Former NRL star Jarryd Hayne has been described as a man who would “never sexually force himself on a woman” in a criminal manner as his sexual assault trial draws to a close.
The 35-year-old faced the jury for what would be the last time before retiring to deliberate as the 11-day trial concludes at the New South Wales District Court.
More than a dozen family and friends sat in the public gallery Monday morning to support Hayne.
Hayne pleaded not guilty to two counts of sexual assault without consent, and the jury heard more than eight days of evidence.
Two-time Dally M winner denies sexually assaulting the woman at her home on the outskirts of Newcastle in September 2018, on the night of the NRL grand final, claiming they engaged in consensual sexual acts.
The former soccer star is accused of removing the woman’s pants before allegedly performing oral and digital sexual acts on her without her consent, causing cuts and considerable bleeding.
The court heard that Hayne (pictured outside court Monday) “would never sexually impose himself on a woman in a way that is criminal.”
Defense attorney Margaret Cunneen SC addressed the jury at the end of her closing argument on Monday, saying that “most men are not rapists.”
“Most men would never commit sexual assault,” he told the jury.
‘The vast majority of men would find it completely inconsistent with sexual satisfaction or sexual enjoyment to force themselves on a woman in any way.
“Mr. Hayne is one of that majority of men who would never force himself on a woman in a sexual way in a way that is criminal.”
While Crown Prosecutor John Sfinas told jury Hayne was “intent” on getting to the woman’s home, Cunneen said the meeting only came about because the woman had a “compelling desire” to see him.
She told the jury that Hayne did not act for his own sexual pleasure and that the reason the couple did not have sex is because he agreed not to.
“She’s not only very attracted to Mr. Hayne, she’s aware of his position, his ability and fame, she’s aware of all those things,” Ms Cunneen said.
The soccer star’s lawyer, Margaret Cunneen SC (pictured left with Hayne outside court on Monday) told the court that a text message sent to her by her sexual assault accuser showed he was “absolutely inconceivable” that a sexual assault would occur.
Ms Cunneen told the jury that the woman was “sad and lonely” as a result of the hasty intimate encounter and her “strong feelings and anticipation”.
She said the woman then sent a text message saying “I thought you would have at least stayed,” which would not be sent by a woman who was allegedly sexually assaulted.
“It is absolutely inconceivable,” Cunneen told the court.
‘That’s really the end of it.’
The jury was told that the woman did not want to report the matter to the police because she was “afraid” of what would happen to her.
But Ms Cunneen argues that it was because the woman “knew that no crime had been committed”.
He told jurors on Friday that Mr. Hayne’s evidence is that the woman “didn’t say no at all” and she selected the evidence to support herself.
‘She may be very concerned that with this elaboration of the evidence, does that affect her assessment of her ability to fill in the blanks, or leave material out, or make the evidence that she believes will help herself in this case? ?’ Cunneen asked the jury.
The former NRL star (pictured playing for Parramatta in 2018) has pleaded not guilty to two counts of sexual assault without consent.
In Crown’s closing speech, Sfinas said the woman did “certain acts” that were consistent with showing she was not giving consent during a fleeting encounter at her home.
He told the jury in terms of proving lack of consent, it is separated into words and actions.
“The Crown says that the whistleblower in this matter spoke words and did actions,” he said.
The jury was told that the woman pulled 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 after the alleged incident, saying, “I’m sorry I let it happen to myself by not yelling at her.”
“You might think that trying to hold your pants is an act, walking away from someone, getting pushed, and trying to push them,” Mr. Sfinas said.
“The Crown says that she actually did do certain acts that are consistent with the show of resistance.”
The jury is expected to retire to deliberate on Monday.