A doctor who has examined thousands of sexual assault victims has told a court of the gruesome injuries a woman received after she was allegedly sexually assaulted by former NRL star Jarryd Hayne during a fleeting encounter.
Mr Hayne, 35, was accompanied by his wife Amelia Bonnici as the second week of his NSW District Court trial began on Monday.
The ex-NSW and Parramatta fullback has denied sexually assaulting the woman at her Newcastle home on the night of the 2018 NRL grand final, pleading not guilty to two counts of aggravated sexual assault without consent.
According to Crown prosecutor John Sfinas, Mr Hayne is accused of being “forceful” and “rough” while performing oral and digital sex on the woman without her consent, causing cuts and substantial bleeding.
Former NRL star, Jarryd Hayne arrives at Downing Centre JMT courts today with wife Amelia Bonnici. Picture: NCA NewsWire / David Swift
Dr Maria Nittis, an expert in examining alleged sexual assault victims, gave evidence on Monday and told the court the injuries were likely caused by “blunt force” penetration of the woman’s genitalia.
The forensic doctor was asked to examine the woman by investigators, as she complained she still had injuries despite the alleged assault occurring more than a month beforehand.
She told Mr Sfinas she met with the alleged victim six weeks after the alleged incident with Mr Hayne and studied photos of her injuries the woman took on the night.
“It’s a blunt force injury that’s generally caused in one of two ways, either because the skin has been stretched beyond its capacity and it therefore tears, or it has been crushed,” Dr Nittis said.
“It’s definitely been caused by penetration.
“It could be by a finger, fingers or hand, it could be by an object, it could be a penis.”
Dr Nittis told the court she was given a brief history by the alleged victim, who told her Mr Hayne was acting “like a di**head” on the night of the incident.
The court was told the woman described Mr Hayne as “really drunk” on the night in question, and he came to the woman’s house after they sent “flirty” messages for about two weeks.
“He wanted to have a ‘singalong’ which she thought was odd, he used her laptop to Google some tunes,” Dr Nittis told the court.
He is accused of sexual assault on a woman at her Newcastle home in 2018. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Gaye Gerard
“His behaviour that evening had been very odd and was not in keeping with their contact on Instagram.”
The doctor told the court the woman said: “He was trying to kiss me, and I was like, ‘no way’.”
The woman told the doctor Mr Hayne “kept trying to touch” her.
While she was resisting her pants being pulled off, Dr Nittis told the court she “momentarily” stopped, which is when he removed them and had “gone down there”.
She told the doctor it had been “rough” but couldn’t really tell what he was doing.
Dr Nittis told the court the woman said there was “blood everywhere” and when she stood up, her vagina was “hurting like hell”.
The doctor said the woman clarified her inner vaginal lips felt swollen and “like there was a big lump there”.
The woman had told the doctor urinating was painful after the alleged assault, and her vagina was stinging “like mad”.
A court has been told of the gruesome injuries of Mr Hayne’s alleged victim. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Richard Dobson
The doctor explained the woman suffered two lacerations, one which was smaller and one which she explained as having an “unusual size”.
She also noted a “purplish bruise” to the woman’s inner labia, a small lump and an abrasion.
Dr Nittis told the court the lacerations were caused by the tissue inside the vagina “stretching”.
She said the injuries were likely to have been caused by “forceful” activity but it was no indicator of whether the sexual activity was consensual.
“It’s what I would call a significant injury, it’s rare to see an injury like that post sexual assault … it would be particularly painful,” Dr Nittis told the court.
“You can’t look at an injury and determine whether consent occurred … it is an unusual injury after examining hundreds of sexual assault victims.”
At the time Dr Nittis examined the alleged victim, she still had a raised lump of tissue, which she described as a “tag”.
She said in her experience having examined “thousands” of patients post-alleged sexual assault, it was not possible to look at an injury and automatically know whether consent had occurred.
Defence barrister Margaret Cunneen SC questioned whether the photographs could be misleading as they were taken on an iPhone and not by a forensic professional.
“Yes,” the doctor replied.
Mr Hayne is accused of sexually assaulting the woman. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Gaye Gerard
The evidence by the woman’s GP read to the court earlier in the day said she had a consult with the alleged victim on October 3, 2018 – just three days after the alleged assault.
The court was told the GP examined the woman’s vagina and could see raised tissue and a “lumpy area” where the injury had been.
When asked by Sfinas whether she had seen that before, the GP replied “No, I hadn’t seen that.”
She told the court she had completed a pap smear on the alleged victim weeks before the alleged incident and saw no issues.
The GP had assessed the injuries and discussed the option of reporting the incident to police, but the woman said she didn’t want to.
The court was told the woman did not want to report the matter to police as she did not think “she could deal with any media attention”.
But after she confessed to her sister and brother-in-law what happened, the matter was reported to the NRL Integrity Unit.
The trial continues before Judge Graham Turnbull.