The coronavirus pandemic has forced former NRL star Jarryd Hayne to wait until November to face trial for an alleged rape case.
Initially, his court case was to begin in May before the COVID-19 crisis pushed all jury trials in New South Wales back.
Hayne pleaded not guilty to two charges of aggravated assault in relation to an alleged incident that took place in September 2018 with a women near Newcastle.
On Thursday, his case appeared before Newcastle District Court. According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Hayne’s defence lawyer, Penny Musgrave, appeared on his behalf.
There was an issue with a subpoena and Ms Musgrave asked for a six-week adjournment to fix the problem. She told the court she does not believe the problem will not add further delay to the trial and was confident it would be shortly resolved.
Hayne’s trial is set for November 23, with an expectation that it will last around two weeks, and a mention is also listed for November 19. This will anticipate whether the trial will go ahead.
Ms Musgrave said Hayne was eager to have his case heard in front of the jury. She also said that the trial date was set for November because of the suspension of jury trials until June.
Court documents reveal that police allege Hayne had sexual intercourse with a 26-year-old woman, whom was known to police, without her consent and that he reckless inflicted “actual bodily harm” on the woman “in circumstances of aggravation”.
On the night of the 2018 NRL Grand Final, Hayne allegedly caught a taxi to the woman’s house in the Newcastle area. He allegedly left her house 20 minutes later in the same taxi and was driven back to Sydney.
It is alleged that he sexually assaulted the woman at the house she shared with her mother. He allegedly ripped off her clothes and bit her on her genital area, drawing blood. The following day, she had sought medical treatment at hospital for her injuries.
In July last year, Hayne was allowed to travel to Western Australia to attend a six-month missionary course at the Youth With A Mission centre.
Hayne case returns to Newcastle District Court on August 13. An aggravated rape charge carries a maximum of 20 years in jail.