Rugby league star Jarryd Hayne will fight allegations he raped and injured a woman in NSW’s Hunter Valley.
The 30-year-old sat quietly on Monday morning with his mother and manager as he faced Burwood Local Court for the first time over the alleged incident.
Hayne was charged with aggravated sexual assault and inflicting actual bodily harm after he handed himself in to Ryde police station in November.
It’s alleged the one-time NFL player had sex with a 26-year-old woman without her consent and knowing that she was not consenting in “circumstances of aggravation” in Newcastle on September 30.
According to court documents, police say Hayne recklessly inflicted actual bodily harm to the woman at the time of the offence.
His barrister Richard Pontello told the court on Monday Hayne intends to plead not guilty.
The matter will return to Newcastle Local Court on February 13. Hayne will be excused from appearing if he is legally represented.
He emerged from court on Monday stony-faced alongside his supporters and legal team.
“Mr Hayne maintains his innocence, a plea of not guilty will be entered,” lawyer Leo Premutico said outside court.
“He’d like at this time to thank those who have offered him support, in particular his mother and father.”
The group was bundled into a waiting car, which took off without his manager, Wayne Beavis. He gave a short chase down the street before getting in the car.
Hayne remains on strict bail, with conditions including that he not go to Newcastle.
He is also required to report to Ryde police station every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, after handing over his passport and a $20,000 surety last month.