Jury discharged in Jack de Belin rape trial after failing to reach verdict

Australian Associated Press
·2-min read
St. George Illawarra Dragons rugby league player Jack de Belin (centre).
St. George Illawarra Dragons rugby league player Jack de Belin (centre). (AAP Image/Dean Lewins)

A Wollongong jury has been discharged after it was unable to reach a verdict in the trial of NRL forward Jack de Belin and his friend Callan Sinclair.

The NSW State of Origin representative, 29, and Sinclair, 23, stand accused of raping a woman, then 19, in a North Wollongong unit in the early hours of December 9, 2018.

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Following a three-and-a-half week trial and nearly two days of deliberations, the jury was unable to reach a unanimous decision on any of the charges.

When the jury foreperson was asked if given more time for deliberations they could return a majority verdict the woman answered: "Absolutely not".

Earlier on Monday Judge Andrew Haesler ordered the jury to further consider the case at hand after originally stating they could not reach a decision.

But by the end of the day, the divide remained and the jury was discharged.

Since it began on November 3, the trial has heard allegations the 19-year-old woman was assaulted after leaving a bedroom ensuite in a unit rented by de Belin's cousin.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told the jury the men ignored her protests and raped her as she cried and just "let it happen".

The men, who both chose to testify, said the woman had consented, uttering "yes" and appeared to enjoy the threesome.

De Belin had cheated on his long-term partner in involving himself in the threesome, his barrister told the court.

But the jury were asked to focus on criminal acts, not morals.

"While that which happened is not something to be praised, it certainly does not ... involve any criminal conduct on the part of either Mr de Belin or Mr Sinclair," de Belin's barrister, David Campbell SC, said in closing.

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