The young woman raped by former NRL superstar Jarryd Hayne came ­forward to report her sexual assault in a bid to prevent other women from becoming victims.

The 28-year-old's determination to proceed with a prosecution, even after enduring one criminal trial with no result and intense public spotlight, inspired police.

Jarryd Hayne leaving the Downing Centre after being found guilty this week. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Christian Gilles
Jarryd Hayne leaving the Downing Centre after being found guilty this week. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Christian Gilles

In praising the woman's bravery, NSW Police hope her case will mark a turning point for other survivors of sexual abuse and a shift in a deep-rooted culture of silence.

On Monday a jury of five women and seven men found Hayne guilty of sexually assaulting the woman on NRL grand final night in September 2018.

The Saturday Telegraph understands the young woman told investigators the driving force in reporting the assault was to protect other women and make sure it didn't happen to anyone else.

At that point, accusations that Hayne had sexually assaulted a woman in the US in similar circumstances, including causing injuries to her vagina, had been publicised.

 

The civil suit in California, where Hayne was playing NFL for the San Francisco 49ers, was settled out of court in 2019.

Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad Detective Superintendent Stacey Maloney said the victim's "courage and perseverance" over the past three years "was ­incredible to witness". Even in the days after the verdict the victim is feeling an enormous amount of pressure.

"The court process can be extremely challenging, so the bravery and steel shown by this young woman must be acknowledged," Supt Maloney said.

"We hope it inspires others to come forward, and when they do NSW Police will be there to support them."

Sexual assault is a notoriously under-reported crime.

An estimated one in five women have experienced sexual abuse, but the number of those who report their experience to police is significantly lower.

Of those who do tell police, about 3 per cent of sexual assault reports result in a conviction in NSW.

Hayne first went to trial in the Newcastle District Court but the jury failed to reach a verdict and a retrial was set down for this month.

After 2½ days of deliberations, the jury found Hayne guilty of sexual assault but not guilty of aggravated sexual assault.

Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad Detective Superintendent Stacey Maloney said Hayne’s victim showed ‘incredible courage and perseverance’. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Gaye Gerard
Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad Detective Superintendent Stacey Maloney said Hayne’s victim showed ‘incredible courage and perseverance’. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Gaye Gerard

 

Hayne, who pleaded not guilty and said he believed the sexual activity was consensual, has flagged his intention to appeal.

The woman was put on a collision course with Hayne after sending a brief Instagram message to the NRL player on September 17.

"You are absolutely gorgeous," she messaged at 1.04am. Small talk ensued and at one point the woman wrote that she'd thought about what it would be like having sex with Hayne.

"Very steamy," he replied.

Addressing these messages in Hayne's trial, Crown Prosecutor Brian Costello told the jury: "In our society and in this day and this age, a woman is entitled to express a sexual interest in someone without fear it will be interpreted as some sort of justification to later sexually assault them."

Outside the courtroom, national debate was roaring about the treatment of women and sexual violence.

Hayne and his wife Amelia Bonnici during the trial. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Christian Gilles
Hayne and his wife Amelia Bonnici during the trial. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Christian Gilles

 

At one point, the jury, through a note to Judge Helen Syme, asked whether it was the victim or the Crown that proceeded with the charges.

Judge Syme said she suspected it had something to do with what was in the news and an allegation where police didn't press charges because someone had died.

On September 29 Hayne was in Newcastle for a friend's two-day buck's party and the victim texted him about catching up.

The following day, the woman texted a friend at 3.21pm. "I turned down Jarryd Hayne. I'm a f...ing idiot."

The friend replied: "No ur not … they are both sleaze. Don't go for footy guys. My ex plays for bulldogs and he was a sleeze."

Victim: "They're used to getting who they want but he's still attractive."

Friend: "Yeah it's true but it just would have been sex."

Victim: "Yeah probably."

At 7.36pm the next day, the victim texted Hayne her address and asked "are you coming or not".

According to evidence heard in court, Hayne left the buck's party and booked a taxi to Sydney to attend a function. About 9.07pm, Hayne pulled up outside the victim's house and left an empty bottle on top of the letterbox.

The victim gave evidence that after learning a taxi was waiting outside, there was "no way in hell" she was going to touch him and she felt angry.

 

The victim claimed Hayne kissed her and was "rough and pushy" and pulled down her jeans.

He performed oral sex and digitally penetrated the victim despite her protests of "no", the court heard, and she was left with lacerations to her vagina.

Hayne went into the bathroom and washed blood of his face, she told police, before stating "I better go".

The woman later sent him a text message stating "I'm really hurting".

"I know I've talked about sex and stuff so much but I didn't want to do that after knowing the taxi was waiting for you." Hayne replied: "go doctor tomorrow".

Over the next few weeks, messages from the victim and Hayne between their ­respective friends gave an ­insight into how starkly different their views of the night were.

The victim told friends Hayne wanted to have sex and she said no.

In a phone calls tapped by police, and after the NRL ­Integrity Unit was made aware of the sexual assault allegation, Hayne described the victim as a young cow and cuckoo.

"What a comedown man," he said.

Originally published as Hayne rape victim: 'I had to stop him'

 


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