Danushka Gunathilaka’s sexual-assault case: three out of four charges dropped

    Danushka Gunathilaka’s sexual-assault case: three out of four charges dropped

    Trigger warning for sexual assault and rape.

    Sri Lanka cricketer Danushka Gunathilaka has had three of his four sexual-assault charges dropped by the public prosecutor in his ongoing case in Australia.

    Gunathilaka, 32, was arrested in Sydney in early November last year, while he was with the Sri Lanka squad for the T20 World Cup. He has since been released on bail and had his bail conditions relaxed.

    The case has also been hit with delays, with Gunathilaka required to stay in Australia while the legal process is followed. The prosecution successfully applied for an adjournment last month, which took the hearing beyond the six-month requirement for charge certification. But Gunathilaka’s lawyer Alen Sahinovic opposed the delay, arguing his client was being subjected to undue hardship as a foreign citizen with limited familial and social support.

    Gunathilaka is due back in court on July 13 to enter a plea.

    The police facts sheet that was submitted with the original charges stated that the woman, whom Gunathilaka had met through the dating app Tinder, had “feared for her life” during their encounter. Having met at a Sydney bar, the pair had made their way to the woman’s home in the eastern suburbs, where the alleged sexual assault happened.

    The original charges included non-consensual choking, digital penetration, and “stealthing” – sex without a condom without the consent of the complainant – which is a criminal act under New South Wales law.

    Sri Lanka Cricket has not wanted to outwardly be seen as supporting Gunathilaka but has offered him significant assistance, including paying for some of his legal costs, though the board has said it was expecting this money to be recovered.

    Gunathilaka’s cricket career has been suspended since his arrest.

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