Danushka Gunathilaka, a Sri Lankan cricketer who was accused of rape by a woman last year, had three of his four sexual assault charges dismissed in Sydney on Thursday.
Danushka Gunathilaka, a Sri Lankan cricketer who was accused of rape by a woman last year, had three of his four sexual assault charges dismissed in Sydney on Thursday. Gunathilaka was accused with four counts of sexual intercourse without consent after being detained by Sydney police from the team hotel during the T20 World Cup last November. However, in a Sydney court, the public prosecutor dropped three of the allegations. The Sri Lankan batter and the 29-year-old woman met on a dating app, according to authorities. Following their date, the two proceeded to the woman’s Rose Bay house, when Gunathilaka reportedly strangled and raped her.
“Prosecutor Hugh Buddin, for the Director of Public Prosecutions, told the court one charge had been certified but the remaining three counts of sexual intercourse without consent had been withdrawn,” the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
According to the police facts sheet submitted with the Downing Centre Local Court, the Sri Lankan engaged in “forceful” sexual intercourse during which he reportedly “put one hand around her neck for 20 to 30 seconds and choked her.”
Gunathilaka reportedly restrained the woman’s breathing for six seconds before she “tried to remove the accused’s hand by grabbing his wrist, but the accused squeezed tighter around her neck for a further 10 seconds.”
According to the police facts sheet, the victim “was afraid for her life and couldn’t get away from the accused.”
Gunathilaka was a member of Sri Lanka’s T20 World Cup team last year. He did, however, only appear in their first game against Namibia. He was forced to withdraw from the competition owing to a hamstring strain.
Gunathilaka, who has played eight Tests, 47 ODIs, and 46 T20 Internationals for Sri Lanka, is no stranger to controversy.
SLC banned him for a year in 2021 after he crossed the team’s bio-secure bubble while on tour in England with teammates Kusal Mendis and Niroshan Dickwella.