NRL star Jack de Belin and his friend Callan Sinclair remain accused of sexual assault after a jury was unable to reach any verdict and discharged.
The NSW State of Origin representative, 29, and Sinclair, 23, pleaded not guilty to raping a woman, then 19, in a North Wollongong unit in the early hours of December 9, 2018.
Following a three-and-a-half week trial and nearly two days of deliberations, the Wollongong District Court jury was unable to reach a unanimous decision on any of the five charges against each man.
Judge Andrew Haesler then gave the jury the option to return a "majority verdict" whereby 11 out of 12 jurors could be in agreement.
But minutes after considering this option the jury returned once again.
When the jury foreperson was asked if given more time there was a chance of a majority verdict the woman answered: "Absolutely not".
Judge Haesler said he would do everything in his power to ensure a "rapid retrial" of the men who were seen shaking and hanging their heads in the dock.
Outside the court Sinclair's lawyer Graeme Morrison said they were "really disappointed in what happened today," and they would be "back to fight these charges".
Following the hung jury, the NRL confirmed St George Illawarra forward de Belin would remain subject to its no-fault stand-down rule until the court determined his criminal proceedings.
NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo said the rule applied while a player was charged with an offence that carried a maximum sentence of 11 years or more.
"The no-fault stand-down rule is not about forming a view on the guilt or innocence of an individual, it is about protecting the values and reputation of the game while a serious criminal process is underway," Abdo said in a statement.
Since the trial began on November 3, it has heard allegations from the woman that despite her protests and tears the men continued to rape her while changing positions and cheering each other on, for more than half an hour.
The woman, 19 at the time, told the jury she thought the trio were on their way to another nightclub before stopping into the North Wollongong unit on December 9, 2018, so de Belin could charge his phone.
During the alleged assault, she went "dead and numb inside and just let it happen", the court was told.
The men, who both chose to testify, said the woman had consented, uttering "yes" and appeared to enjoy the threesome after all meeting in the CBD bar Mr Crown.
During a full-day in the witness box, de Belin said the woman winked and smiled at him after he proposed the secret threesome following her flirtations with Sinclair.
He said she was continually bringing up his relationship status before and after the sexual acts.
"I said 'don't stress it babe, we're on the rocks anyway, it's complicated'," de Belin told the jury.
While the famous footballer had cheated on his long-term partner, his barrister told the jury its task was to focus on criminal acts, not morals.
"He conducted himself in a way that was morally wrong. He knows that. He cheated on his partner. He knows that. He should have been more respectful. He knows that," de Belin's barrister, David Campbell SC, said in closing.
Mr Campbell said the woman had wanted to "stop the rumour mill" after she was seen in the car with the "very prominent" football star by accusing him and Sinclair of sexual assault.
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 the woman
They will remain on bail until their expected retrial which is due to begin sometime in 2021.
Australian Associated Press