Hayne pleads not guilty as date set for sexual assault trial

FORMER rugby league star Jarryd Hayne will stand trial next year accused of sexually assaulting a woman in NSW's Hunter Valley.

Hayne, 31, appeared in Newcastle District Court on Thursday after travelling from Perth where he's spent the past three weeks attending courses at an evangelical Christian centre.

Hayne formally pleaded not guilty to two charges of aggravated sexual assault and was ordered to stand trial in early May 2020.

Jarryd Hayne will stand trial next year accused of sexually assaulting a woman. Picture: AAP
Jarryd Hayne will stand trial next year accused of sexually assaulting a woman. Picture: AAP

Judge Roy Ellis agreed to vary Hayne's bail so that instead of reporting three times a week to East Perth police station he'll report once a week on Thursdays.

Hayne in early July successfully had his bail changed so he could travel to Perth to attend a six-month missionary course at the Youth With a Mission centre.

The court heard Hayne would be living in a dormitory-style accommodation near the centre's training campus with other men.

Hayne has been required to attend lectures, not drink alcohol and report three times a week to a nearby police station.

Former NRL player Jarryd Hayne formally pleaded not guilty. Picture: AAP
Former NRL player Jarryd Hayne formally pleaded not guilty. Picture: AAP

He is accused of sexually assaulting a 26-year-old woman on September 30, 2018, between 8pm and 10pm in Newcastle.

Police allege in court documents that Hayne had sex with the woman without her consent and "recklessly inflicted actual bodily harm".

The aggravated sexual assault charges each carry a maximum 20-year jail term upon conviction.