Jarryd Hayne faces civil lawsuit for sexual assault – Civil Law
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Former NRL golden boy Jarryd Hayne was found guilty earlier this year of two counts of sexual intercourse without consent, also known as ‘sexual assault’ under the law, when of a new trial that took place after an initial jury was unable to reach a verdict.
Now, the woman recognized as his victim has brought civil proceedings against the former star, seeking compensation for the damage caused by the assault.
The second jury found Mr Hayne guilty of sexually assaulting the woman at her home in Newcastle during the 2018 NRL Grand Final.
The same jury found him not guilty on two counts of aggravated sexual assault – the alleged aggravating factor being the infliction of actual bodily harm.
Mr Hayne is currently serving a minimum prison sentence of three years and eight months at Cooma Correctional Centre, located around 400 kilometers south of Sydney.
At the time of Mr Hayne’s sentencing, the young woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told the court in a victim impact statement that she was deeply traumatized by the incident and that it continued to be affect his mental health.
District Court Judge Helen Syme sentenced Mr Hayne to a total of five years and nine months behind bars, noting that his conduct amounted to an extreme form of violence that the community expected the courts to take very seriously.
“The perpetrator was fully aware that the victim had not consented and went ahead anyway and forced a sexual act on her,” His Honor remarked.
She added that the woman’s express refusal increased the seriousness of the crime.
“The reliability and honesty of the victim’s testimony has been extensively tested and, in my opinion, its reliability was beyond doubt. She said ‘no’ several times,” Judge Syme said.
“The use of force was such that the victim had no prospect of physically arresting it.”
“He was at least twice his weight at 100 kilograms and an athlete in top form.”
The judge noted that Mr Hayne only stopped the attack when the woman started bleeding, not when she told him ‘no’ and ‘stop’.
The civil action, which has been filed in the NSW Supreme Court, is unlikely to proceed until Mr Hayne’s appeal against his criminal conviction is finalized.
Mr Hayne has always firmly declared his innocence and his appeal to the New South Wales Court of Criminal Appeal (NSWCCA) is due to be heard in November 2021.
However, there are fears that it will be delayed due to the current backlog resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr Hayne was sued in US civil courts by a woman known only as JV, who alleged he sexually assaulted her in 2018 while playing for the American football team, the San Francisco 49ers .
Police investigators eventually found there was insufficient evidence to prosecute Mr Hayne.
Instead, in 2017, the plaintiff brought civil proceedings against the football star for sexual assault, gender-based violence, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligence.
Mr Hayne settled the case in 2019 for an undisclosed sum of money.
People file civil lawsuits for a variety of reasons, including contract disputes, to collect debts or seek damages for bodily injury, wrongful imprisonment or malicious prosecution (including against the police), or defamation.
The court or tribunal in which the claim is filed depends on the type of claim itself as well as the amount of money requested.
Civil suits are often initiated by means of what is called a declaration of claim.
Monetary jurisdiction in court
The New South Wales Local Court Small Claims Division hears civil claims and debts of $20,000 or less.
The General Division of the same court handles claims over $20,000 up to $100,000 (or $120,000 in certain situations).
The New South Wales District Court hears claims beyond the local court’s jurisdiction, up to $750,000, while the Supreme Court hears claims over $750,000.
If you are considering bringing civil claims or are in a position where you need to defend them, it is important to seek legal advice from a law firm specializing in civil matters.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide on the subject. Specialist advice should be sought regarding your particular situation.