It’s official. Jarryd Hayne will spend at least three years in gaol for two counts of sexual assault. He could serve as much as five.
CW: The following piece discusses sexual violence
Today, the gavel fell on two-time NRL player of the year Jarryd Hayne, who will spend at least three years and eight months in prison for the rape of a woman in 2018. Hayne was sentenced to a total of five years and nine months, following his conviction in March for two counts of sexual intercourse without consent.
As The Guardian noted, “Newcastle district court judge Helen Syme said the 33-year-old had to be jailed because non-consensual sexual intercourse was an extreme form of violence which the community expected courts to take very seriously. The judge noted he only stopped attacking the victim when she started to bleed, not when she was telling him no and stop.”
“She has every right to feel safe from attack in the privacy of her home,” judge Syme said. “The fact is she said no to the sexual activity the offender was forcing on her. The offender was fully aware the victim was not consenting.
“I do not accept the offender did not know or did not hear the victim telling him she did not want to have sex with him,” Judge Syme said.
In 2018, after being charged with aggravated sexual assault, Jarryd Hayne maintained his innocence. After fronting Burwood court, his legal representative said that Hayne would “like at this time, to thank those who have offered him support, in particular his parents, his mother and father. Thank you. There is no further comment.”
Back in March, per, The ABC, “a retrial in the NSW District Court heard he met the then-26-year-old at her house on the way back to Sydney from a buck’s weekend in Newcastle. The Crown alleged Hayne sexually assaulted the woman in her bedroom while her mother was also in the house, causing two injuries in the process, before leaving. But Hayne insisted all sexual activity was consensual and that he was apologetic about the injuries, which were accidental and not inflicted recklessly.”
Hayne was charged with aggravated sexual assault, allegedly biting a woman on her genital zone, apparently causing bleeding that required medical attention. Police claim that Hayne travelled to the woman’s house on Grand Final evening, emboldened by a taxi and a string of communication on social media.
According to Fairfax, Hayne allegedly “…asked the taxi to wait about 20 minutes, before he allegedly sexually assaulted the woman, ripping off her clothes and biting her on her genitals, drawing blood…it is believed that Hayne then travelled in the same taxi back to Sydney.”
On Monday, a jury of seven men and five women found Hayne not guilty of the original two counts of sexual intercourse without consent, recklessly inflicting actual bodily harm, but guilty of two alternate counts of sexual intercourse without consent which did not have a bodily harm element.
As The Sydney Morning Herald pointed out, “The jury was also unaware that Mr Hayne had previously been accused of leaving a woman bleeding from her vagina after an alleged sexual assault in December 2015, while he was in the United States playing American football for the San Francisco 49ers. That woman, known only by her initials JV, brought a civil case against Mr Hayne in 2017 because authorities did not have enough evidence to lay criminal charges. He settled with her for almost $100,000 in 2019.”
As Jane Caro noted for The Big Smoke in December, “In Jarryd Hayne’s case, the young woman in question was left bleeding from three puncture wounds in her genitals and ‘feeling violated’. According to the evidence presented in court, Haynes arrived at her house in a cab, which he left outside with the meter running (classy), greeted her mother who was sitting in the lounge watching the Grand Final, went into the young woman’s bedroom and started kissing her. She claims she responded by saying no, whereupon he ‘pushed her head into a pillow, pulled her pants off and attacked her, ignoring her pleas to stop.’ According to the alleged victim, it was the blood all over his face and hands that eventually caused him to desist.
“In my view, if we are going to have any lasting effect on the horrific toll sexism takes on women (and believing women are somehow lesser is at the core of sexism), including the 48 women killed (in 2020 – Ed), most of them at the hands of their intimate partner, we must stop celebrating and fetishising what makes men and women different. Instead, we need to start concentrating on what makes us similar. How we all feel pain, humiliation, shame and despair as well as love, joy and connection. How we all want to be taken seriously and treated with respect.”