By PAUL ELIAS, Associated Press
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A former San Francisco 49ers player now playing professional rugby in Australia has been sued by a California woman who says he sexually assaulted her.
The woman filed a lawsuit Tuesday alleging that Jarryd Hayne raped her after a gathering with mutual friends in a San Jose, California, bar in December 2015. The woman alleges she was heavily intoxicated when Hayne took her to his home “despite having minimal interaction that night.”
The woman said in the lawsuit that she recalled little about that night but woke the next morning in a pool of blood, naked and draped in a sheet in Hayne’s bed. She said she had never had sexual intercourse before that night but was fearful of going to police because of Hayne’s prominence.
Hayne was a rugby star in Australia when he decided to try American football in 2015. After a standout preseason with the 49ers, Hayne made the team as a punt returner and reserve running back. He played eight games that season and has since returned to Australia where he plays for the Parramatta Eels, where he starred before his stint with the 49ers.
The woman wasn’t identified in the lawsuit.
Hayne’s Australian lawyer Ramy Qutami said in a prepared statement that Hayne “unequivocally and vehemently” denies any wrongdoing. Qutami said that Hayne cooperated with a police investigation at the time.
Santa Clara County prosecutors declined to charge Hayne because of insufficient evidence after the encounter was reported to police three months later.
The woman is represented by John Clune, a Boulder, Colorado, attorney who has represented several women who have accused professional and college athletes of sexual abuse. Clune was involved in the settlement of a lawsuit alleging rape against retired Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant. Clune’s firm has also sued several universities alleged to have been financially responsible for college athletes assaulting women.
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