Jarryd Hayne has been jailed for at least three years and eight months for raping a woman inside her Newcastle home.
Judge Helen Syme on Thursday sentenced Hayne to a maximum of five years and nine months behind bars, with a non-parole period of three years and eight months.
He will be eligible for release on January 5, 2025.
One female among his group of supporters cried as he was sentenced and another yelled out: “you’re innocent.”
Hayne, 33, was found guilty by a jury in March of the sexual assault of the then 26-year-old woman at her Fletcher home on Newcastle’s outskirts in September 2018.
“She clearly said no several times and indicated by her actions,” Judge Syme said, before handing down her sentence at the Newcastle District Court.
“There is no other conclusion than he knew she did not consent.
“The offender… went ahead anyway and forced a sexual act on her.”
Judge Syme said the woman’s refusal increased the seriousness of the crime.
She said the assault was brief, however noted Hayne only stopped because of the presence of blood.
“The assault was only a matter of minutes at most and he stopped,” she said.
“He did not stop because she said so, but because he saw blood.”
Hayne had shown “entitled” behaviour toward the woman, Judge Syme said.
She said he continued to deny responsibility for his crime and his chances of rehabilitation were only “hopeful”.
The disgraced NRL star had declared hours earlier “I didn’t do it” in the court before learning his fate.
He had taken to the stand on Thursday morning where he continued to deny that he performed oral and digital sex on the woman without her consent.
The woman began conversing with Hayne on social media in 2018, sharing sexually explicit messages.
However she denied ever consenting to him performing the sexual acts on her, saying in her evidence that she repeatedly said “no” and “stop”
Hayne had been in Newcastle for a two-day buck’s party for a former teammate and had agreed to come over to the woman’s house.
However during her evidence the woman said she resolved that she would not consent when she saw that he had a cab waiting outside.
Hayne was drinking on the drive to the woman’s house and left the empty bottle of a pre-mixed alcoholic drink on the letterbox.
He said he went into the woman’s bedroom and lay on her bed where he attempted to serenade her by singing along to some of his “go-to” songs on YouTube including an Ed Sheeran cover of Oasis’ Wonderwall.
According to the woman, he forcibly kissed her during which he pushed her head into the pillow.
She described being overpowered by Hayne, who she said pulled off her jeans before sexually assaulting her despite her attempts to stop him.
Earlier on Thursday, Hayne’s defence barrister Richard Pontello SC argued Hayne had already suffered punishment after losing his job as an NRL player.
At the time, the Parramatta Eels had refused to renew his contract.
Hayne said he had agreed to a $500,000, one-year contract with St George Illawarra however the deal fell through when he was charged in November, 2018.
He told the court he was set to meet with Dragons officials on the day he was charged and was expecting to sign the contract that day.
However crown prosecutor Brian Costello objected, asking Hayne what he expected the consequences to be if he was convicted of sexual assault.
“I didn’t do it,” Mr Hayne told the court.
“What did you think would happen if you went out and committed an offence of sexual intercourse without consent in relation to your career?” Mr Costello asked.
“I didn’t think about doing something without consent,” Hayne said.
Hayne continued to deny that he at any point contemplated what would have happened to his contract had he been charged with sexual assault.
“What the law says is innocent until proven guilty, I was never afforded that,” Hayne said.
However Mr Costello raised the fact that in August 2019, Hayne reached a settlement in a civil suit with a young American woman who had accused him of sexually assaulting while playing for the San Francisco 49ers.
He was never charged with that offence.
Mr Costello said that Hayne’s evidence was “inconsistent” with his own experiences with that case.
Judge Syme added: “He’s obviously lost his employment because he’s going to prison.”