San Jose: Jarryd Hayne has become the third player associated with the San Francisco 49ers to have allegedly committed a sexual assault on a woman who had been taken home from San Jose nightclub, The Willow Den.
On Wednesday, court documents filed in the Santa Clara County Court revealed Hayne was the subject of a civil lawsuit, alleging he had raped a young woman while he was in the US playing for the 49ers.
Hayne is understood to have met the woman, known as “Ms V,” at The Willow Den on Lincoln Avenue in San Jose, before allegedly taking her back to his apartment and having non-consensual sex.
Fairfax Media has revealed it is the same nightclub in which former 49ers defensive end Ray McDonald met and shared drinks with a young woman, before allegedly taking her back to his house. He was subsequently fired by the club.
The Willow Den declined to comment when approached by Fairfax Media in San Jose on Thursday, requesting to instead be contacted outside of service hours.
A 2014 search warrant stated that the woman, known as V-1, “ended up at Ray McDonald’s house, after drinking with him and friends at The Willow Den”.
“She remembered being out by the pool when she fell and hit her head on the ground. She stated she next woke up the next morning naked in bed with S-1 (McDonald).”
The affadavit, filed in the Superior Court of California County of Santa Clara, detailed text message conversations after the alleged incident as directed by police, in order to extract an admission from McDonald.
A similar tactic over text message was recommended by police to Ms V, to encourage Hayne to make “incriminating statements confirming sexual penetration,” according to the civil lawsuit papers filed on Tuesday.
The rape charges against McDonald were dropped by prosecutors in April this year, after the complainant received a financial settlement of more than $US100,000, The Mercury News reported.
A second 49ers player, linebacker Ahmad Brooks, was charged with misdemeanour sexual battery of the same woman, in an incident allegedly caught on camera. It is understood the case against Brooks is still pending.
Hayne’s civil suit comes more than one year after the case was reviewed and rejected by the District Attorney’s Office, which concluded there was not enough evidence to prove the crime of rape beyond reasonable doubt.
The action filed this week includes claims of sexual battery, gender violence, infliction of emotional distress and negligence.
A statement issued on Hayne’s behalf this week said he “unequivocally and vehemently” denied the claims.
“Mr Hayne previously addressed a complaint made to the District Attorney’s office in the County of Santa Clara, California in 2016 and the District Attorney did not proceed any further with the matter due to insufficient evidence to substantiate the allegations,” Hayne’s lawyer Ramy Qutani said.
On Thursday the Parramatta star arrived in Tel Aviv, on a planned religious holiday, but refused to answer any questions about the alleged sexual assault. ‘Former employee’
It was only in 2015 that the 49ers spoke of Hayne in the same sentence as words like “hope” and “faith”.
By 2016 the club had waived the NFL rookie to the 49ers practice squad, acknowledging “he need more time”.
Now, three days after the explosive rape allegation and an accompanying civil lawsuit hit the news, the club has referred to him merely as “a former employee”.
In San Francisco this week 49ers spokesman Bob Lange told Fairfax Media the team had “nothing to add to this story other than to say that we were surprised to hear the allegations regarding a former employee”.
Mr Lange added that “there has been no relationship since he left the team”. Few memories remain
While Hayne has dominated headlines in this week, in the sports bars of Santa Clara, within a stone’s throw of the 49ers home ground Levi’s Stadium, no one is speaking of the former running back.
Those who remembered “that n rugby player” described him as everything from a “novelty” to “exciting for a while”.
One manager of a Santa Clara sports bar expressed surprise when shown n headlines highlighting the US “Hayne hype” in 2015, saying he was “honestly, somebody in the NFL that … was not on the radar”.
The Willow Den is a popular party spot among San Jose locals. It is described online as a typically “dive bar-Esque” venue, known for the dollar bills and Playboy magazine covers that line its walls.
Another online review described it as the place to be “if you like being felt up”.
with Matt BarrowsAffadavit by Lucy Rickard on Scribd