Former 49ers RB Jarryd Hayne Sentenced to Nearly 4 Years in Prison for Sexual Assault

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVMay 6, 2021

In this March 3, 2015 photo, Jarryd Hayne announces his free agent contract with the National Football League team the San Francisco 49ers at a press conference in Sydney. Less than three months after quitting the San Francisco 49ers to make an ill-fated attempt to compete in rugby sevens at the Rio Olympics, Jarryd Hayne is back in the Australian National Rugby League. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)
AP Photo/Rick Rycroft

Former San Francisco 49ers running back Jarryd Hayne will spend at least three years and eight months in prison after being convicted of two counts of sexual assault in March.

According to the Associated Press (h/t Yahoo Sports), a judge sentenced Hayne on Thursday to up to five years and nine months in prison with no chance of parole for the first three years and eight months.

Hayne, who appeared in eight games for the 49ers in 2015, is best known for being a rugby star in his native Australia.

Per the AP, Hayne was found guilty of sexually assaulting a 28-year-old woman at her home in Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia, in September 2018.

In a victim impact statement, the woman said: "You don't owe somebody your body, nor should they expect it. My body remembers and my mind won't let me forget. This assault has changed me. It changed my direction and who I was. I don't remember the last time I had a proper sleep."

District Court Judge Helen Syme said the following during sentencing:

"The reliability and honesty of the victim's evidence was tested at length and in my view, her reliability was not in doubt. She said no several times. The use of force was such that the victim had no prospect of stopping him physically. He was at least twice her weight at 100 kilograms [220 lbs.] and an athlete at the top of his form. The offender was fully aware the victim was not consenting."

The 33-year-old Hayne was found not guilty on two counts of aggravated sexual assault without consent inflicting actual bodily harm.

After playing for Australian professional rugby club Parramatta Eels from 2006 to 2014, Hayne spent the 2015 NFL season with the Niners, serving primarily as a special teamer.

Hayne returned to Australia following the 2015 season and played for the Gold Coast Titans from 2016 to '17 and returned to the Eels for the 2018 season.

He has not played rugby or football professionally since his Parramatta contract expired in 2018.