'Utter shock': Jack de Belin denies cheering during alleged rape

Australian Associated Press
·3-min read
Jack de Belin, pictured here arriving at the Downing Centre District Court in Sydney.
Jack de Belin arrives at the Downing Centre District Court in Sydney. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts)

NRL player Jack de Belin felt "sick" when he first caught wind that a woman was alleging the footballer and a friend had raped her, a jury has heard.

"I was just in complete and utter shock," he said when Callan Sinclair pulled him aside on a Sunday afternoon in December 2018 to share a "rumour" going around.

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The men and a 19-year-old woman had, about 12 hours earlier, left a bar in Wollongong and engaged in sexual activity inside a North Wollongong unit.

She soon made complaints to friends and workmates, leading to the claim spreading on social media ahead of her approaching police, the Sydney District Court has heard.

The St George Illawarra forward, 30, and Sinclair, 23, have pleaded not guilty to multiple charges of aggravated sexual assault, saying all acts were consensual.

De Belin said the men decided to get a mate to message the woman "to see if it's true or not".

She responded along the lines of "what happened last night was not OK".

"How did you feel about that?" David Campbell SC asked his client.

"Sick," de Belin replied, in pre-recorded evidence played to the Sydney jury on Wednesday.

The jury, hearing the trial after an earlier trial could not be concluded, has listened to recorded phone calls of the men discussing the incident days after the event.

While knowing police taped phone calls in criminal investigations, De Belin denied he knew there was a possibility his calls were being tapped.

"I had no idea it would even be this serious," he said.

Jack de Belin, pictured here in action for the Dragons in 2015.
Jack de Belin in action for the Dragons in 2015. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Jack de Belin denies cheering during incident

The Crown alleges the woman took a taxi with the men to the unit under the misapprehension they were all headed to another bar.

Despite her protests inside the unit, de Belin was "determined" to have sex with the woman and "was not going to take no for an answer", crown prosecutor David Scully has said.

The woman says she cried and "just let it happen" as the men cheered each other and took turns in various positions.

De Belin denied any cheering occurred, saying the woman was muttering yes and was involved in decisions throughout.

"We would just have a chat if we needed to swap positions. (We would say) keen to swap or change up," he said.

"Was there any discussion with the complainant?" Mr Scully asked.

"Yes ... it was similar to that," the footballer replied.

He couldn't recall her exact words but denied the suggestion the then-teenager had "no say in any of this".

"She was telling you to stop and you ignored her requests to stop. Isn't that the case?" Mr Scully said.

"No," came the reply.

The trial continues.

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