After two juries were unable to reach a verdict on Jack de Belin’s sexual assault case, there is reportedly a “99.99% chance” of no third trial.
The Daily Telegraph reported a third trial being called after two hung juries is extremely rare, but the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) will make the final call before the end of the month.
St George Illawarra Dragons forward de Belin and his friend Callan Sinclair had each pleaded not guilty to five counts of aggravated sexual assault stemming from an incident inside a North Wollongong unit on December 9, 2018.
On Monday, they were both found not guilty on one count of aggravated sexual intercourse without consent relating to a specific sexual act on the night.
But the jury of eight men and four women were ultimately dismissed after declaring they could not agree — unanimously or with a majority of 11 out of 12 jurors — on five other counts before the court.
It is the second time a jury has been unable to come to a verdict in a trial for the pair in six months.
They faced their first trial in November last year but the jury was unable to come to a decision on any of the charges and was discharged.
The latest trial began on April 14 and ran for two-and-a-half weeks.
Read the full exclusive in The Saturday Telegraph
Jack de Belin leaves Downing Centre Court on Monday afternoon.Source:Matrix
The men must now wait for their case to return to court on May 28 when the ODPP is likely to reveal whether it plans to proceed to a third trial.
This means de Belin’s professional rugby league career remains in limbo, having not played for the Dragons since the end of the 2018 season.
An ODPP spokeswoman told The Daily Telegraph: “No decision has been made concerning whether the matter will proceed to a further trial. A decision will be made before the matter is next in court.”
A separate ODPP insider told the publication: “There is absolutely 99.99 per cent chance that they will not do it again — not after two hung juries.”
The Dragons released a statement during the week saying the former State of Origin lock was still subject to the NRL’s no-fault stand down policy.
“The next steps concerning all facets of matter are yet to be established,” the statement read.
“The Dragons will continue to provide the necessary welfare support to de Belin and his family.
“As this remains a legal matter, the club will make no further comment at this time.”
De Belin and Sinclair have been excused from appearing when their cases return to court on May 28.
With NCA NewsWire
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