The Hayne Plane chronicles: Episode 482

Matt Cleary Columnist

By Matt Cleary, Matt Cleary is a Roar Expert

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59 Have your say

    The Jarryd Hayne thing? Dunno. And chances are you dunno, either.

    We do know is this: Hayne is innocent. Indeed he’s been proven innocent. A complaint was taken to police in May of 2016 about an alleged incident in December 2015, and no charge was brought against Hayne by the police representing the state of California.

    You’re innocent until proven guilty. Thus: Hayne is innocent.

    Now, however, Hayne is effectively being sued by a woman in a ‘civil suit’ which is a thing they do in America in which people can sue people for alleged wrong-doing even though the criminal justice system may have thrown out a case.

    The police investigation into the Hayne case became his word against the woman’s that their sex was consensual. Police didn’t dig up enough evidence to charge him. And that was it.

    And that’s where it would’ve stayed in countries other than America which has a thing in which people can still sue people even after the court, the state, declares that a person is not guilty of a thing.

    In Hayne’s case, he’s being sued for “sexual battery, battery, gender violence, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligence,” according to documents tendered by lawyers.

    The young woman is alleged to have woken alone, naked, under a sheet beside a pool of blood.

    Court documents say she was a virgin who suffered significant physical and emotional trauma.

    Hayne’s lawyer declared: “Mr Hayne unequivocally and vehemently denies the allegations, which are the subject of the civil complaint.”

    Hayne has not yet been served with any proceedings or formal complaint relating to the incident.

    Jarryd Hayne has made great strides in his quest to play in the NFL

    (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

    How Hayne’s accusers will go about proving these things when police and the court system could not, I dunno.

    And you would think that if they do, and something that serious is proven, that the person goes to jail. Because the person would be proven guilty of the thing.

    But not in America. There seems to be different sorts of guilty. A civil case is different from a criminal case.

    The family of Nicole Simpson and her boyfriend Ron Goldman successfully sued OJ Simpson after he was not convicted, in a criminal case, of their murder because a pair of bloody gloves didn’t fit and Johnny Cochrane convinced enough people on a jury that the prosecuting detective, Mark Fuhrman, was racist and may have planted the bloody gloves.

    How that got The Juice off the murder wrap given bloody gloves, bloody-soled shoes, incidents of wife-beating, and an unknown person in a sweatshirt near the scene of the crime, is one of those Only In America things.

    Anyway, OJ was proven not guilty, somehow, so the families of Nicole and Ron sued OJ and OJ was ordered by another judge to pay $US33.5 million.

    So he wasn’t ‘guilty’ of the double murder in one court, but he still had to pay a fine for it by order of another.

    Riddle me that, America.

    It’s into this wacky action that it seems our Hayne Plane – and his Parramatta Eels and our dear sweet National Rugby League with him – is headed.

    And here we are and he we’ll likely stay, glued to Jarryd ‘Hayne Plane and/or Train’ Hayne, as America was to OJ and his ‘trial of the century’ in 1995.

    Maybe not that glued; hard to see Hayne leading dozens of NSW Police in a low-speed pursuit down the M4 to Parramatta.

    But it’s still going to be a good long shit-storm of publicity that the Eels would not have signed up for when they signed the man on.

    For surely – surely? – the suits at Parramatta would’ve had no inkling that this level of negative publicity would descend upon on their club, their blue-and-gold brand, with the signing of Hayne.

    You don’t plan for this. Well, they do and they don’t. The NRL and clubs have top people trained in crisis management, who’ll declare that: “The police in the United States did not proceed with any criminal proceedings but we will review the information available and continue to monitor the civil case.”

    The NRL’s PR people are best practice because they’ve had plenty of practice. The Parramatta Eels have had more experience fending off bouncers than the Pommy tail-enders.

    And thus they signed old mate Hayne Plane because he’s a cracker of a footy player capable of wondrous deeds, and he makes those turnstiles sing, as Wendell Sailor was fond of saying of himself.

    And signing the prodigal son was a good news yarn for a club that’s had scant enough of them in recent times.

    Jarryd Hayne NSW Blues State of Origin NRL Rugby League 2017

    (AAP Image/Dan Peled)

    And they got him for unders.

    But mainly because he’s a superstar player. Get Hayne fit and firing and giving a rat’s, you can win a comp.

    But thinking there wasn’t the potential for dud, soap opera-like headlines for the club and the brand and ‘the game’, and all that, with the signing of Hayne would be beyond naïve.

    Hayne’s got more form than Winx. Hayne courts more headlines than Malcolm Turnbull.

    Which is not his fault, unless it, you know, is. Hayne talks a bit of rubbish, on occasion. And makes what some would consider odd choices. And believes some media is out to get him. And travels to Jerusalem to get baptised, and puts it up for public consumption on the Instagram.

    And so on.

    All this makes him compelling viewing. And if people are compelled to view you, and thus consume media in which you appear, then the media will report the things you do, on and off the pitch, as Russell Crowe – photographed in a flannie shirt while buying a hot chicken in an Oxford Street chicken shop – would tell you.

    And if Eels suits thought otherwise then the Eels need new suits.

    And here we are: glued to Episode 482 of The Hayne Plane Chronicles, another juicy episode in the roller-coaster ride of this most compelling of sports people.

    He’s no Juice. But he’s tasty all the same.

    Matt Cleary
    Matt Cleary

    Matt Cleary is a sports writer from Sydney. He enjoys golf, footy and Four Pines Pale Ale, and spends as much time as conscience allows at Long Reef GC. Tweet him @journomatcleary, or read him at his website.

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    The Crowd Says (59)

    • December 22nd 2017 @ 8:53am
      Big Daddy said | December 22nd 2017 @ 8:53am | ! Report

      I ‘ll start the ball rolling.
      The old US of A.
      The land of litigation – enter at your own risk.
      Fact is Hayne is not the smartest tool in the shed so nothing about him surprises me.
      Trump wants to keep out the undesirable so he
      obviously won’t be taking a quick trip back.
      I think it’s time the NRL and Parramatta cut the umbilical cord with this guy as he is the human headline whose best days are behind him.
      No one is bigger than the game.

      • December 24th 2017 @ 2:30am
        Mitcher said | December 24th 2017 @ 2:30am | ! Report

        THe NRL should kick a player out of the competition because he’s the subject of an as yet untried civil suit allegation?

        Or because he changed clubs? Or went to a different sport.

        Or just that you don’t like him?

        Name exactly one thing Hayne has done other than be a bit of a general tool that would warrant him being expelled from the competition.

        • Roar Rookie

          December 28th 2017 @ 7:29am
          Squidward said | December 28th 2017 @ 7:29am | ! Report

          Bingo Mitch, people just don’t like him so it’s their duty to convict him

          • December 28th 2017 @ 10:58am
            Jacko said | December 28th 2017 @ 10:58am | ! Report

            Pretty hard to convict someone who is not in trouble…..He certainly did the bolt from the USA quicker than he runs the 100mtrs….lots wondered at the time why

    • December 22nd 2017 @ 9:11am
      Geoff Schaefer said | December 22nd 2017 @ 9:11am | ! Report

      Hayne signs to a new team and there’s trouble? Who could possibly have seen that coming? It’s not like he’s got history…
      It seems in the NRL more than any other league, problem players seem to be welcomed by clubs with open arms disregarding any obvious mental or ethical flaws or past indiscretions for a short term fix.
      Is there no such thing as club culture anymore?

    • December 22nd 2017 @ 9:28am
      Christo the Daddyo said | December 22nd 2017 @ 9:28am | ! Report

      “Indeed he’s been proven innocent.”

      That’s not correct – no charges were brought. If he was charged with something and found not guilty, then this statement would be true.

      • December 22nd 2017 @ 9:42am
        Gray-Hand said | December 22nd 2017 @ 9:42am | ! Report

        Actually, he would just be found ‘not guilty’.

        It is very seldom that a Court goes out of it’s way to declare a defendant ‘innocent’. It often leaves a bad taste in the mouth, but that’s the system.

        • December 22nd 2017 @ 11:37am
          Christo the Daddyo said | December 22nd 2017 @ 11:37am | ! Report

          Yep, good point.

      • December 22nd 2017 @ 11:35am
        northerner said | December 22nd 2017 @ 11:35am | ! Report

        I know it’s possible to be found “ïnnocent” in some legal systems (Italy comes to mind), but in the English system, it’s “not guilty.” Not quite the same thing. In this case, though, neither applies because the matter was never tried. The prosecution figured the evidence didn’t meet the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard, so he wasn’t charged. That doesn’t mean he couldn’t be charged at some later date (though it seems very unlikely).

      • Roar Guru

        December 22nd 2017 @ 12:51pm
        The Bush said | December 22nd 2017 @ 12:51pm | ! Report

        Yeah I was thinking the same thing, he was never found not guilty, simply no charges were ever made. He has never been to court of this issue before.

        • December 22nd 2017 @ 3:56pm
          Larry1950 said | December 22nd 2017 @ 3:56pm | ! Report

          Yeah, like a lot of those ‘innocent’ clergy mentioned in the royal commission who never faced charges because of various circumstances, there’s nothing to say there won’t be charges in the future. I’d give him the benefit of doubt because that US system is crazy but it does result in two reactions for mine.
          1 a group sigh of resignation from those of us who were hoping for a Hayne free 2018
          2 a sigh of relief & smug satisfaction from those connected to the Titans who’ve dodged a bullet.

          Is JH visiting the wailing wall in Jerusalem?

      • December 22nd 2017 @ 2:46pm
        Frances said | December 22nd 2017 @ 2:46pm | ! Report

        Not enough evidence for a reasonable chance of a jury finding him guilty. Prosecutors need a certain amount to be able to go to court in the hope of a win.
        So Hayne is neither guilty nor innocent (well, yes as someone has pointed out we’re all innocent until proven guilty however he’s kind of in limbo).
        Similar story to the woman who attempted to charge Bill Shorten with rape although hers was historical rape, which is very hard to prove.

        The unknown in both cases is whether or not it the sex was consensual. Usually the bloke thinks it was and the woman ‘knows’ it wasn’t.

        All very nasty and even if the charge is fabricated mud sticks.

        Brett Stewart went through hell and has probably never quite got over being wrongfully charged with rape.

        Surely the moral is – especially if you’re a big name in the public domain – don’t combine drinking and sex.

      • Columnist

        December 22nd 2017 @ 4:45pm
        Matt Cleary said | December 22nd 2017 @ 4:45pm | ! Report

        But isn’t he innocent by dint of being not proven guilty? Doesn’t being “not guilty” mean you’re innocent, and that police not having enough to charge a man with, would mean he’s been proven not guilty and thus proven innocent. ie He was accused of X … cops couldn’t prove anything … thus he remains innocent because he’s been proven not guilty Not that it ever got to that.

        I knew this yarn would be tie me in knots / legal loopholes.

        The actual court records are pretty tough to read. Tele ran em in full online.

        • December 22nd 2017 @ 5:08pm
          Gray-Hand said | December 22nd 2017 @ 5:08pm | ! Report

          It’s not hard to understand.

          A person will usually be found either guilt you beyond reasonable navel doubt or not guilty beyond reasonable doubt.

          Very occasionally, a court will take it upon itself to make mention of the fact that a defendant is clearly innocent.

          • December 22nd 2017 @ 7:37pm
            Dan in Devon said | December 22nd 2017 @ 7:37pm | ! Report

            There is no such thing as ‘not guilty’ beyond all reasonable doubt. A person is not guilty if the threshold of evidential requirements for the crime is not met. He is not innocent in the common parlance – rather it is a legal fiction to denote that the burden of proof has not been fulfilled. OJ Simpson is a good example of where the civil system can offer recompense where the evidential requirements of the criminal system prove too hard to satisfy.

            • Roar Guru

              December 27th 2017 @ 1:37pm
              Hoy said | December 27th 2017 @ 1:37pm | ! Report

              “deem to hard to satisfy” is a slippery slope you kick off there… You are writing as though presumption of innocence is a burdon. Be careful.

    • December 22nd 2017 @ 9:38am
      Gray-Hand said | December 22nd 2017 @ 9:38am | ! Report

      Hayne wasn’t found innocent by a court. He never went before a court. It would appear that the matter never went further than a police investigation because the police concluded that there was insufficient evidence to prove a criminal offence beyond reasonable doubt. Super common with rape complaints.

      The alleged victim has now issued civil proceedings seeking compensation for the damage she claims to have suffered. In civil proceedings she only has to prove her case ‘on the balance of probability’ which is a much lower bar than ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ which is required in criminal matters.

      This doesn’t just happen in America. People get sued for assault all the time in Australia. It’s actually pretty common and the only reason it doesn’t happen in every case is due to the cost of litigation.

      • December 27th 2017 @ 9:39am
        BA Sports said | December 27th 2017 @ 9:39am | ! Report

        As it stands, he is considered as innocent of this charge as you and I are.

        • December 28th 2017 @ 11:03am
          Jacko said | December 28th 2017 @ 11:03am | ! Report

          How can you be innocent of a charge when there has not been a charge?

        • January 1st 2018 @ 9:47am
          Dave_S said | January 1st 2018 @ 9:47am | ! Report

          As it stands, he is assumed to be innocent, but in the context of the criminal standard of “beyond reasonable doubt”.

          ASAIK, there has been no indication that the police considered the complaint to be entirely fabricated.

          You and I are not even accused, so it’s fair to say our situation is not (in reality) comparable to Hayne’s.

          At law, in a criminal context, yes we are all equally assumed to be innocent atm.

          In civil suits, there are no concepts of innocence and guilt. Rather, they talk in terms of being liable or not liable for the alleged harm.

          So it’s quite possible (depending on how things unfold) for Hayne to be both assumed to be innocent and found to be liable.

    • December 22nd 2017 @ 9:44am
      Cantab said | December 22nd 2017 @ 9:44am | ! Report

      Tough one all round

      For the Eels:
      Cleared by the police vs trying to change the image of the game

      For Hayne:
      If I was innocent I wouldn’t roll the dice in civil court.
      Remember Chris Cairns is 2-0 up in civil court. Once as the plaintiff and once as the defendant.

      • December 28th 2017 @ 11:04am
        Jacko said | December 28th 2017 @ 11:04am | ! Report

        Yes Chris Cairns proved his innocence twice

    • December 22nd 2017 @ 10:05am
      sheek said | December 22nd 2017 @ 10:05am | ! Report

      Thanks Matt,

      Yes, “not guilty” doesn’t mean innocent.

      it just means in the usual case, not enough evidence was found to convict, or in a place like America, the possibly guilty side had enough money to pay crooked lawyers enough money to motivate them to manipulate the verdict in their favour.

      Maybe crooked is too harsh a word. Perhaps it’s just a pervasive love of money, status & materialism.

      Anyway, please don’t say “only in America”. We in Australia love to mimic just about everything that happens in the good ol’ USA. We’re their little imitation, & bit by bit, we’re becoming more like them.

      Sorry to be the bearer of unwelcome news.

      As for Hayne, I no longer care…..

      • December 22nd 2017 @ 1:36pm
        McNaulty said | December 22nd 2017 @ 1:36pm | ! Report

        “Yes, “not guilty” doesnt mean innocent”

        In criminal law it does actually – since we are all innocent until proven guilty.

        It just doesnt necessarily mean he didn’t do something. Which essentially just puts him/her on the same level as the rest of us.

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