Australian rugby star Hayne will not face new rape trial

Jarryd Hayne
Jarryd Hayne's case has been one of the most high-profile in Australia in recent years [Getty Images]

Former Australian rugby league star Jarryd Hayne will not stand trial for a fourth time in the same rape case, after prosecutors dropped the charges against him.

The 36-year-old won an appeal against his convictions earlier this month.

He has faced trial for the same alleged assault three times, with the first ending in a hung jury and the second's guilty verdict also overturned on appeal.

Hayne has consistently denied he attacked the woman - who cannot legally be named - in her bedroom in 2018, arguing the pair had consensual sex.

One of Australian rugby league's most decorated athletes, Hayne also had a brief NFL career in the US.

In a statement on Tuesday night, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) said it would not pursue the case again, having "carefully considered the many competing factors" and assessing what is in the "public interest”.

“As the reasons for the decision are legally privileged, they will not be disclosed and the ODPP will not comment further,” the statement added.

Hayne has collectively spent almost two years in jail as the legal saga has unfolded, and his accuser has been forced to give evidence and face lengthy cross-examination multiple times.

When handing down their appeal judgment, both judges who upheld Mr Hayne's appeal said they believed a fourth trial should not proceed.

In her written reasons, Justice Deborah Sweeney said that in her view it "would not be in the interests of justice".

Justice Rothman agreed, saying a trial was "unlikely" to occur before the expiry of Mr Hayne's non-parole period - and that he has already served most of it anyway.

However, both emphasised the future of the case was up to the ODPP.

A former captain of the Parramatta Eels, Mr Hayne twice won the NRL's player of the year award and played 11 Tests for Australia.

At the height of his career in Australia, in 2015 he joined the NFL in the US with the San Francisco 49ers.