MELBOURNE: Former Australia rugby league international Jarryd Hayne has been sentenced to four years and nine months in jail after being found guilty of sexually assaulting a woman. The 35-year-old, who also had a brief stint in the National Football League (NFL) with the San Francisco 49ers, was found guilty of two counts of sexual intercourse without consent last month and taken into custody 10 days later. read more Hayne had pleaded not guilty to both assault charges at the court. The New South Wales District Court said the sentence, backdated to May 7, 2022, has a non-parole period of three years, meaning he will not be eligible for parole until May 6, 2025. “He overwhelmed her in an inherently unequal contest … to achieve some sexual gratification,” Australian media quoted Judge Graham Turnbull as saying at the court on Friday. “His preparedness to utilise ultimately the complainant as some kind of sexual object is a matter of significance in the manner in which he went about committing this offence.” The judge said Hayne had maintained his innocence and had not accepted responsibility for the crimes he had been found guilty of. In 2021, Hayne was sentenced to five years and nine months in jail on the same charges but that conviction was overturned by the New South Wales Court of Criminal Appeal last year and a new trial ordered. The first trial ended in a hung jury in 2020. The assault occurred on a night in September 2018 when Hayne visited the woman, who he had met on social media, at her home in Newcastle after a friend’s bachelor party in the city two hours north of Sydney. Hayne played nearly 200 games for the National Rugby League’s Parramatta Eels, winning the Dally M Medal, the competition’s highest individual honour, in 2009 and 2014. The Sydney-born fullback scored 11 tries in 11 appearances for Australia, helping the Kangaroos to win the Rugby League World Cup in 2013. He won a contract as a running back and kick returner with the 49ers in 2015 but was waived after playing only a few games. Hayne was accused of sexual assault in a civil lawsuit brought by a woman in California in 2016 after police decided not to charge him over an alleged incident in 2015. He said at the time he “unequivocally and vehemently” denied the allegations. The case was settled in 2019 before going to trial.