Jarryd Hayne faces 20 years’ jail over sex charge
NRL superstar Jarryd Hayne walked out of a police station overnight nine hours after he was arrested and charged on Monday afternoon with aggravated sexual assault.
Hayne left Ryde police station and got into a car with a woman at 1.30am.
He was granted strict conditional bail by police to appear at Burwood Local Court on December 10.
The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. Earlier, Hayne emerged from an undisclosed location to attend the Ryde police station, five days after news broke he was being investigated over claims he sexually assaulted a 26-year-old woman on grand final night.
The out-of-contract former Parramatta Eel, 30, attended the police station at 4pm accompanied by his manager Wayne Beavis for what was understood to be a prearranged appointment with police.
It was understood that Hayne declined to be formally interviewed.
About three hours after arriving, at 7pm, Hayne was charged by Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad detectives with aggravated sexual assault - inflict actual bodily harm.
The charge carries a maximum 20-year jail term if Hayne is convicted. Under the NSW Criminal Code, a sexual assault is "aggravated" if an offender "intentionally or recklessly inflicts actual bodily harm on the alleged victim" during the attack.
A custody sergeant was determining last night if the former two-time Dally M award winner would be granted bail or would spend the night behind bars to appear in court on Tuesday.
A police spokesman confirmed that Hayne was being held in custody.
"Detectives from the Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad arrested a 30-year-old man at Ryde police station just after 4pm," he said.
The serious nature of the charges mean Hayne must show cause why his detention in custody is not justified. As such he is unlikely to be granted bail and could spend the night in a jail cell.
'Show cause' offences are serious personal violence offences or serious indictable offences. A "serious personal violence offence" is an offence under Part 3 of the Crimes Act 1900 that is punishable by imprisonment for a term of 14 years or more. Serious indictable offences include violence or firearm offences, or offences that involve sex and sexual assault crimes.
Police will allege Hayne sexually assaulted the woman on September 30 at a Hunter Valley home after he met her on social media.
The case comes as Hayne faces civil legal action in the US over claims he raped a virgin during his time at the San Francisco 49ers NFL team in 2015.
Police declined to charge Hayne after investigating the allegations, and the woman involved lodged a civil suit.
The Nine Network first reported the latest sexual assault claims last Wednesday.
The woman did not go directly to police but took her complaint to rugby league bosses earlier this month. The NRL's integrity unit referred her to police. She was interviewed by the sex crime squad detectives last week.
Welfare officers from the Eels are understood to have been in contact with Hayne since the allegations were made and he was understood to have been rattled by the allegations.
Hayne, who had been in talks with St George Illawarra to play his 13th NRL season in 2019, looks increasingly unlikely to ever play again due to the severity of the charge laid last night.
The Dragons, who were the only club talking to Hayne, are understood to have gone cold on a prospective deal for the former megastar in recent days.
He is one of the biggest and now most controversial figures in rugby league over the past decade.
Hayne, a father of one, exploded onto the scene when he took Parramatta to the grand final almost single-handedly in 2009, winning the first of his two Dally M Medals that year, and has played 11 Tests for Australia as well as starring in 23 State of Origin games.
The playmaker is known as a prolific pointscorer, with 121 tries in 214 NRL games.
But he has also created headlines away from the NRL, in particular when he left the Eels to play in the NFL for the San Francisco 49ers in late 2015.
Hayne is still defending the US rape claims, which he has vehemently denied. They are due to be heard during a five-day civil court trial in 2020.
In December 2017, a woman identified only as "JV" filed a civil complaint in California alleging Hayne raped her at his house in San Jose after she met him during an alcohol-fuelled night out at the Willow Den Bar in December 2015.
JV, who said she had never had sex before the incident, alleged she had "minimal interaction" with Hayne at the bar before catching an Uber with him and waking up the following morning in a pool of blood in bed. Hayne has always strongly denied MV's rape claim, saying they "willingly engaged in sexual interaction that did not include sexual intercourse".
John Clune, the prominent US lawyer representing JV, has said he is keeping watch on the new sexual assault allegations in Australia, and would "be happy" to talk to Australian authorities and the alleged victim.
"There is not a lot of information available right now but we will definitely keep a close eye on it," Mr Clune said.