Date set for Jarryd Hayne’s new trial
Former NRL superstar Jarryd Hayne will face a new trial in Sydney next year after a Newcastle jury could not decide if he sexually assaulted and recklessly injured a woman two years ago.
Mr Hayne did not appear before Newcastle District Court on Wednesday when the new date of March 8, 2021 was set after his first trial ended with a hung jury.
Crown prosecutor Brian Costello told the court the retrial would proceed but the earliest the Newcastle complex could accommodate the two-week hearing would be "very late" 2021 or early 2022.
He and Mr Hayne's lawyer Penny Musgrave agreed moving the retrial in Sydney would avoid a lengthy delay to the football star's matter.
The initial trial was originally listed for May 2020 but was pushed back by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last week Judge Peter Whitford SC discharged a jury of eight men and four women following an eight-day trial, which started on November 24, after they failed to reach a verdict on either of Mr Hayne's two charges.
The 32-year-old has pleaded not guilty to two counts of aggravated sexual intercourse without consent recklessly causing actual bodily harm.
After the jury was discharged Mr Hayne told media outside court he was "disappointed" with the result, saying he "told the truth and we'll do it all again".
Police allege the former Parramatta fullback forced himself on a woman, then 26, at her home on the outskirts of Newcastle on grand final night 2018.
Mr Hayne is accused performing oral and digital sex without her consent, causing two lacerations to her vagina and significant bleeding.
He denies the allegations against him and says the sexual encounter was consensual, and claims the woman's injuries were an accident likely caused by his finger.
Last week a jury could not make a decision on either count after two full days of deliberation, even after being given the option of a majority 11-1 verdict by Mr Whitford.
The judge discharged the hung jury on Monday, December 7, after the members sent a series of notes stating they could not reach a decision.
"No amount of time or deliberation even with the option (of the majority verdict) will change this decision," one note said.
Mr Hayne has not played professional rugby league since the allegations surfaced in November 2018, after his contract with the Eels expired at the end of that year's NRL season.
He was arrested and charged on November 19, 2018, following a probe by the NRL Integrity Unit and subsequent police investigation.
The two-time Dally M medal winner has always strenuously denied the accusations of sexual assault.
Mr Hayne's matter will return to the District Court in Sydney for a readiness hearing on January 29, 2021.
Originally published as Date set for Jarryd Hayne's new trial