Christian rugby star Jarryd Hayne, formerly of Australia's National Rugby League who also once signed a futures contract with the San Francisco 49ers, will be allowed to attend a missionary school as he awaits trial on two rape charges.
Hayne, 31, hasn’t formally pleaded to the charges yet but he is accused of sexually assaulting a 26-year-old woman on Sept. 30, 2018, in Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia, The Guardian said. It is alleged in documents that Hayne had sex with the woman without her consent and “recklessly inflicted actual bodily harm” to her during the alleged rape.
During an appearance at a Newcastle court Wednesday, magistrate Robert Stone committed the former rugby player for trial in the NSW district court.
The Perth arm of the evangelical group Youth With A Mission runs a broad range of training courses which, it says, can lead directly to related ministry opportunities. Stone was presented with two letters from the organization to assist Hayne’s application to attend the school, which was opposed by prosecutor Hamish Fitzhardinge on the grounds varying bail could put the community at risk.
Hayne’s lawyer, Richard Pontello, told the court that while participating in the course the former footballer would be staying a short walk away in a dormitory for adult males only The Guardian reported.
“[The course providers] are aware of the nature of the charges and Mr. Hayne’s background, having gone through the formal application process,” he said. “He’s been assessed as suitable with full disclosure.”
Stone noted that the risk to the community could be mitigated by continuing to require Hayne to report to police three times a week and by requiring the YWAM to alert prosecutors if he failed to attend classes.
The Christian star’s trial isn’t expected to start before September 2020 and he’s expected to return to court on July 25 for arraignment.
Hayne, who was named the top player in the NRL in Australia for the second time in 2014, quit the league in October that year and walked away from a contract worth approximately $1 million to pursue his dream of playing in the NFL.
Shortly after the announcement he continued to thank God for the opportunity to pursue his dream in posts on social media and declared himself “the worst Christian” and said he had no idea why God kept blessing him.
"I'm the worst Christian (sic) I know but still gods (sic) favor reins (sic) over my life. Why, I'm not sure but I love ya big man. Without you I can achieve much. With YOU I can achieve anything. Incredible proud to join the 49ers franchise. To my family, friends n fans thank you for your love and support Looking forward to setting up in San Francisco and doing what it takes to make the roster," he wrote on Instagram.