St George Illawarra player Jack de Belin could be forced to wait another nine months as a result of a hung jury for his sexual assault trial on Monday, per Fox Sports.
Follow two days in Wollongong Local Court, the jury was discharged after it could not reach a decision on the allegations that de Belin and co-accused friend Callan Sinclair raped a 19-year-old woman.
After much deliberation, the jury remained deadlocked for their verdict and were unable to reach a decision after considering a majority decision.
Mr de Belin and Mr Sinclair will either face a retrial or the Director of Public Prosecutions could opt not to pursue the charges.
The pair face a potentially lengthy wait for a second trial due to a COVID-19-related backlog and that the Wollongong Court would not have time for a three-week trial until August next year.
However, Judge Andrew Haesler believed waiting that long would be unreasonable and said that the accused deserved a prompt trial, even suggesting the trial could be moved to Sydney.
St George Illawarra released the following statement following the trial:
The Jack de Belin court matter did not reach a verdict as a result of a hung jury in Wollongong Local Court on Monday.
The consequential next steps concerning the matter are yet to be established.
De Belin remains subject to the NRL’s no-fault stand down policy.
The Dragons will continue to provide the necessary welfare support to de Belin and his family.
The club will make no further comment at this stage.