Former NRL star Jarryd Hayne has been described as a man who “would never force himself in a sexual way upon a woman” in a criminal manner as his sexual assault trial comes to an end.
The 35-year-old faced the jury for what would be the last time before they retire to deliberate as the 11-day NSW District Court trial wraps up.
More than a dozen family and friends sat in the public gallery on Monday morning to support Mr Hayne.
Mr Hayne has pleaded not guilty to two counts of sexual assault without consent, with the jury hearing more than eight days of evidence.
The two-time Dally M winner 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.
Jarryd Hayne was supported by more than a dozen family and friends on the final day of his NSW District Court trial. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Nikki Short
Defence barrister Margaret Cunneen SC addressed the jury for the end of her closing argument on Monday, where she said “most men are not rapists”.
“Most men would never commit sexual assault,” she told the jury.
“The vast majority of men would find it completely inconsistent with sexual satisfaction or sexual enjoyment to force themselves upon a woman in any way at all.
“Mr Hayne is one of that majority of men who would never force himself in a sexual way upon a woman on a way which is criminal.”
While Crown prosecutor John Sfinas put to the jury Mr Hayne was “hellbent” on getting to the woman’s house, Ms Cunneen said the meeting only came about because the woman had an “insistent desire” to see him.
She told the jury Mr Hayne did not act for his own sexual pleasure and the reason the pair didn’t have sex is because he agreed there would be none.
“Not only is she very attracted to Mr Hayne, she’s conscious of his position, his ability and fame, she’s conscious of all those things,” Ms Cunneen said.
Mr Hayne is accused of sexually assaulting a woman at her Newcastle home. Pictured with wife Amelia Bonnici centre and defence barrister Margaret Cunneen SC left. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Nikki Short
Ms Cunneen told the jury the woman was “sad and alone” which was a result of the hurried intimate encounter and her “strong feelings and anticipation”.
She said the woman then sent a text saying “I thought you would have at least stayed”, which wouldn’t be sent by a woman who was allegedly sexually assaulted.
“It is absolutely inconceivable,” Ms Cunneen told the court.
“That’s really the end of it.”
The jury was told the woman did not want to report the matter to police because she was “scared” of what would happen to her.
But Ms Cunneen argues it was because the woman “knew no crime had been committed”.
On Friday she told the jury Mr Hayne’s evidence is the woman “didn’t say no at all” and she curated the evidence to support herself.
“You might be very concerned that with this crafting of the evidence, does that affect your assessment of her capacity to fill in the blanks, or leave material out or to make the evidence that she thinks will assist herself in this case?” Ms Cunneen asked the jury.
The NRL star claims the sexual assault was completely consensual. Picture: NCA NewsWire/ Ben Symons
In the Crown’s closing address, Mr Sfinas said the woman did “certain acts” which were consistent with demonstrating she was not consenting during a fleeting encounter at her home.
He told the jury 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 said.
The jury was told the woman held up her pants when Mr Hayne tried to remove them, while saying “no”, “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.
“The Crown says she did actually do certain acts which are consistent with demonstrating resistance.”
The jury is expected to retire to deliberate on Monday.