Former NRL star Jarryd Hayne will face a third trial on sexual assault allegations and wants the venue changed from Sydney to Newcastle.
The 34-year-old was released from jail in February after the New South Wales court of criminal appeal quashed his convictions and ordered a retrial.
Hayne had served nine months of a minimum term of three years and eight months imposed on him in May 2021 after he was found guilty of two charges of sexual intercourse without consent.
The ex-Parramatta player had earlier faced another trial where the jury could not reach a verdict.
When the case was mentioned in the district court on 18 February, the judge was told the crown was still considering whether a retrial would be held. But on Friday, prosecutor Adrian Dragicevic said the crown would be proceeding with a retrial.
Judge Dina Yehia also was told Hayne’s lawyer Ramy Qutami was applying for a change of venue from Sydney to Newcastle. The application was listed for hearing on 21 March.
When granting Hayne bail after his successful appeal, another judge said the earliest the trial might be able to proceed would be October. “After that, we’re looking at 2023,” he said.
The crown contended in both previous trials that Hayne forcibly performed oral and digital sexual intercourse on a woman in the Hunter region on the night of the 2018 NRL grand final.
Hayne has always maintained the encounter was consensual. His barrister successfully argued for his convictions to be overturned on two appeal grounds – that there was an error in the legal directions given to the jury and an error in a pre-trial ruling on evidence.
His bail conditions included a $20,000 surety, surrendering his passport and reporting to police three times a week.
Hayne also must not contact or intimidate the alleged victim or any witnesses and cannot enter the Newcastle local government area.