Jarryd Hayne likely to escape ban over sexual assault claim

By @saihoops on
Jarryd Hayne close to playing for Waratahs after 2nd meeting with ARU; move could lift standards of Wallabies
San Francisco 49ers running back Jarryd Hayne (38) poses with an Australian flag after the game against the Minnesota Vikings at Levi's Stadium. Reuters - Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The National Rugby League (NRL) is unlikely to ban Parramatta Eels fullback Jarryd Hayne over accusations that he raped a woman during his time with the San Francisco 49ers in America's National Football League (NFL). Hayne is expected to suit up for the Eels when the new NRL season begins in the first week of March.

On Tuesday, a civil suit was filed against Hayne in Santa Clara County, California. In Oct. 2016, Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office reportedly reviewed the case and rejected it on account of insufficient evidence. 

The civil suit includes charges of sexual battery, gender violence, infliction of emotional distress and negligence, according to The Mercury News. Micha Star Liberty, the lead attorney for the plaintiff, released the following statement Tuesday: “A local Santa Clara County woman filed a suit today stemming from a December 2015 rape by professional Rugby player and former NFL player Jarryd Hayne. On the night of the assault, the victim, who was a virgin at the time, was unable to consent to sexual intercourse.

"The lawsuit arising out of a rape of a woman unable to consent to sexual penetration, attached to this release, includes claims of sexual battery, gender violence, infliction of emotional distress, and negligence.”

NRL, Eels not ready to ban Jarryd Hayne

The NRL has vowed to conduct its own investigation via the Integrity Unit. In the NFL, for example, commissioner Roger Goodell has empowered an in-house committee to address domestic violence offenders. The league has often banned players that escaped conviction from a court of a law. 

In a statement on Tuesday, the Eels said they were unaware of Hayne's alleged crimes during his time with the 49ers. ''The Club has been made aware of serious allegations regarding Jarryd Hayne during his time with the San Francisco 49ers.  We were unaware of these allegations until they were made public today. 

"As with any legal matter, it is important that we follow due process and ensure that we review all relevant information available, including giving Jarryd the opportunity to respond. The club will continue to monitor the situation and when appropriate we will provide an update to members and media.''

Jarryd Hayne, 29, was a part of the Australian team that won the Rugby League World Cup in 2013. He also helped Australia win the Rugby League Four Nations in 2009. Hayne played running back for the San Francisco 49ers during the 2015-16 NFL season.