explainer

Exactly what we know about the rape allegations against NRL player Jack de Belin.

This post deals with sexual assault and might be triggering for some readers. 

This week the trial against NRL player Jack de Belin began and disturbing details of what allegedly occurred during the early hours of December 9 2018 have been revealed.   

The St George Illawarra player, 29, is accused of raping a 19-year-old woman alongside his co-accused, Callan Sinclair, 23. Both de Belin and Sinclair have pleaded not guilty to the charge of aggravated sexual assault, which allegedly took place in the bedroom of a North Wollongong unit. 

The men say the sexual activity was consensual, in contrast to the woman's evidence that the men ignored her protests and cries.

Here’s what the Wollongong District Court jury has heard so far.

Jack de Belin is a State of Origin player for NSW. Image: Getty. 

The two men met the woman in Wollongong bar Mr Crown in December 2018. Sinclair and the woman, who knew each other previously, kissed at the bar, with the woman describing it as "pecking" and "nothing serious". The woman then left with the men and said she thought the trio were going to another club in the early hours of December 9, before de Belin led the group to a North Wollongong unit "to charge his phone".

"I said I want to go home," the woman told the jury.

She initially told the men she'd wait outside for them before asking to use the bathroom, the court heard.

While on the toilet in a bedroom ensuite, the woman said de Belin walked in naked and began showering - causing her to exit quickly.

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She was met in the dark bedroom by a clothed Sinclair.

De Belin then untied her top from behind and shoved her on the bed, she told the jury.

Covering herself and saying "no, stop" as the men said "show us your tits", the woman said she felt the footballer removed the rest of her clothes.

"He split my legs open and put himself on top of me with his hand around my neck and resting on my collarbone," she said.

"And, um, then .... he put his penis inside me."

Callan Sinclair is also accused of aggravated sexual assault, but has pleaded not guilty. Image: Getty. 

After the men ignored her initial verbal protests and de Belin forced himself on her, she said she went "dead and numb inside and just let it happen".

"I only weigh 51 kilograms - they're twice the size of me," she said.

The pair were "cheering each other on" while assaulting the then-19-year-old, the jury heard.

"I just had tears out of my eyes the whole time," she recalled, adding she wasn’t sure how long the alleged rape lasted for.

"I was saying stop way earlier ... Why would I say stop now? It's not going to work," she said while detailing a later part of the alleged rape.

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The woman said she thought she was going to pass out when de Belin choked her towards the end of the attack.

When Sinclair left the room, de Belin entered her anus and she screamed "stop" due to the pain.

She believed the footballer said sorry before he re-entered her vagina and choked her.

After de Belin finished, the woman told Sinclair she didn't want "any of this to happen".

De Belin asked why she was "being so emotional" and that she "can't tell anyone about this", she recalled.

The three then caught an Uber back into Wollongong's CBD, with de Belin handing the woman $50 "for the Uber and to keep your mouth shut".

She said she joined a nightclub line with the men after the alleged assault. The woman then quickly walked away from the line minutes later when some of the men’s friends arrived. 

"They said 'where are you going' and I just didn't respond," the woman, who cannot be identified, said.

Jack de Belin is a former NRL player. Image: Getty. 

After getting around a corner, she opened Instagram and messaged a male friend she knew was also out partying, the court was told.

"Help," the message read.

When asked, she told the friend she was "not that OK".

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But the court heard she declined to elaborate, saying "probably something I can't tell you anyways".

"For someone to just hear it straight up, it's quite horrific," she told the court on Wednesday.

"What had happened to me was quite horrific and I thought I couldn't tell him at that time."

That friend's housemate then reached out on Snapchat. He'd seen the woman with de Belin and Sinclair before the alleged rape.

"The guys you saw me with just abused me," she messaged him.

The woman told the court she turned down an offer to spend the night at the friend's home, and another to smoke weed with a third person she'd messaged.

"I ended up going home to bed and crying myself to sleep," she said.

The woman complained to friends, family and work colleagues before making a formal police statement and agreeing to a medical examination on the afternoon of December 9.

Her DNA was later found in the unit.

The footballer's barrister, David Campbell SC, asked the jury to keep an open mind as things may at first appear "cogent, strong and accurate" but seem different as more pieces of the puzzle emerged.

The footballer "doesn't and never has" disputed sexual activity took place.

"The issue he is raising is: everything happened with the consent of those involved," Mr Campbell said.

Craig Smith SC, for Sinclair, echoed the statements about consent and reiterated his client didn't sexually assault the teenager.

"There is evidence both before and after that activity that is consistent with that activity being consensual activity," he said.

The jury is expected to see CCTV from Mr Crown and Wollongong's CBD, including the woman dancing and playing with de Belin's hat.

The trial is still underway.

- With AAP.

If this post brings up any issues for you, or if you just feel like you need to speak to someone, please call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) – the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service. It doesn’t matter where you live, they will take your call and, if need be, refer you to a service closer to home.


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