When Jarryd Hayne stepped into the witness box of courtroom 6.1 in the Newcastle Court House on Thursday, he blurted out the words: "I didn't do it."
Those words earned a stern rebuke from Judge Helen Syme, who said it explained why his prospects of rehabilitation were so poor as she sentenced him to several years in jail.
Hayne, once the toast of the sporting world, whose dreams of making it in the NFL captured the imagination of Australia, now sits in prison where he will remain until at least January 2025.
He was sentenced on Thursday to five years and nine months in prison and will not be eligible for parole for three years and eight months.
During her sentencing remarks, Judge Syme lamented that Hayne's prospects of being rehabilitated while in prison were poor because of his continued denial that he sexually assaulted the woman in her Newcastle home on NRL grand final night in 2018.
Hayne's defence barrister Richard Pontello SC asked Judge Syme to take into account his Christian beliefs, submitting they could help his rehabilitation.
However she said his prospects of rehabilitation were "guarded", noting he would benefit from in-custody programs including those for offenders who continue to deny their crimes.
"This specific aspect of his behaviour (his denials) ought to be addressed," Judge Syme said.
"It will not be overcome by him simply going to church."
Mr Pontello also contended that Hayne was a victim of a deprived childhood growing up in a housing commission in Minto, in Sydney's west.
But Judge Syme said there was no causal link between his past and his "entitled behaviour to this young woman, who simply refused to have sex with him."
During his trial, Hayne maintained that the woman had consented to sexual activity, after they agreed to meet up at her house at Fletcher on Newcastle's outskirts late in the evening.
But, Judge Syme said: "He was intent on having sexual activity with her despite whatever she said about it.
"It is with this attitude by the defendant that the offence occurred."
She noted the jury "clearly rejected" his version of events, adding: "I do not accept that the offender did not know that she did not want to have sex with him.
"They were in close proximity in the same room."
On Friday, a spokesperson for the courts confirmed Hayne's legal team had filed a notice of intention to appeal in the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal.
It is not known what the grounds of the appeal will be, but Hayne has continued to profess his innocence.
Where to get help:
• If it's an emergency and you feel that you or someone else is at risk, call 111.
• If you've ever experienced sexual assault or abuse and need to talk to someone call the confidential crisis helpline Safe to Talk on: 0800 044 334 or text 4334.
• Alternatively contact your local police station
• If you have been abused, remember it's not your fault.