like it was on Instagram, she told it like it was in the witness box, and unfortunately she told it like it was as she was leaving court,” he said.
During the trial the woman admitted she was at the time open to sexual activity with Mr Hayne in “the right circumstances”, but told her mother she was “definitely not going to have sex” with him after learning of the taxi.
The trial continues.