NRL player Jack de Belin and his friend Callan Sinclair have been found not guilty of one of six charges relating to the alleged sexual assault of a woman in Wollongong.
The jury has been discharged in relation to the other five counts after they were unable to reach a unanimous or majority verdict.
St George Illawarra Dragons forward de Belin and Sinclair were accused of raping a 19-year-old woman in a North Wollongong unit after meeting her in a nightclub in December 2018.
The prosecution alleged the men forced the woman to have sex against her will and that she felt she couldn’t fight back.
The jury had been deliberating for five days last week and after 10am on Monday morning had sent a note to the judge which said it had reached a not guilty verdict on the charge.
However, it was unable to reach a unanimous verdict on the other five charges and were asked by the judge to keep trying.
About two hours later, a second note came for the judge which said the jury was firm and resolute in its opinion it would not be able to reach a resolution, even with extra time.
At 2.30pm, another note came for the judge which stated that each jury member was steadfast in their opinion. The judge thanked them for their service and said she knew they had acted in good faith.
It was the second hung jury on the charges against the pair.
During this trial, the court heard that de Belin “didn’t take no for an answer” when he and Mr Sinclair allegedly raped the teenager and that the incident left the woman “dead inside” and “numb”.
The crown prosecutor said the trio met up on the dance floor of the Mr Crown nightclub and that de Belin thought the woman might “be keen” for a threesome.
The court heard de Belin pinned the woman down and that she sustained bruising to her neck and chest before she was assaulted by both men.
In recorded evidence played to the jury, de Belin was asked by the prosecutor if he ever thought the woman wasn’t consenting to the sex that took place in his cousin’s unit.
He replied: “No I did not”.
De Belin said he was in shock when Sinclair told him the next day that the woman was alleging she had been raped.
He described how he discussed sexual positions with the woman and denied her claim that he and Sinclair were cheering each other on as they had sex with her.
He also denied that the woman was telling him to stop and that he ignored her and she seemed to enjoy it.
The matter will be back in court at the end of May where police prosecutors are likely to decide whether they’ll take the remaining counts to a third trial.