Jack de Belin jury to return Monday

The jury has retired in the rape trial of NRL player Jack de Belin and his co-accused.
The jury has retired in the rape trial of NRL player Jack de Belin and his co-accused.

NSW State of Origin representative Jack de Belin and his friend Callan Sinclair will need to wait until at least Monday before a jury returns verdicts to allegations they raped a woman two years ago.

The Wollongong District Court jury began their deliberations about 10.30am on Thursday before Judge Andrew Haesler agreed to send them home about 4pm.

They are expected to recommence at 9.30am on Monday

The court will not sit on Friday to allow a juror to attend an appointment.

The St George Illawarra forward, 29, and his friend, Callan Sinclair, 23, pleaded not guilty to five counts of aggravated sexual assault, saying their early-morning sexual encounter with the woman, then 19, on December 9, 2018, was consensual.

The trial, which began on November 3 and ran beyond its three-week estimate, heard allegations the woman entered a North Wollongong unit with the men to use the toilet and was assaulted after leaving a bedroom ensuite.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told the jury the men ignored her protests and raped her as she cried and just "let it happen".

Crown prosecutor David Scully said the men hadn't planned to rape her before arriving at the unit, but a "fundamental disconnect" had occurred between the complainant's intentions and what the men wanted to do with her.

The men, who both chose to testify, said the woman had consented - uttering "yes" and appeared to enjoy the threesome.

De Belin said he'd proposed a threesome with the woman on a nightclub dancefloor after watching her flirt with Sinclair.

When she mentioned his girlfriend, he said he could keep a secret if the 19-year-old could, the jury heard.

Both men said the woman said "yes" during sex and appeared to enjoy it.

"While that which happened is not something to be praised, it certainly does not ... involve any criminal conduct on the part of either Mr de Belin or Mr Sinclair," de Belin's barrister, David Campbell SC, said in closing.

Judge Haesler has told the jury there was "no magic time" a juror takes to reach a verdict.

"You will have as long as you need," he said.

Australian Associated Press