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Major decision on Jarryd Hayne rape trial as footy legend learns whether his six-year ordeal is over

  • Jarryd Hayne will not face a fourth trial
  • Hayne was accused of rape
  • His legal team successfully appealed his 2023 conviction

Former NRL star Jarryd Hayne will not face a fourth trial after successfully appealing his conviction for allegedly raping a woman in 2018.

The 36-year-old former Parramatta Eel was released earlier this month after a court quashed his rape convictions for a second time.

Hayne spent more than a year behind bars after a jury found him guilty of two counts of sexual intercourse without consent in April 2023.

The public prosecutor confirmed on Tuesday that there will not be a fourth trial against him.

“After carefully considering the many competing factors that inform the assessment of the public interest in this case, the ODPP has decided not to proceed with a fourth trial against Mr. Hayne,” the statement read.

“The decision was made in accordance with prosecutorial guidelines.

“As the reasons for the decision are legally privileged, they will not be made public and the ODPP will make no further comment.”

The decision to overturn Hayne’s conviction was greeted with celebration by Hayne’s supporters earlier this month.

Daniel Son, the former footballer’s close friend, shared an Instagram image with the caption: ‘You f***en’ beauty’.

Three separate criminal trials were told the woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, changed her mind about having sex with Hayne on the night of the 2018 NRL Grand Final after realizing there was a taxi outside her house waiting to take him from Newcastle to Sydney.

Hayne’s barrister, Tim Game SC, told a hearing in April that the woman had deleted messages between herself and Hayne which showed she had initially shown sexual interest in him.

Hayne’s defense team also argued that the woman should have been cross-examined about why she allegedly told police, “If that message gets out, I’m fucked and he’ll go away.”

The third trial heard the woman sent messages to a man in the hours before the incident with Hayne.

In it she said: ‘If we don’t keep talking, I’m going to say yes to Jarryd’ as she arrived at her house.

They were only revealed when that man contacted Hayne’s lawyers.

The complainant messaged another woman on the same day she met Hayne, saying the footballer was ‘going down on her’, but did not say this was without consensual.

The court was told the woman listened to Hayne’s previous appeal in 2021 and contacted the social media friend on Facebook the same day.

“I hope this was worth it for you,” the message read.

“The pain I have endured through all of this is unfathomable. I never lied. I never did anything to you and you writing something to JH about me having him here is no excuse for what happened.

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“I didn’t tell you because it was disgusting and confusing to me. When he gets out, you can thank yourself. This is the hardest and most painful thing I have ever experienced and you can thank yourself for helping someone at fault.”

Hayne’s lawyers tried to rely on the messages to suggest the victim “deliberately concealed her communications because… they did not support her version of what happened and subsequently (potentially) sought to influence her evidence.”

Judge Graham Turnbull, who oversaw Hayne’s third trial, refused requests to have the woman cross-examined on the statement, saying it had “almost infinite weight”.

Disallowing further cross-examination was one of the successful grounds of appeal.

Hayne’s overturned conviction followed a hung jury in his first trial in 2020 and an earlier appeal that overturned the 2021 guilty verdict from his second trial.

More to follow.

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