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One rape charge remains for Sri Lankan cricketer

Three of the four charges against Sri Lankan cricketer Danushka Gunathilaka have been withdrawn.

Three of the four charges against Sri Lankan cricketer Danushka Gunathilaka have been withdrawn.

Sri Lankan cricketer Danushka Gunathilaka has had three out of his four sexual assault charges dropped after he allegedly raped a Sydney woman.

The 32-year-old was facing four counts of sexual intercourse without consent while in Sydney for the T20 World Cup.

However, the public prosecutor withdrew three of the charges in a Sydney court on Thursday.

Police allege the batsman met up with the 29-year-old woman at Sydney’s Opera Bar after matching with her on Tinder in November 2022.

The pair then returned to her home in Sydney’s eastern suburbs before Gunathilaka allegedly choked her and raped her without a condom.

Three further charges relating to non-consensual oral and digital penetration on the same evening have been dropped.

A police facts sheet filed with the Downing Centre Local Court said the woman “was fearing for her life and could not get away from the accused” during the November 2022 incident.

The prosecution successfully applied for an adjournment last month, which took the hearing beyond the six-month requirement for charge certification.

Gunathilaka’s lawyer Alen Sahinovic opposed the delay, arguing his client was being subjected to undue hardship as a foreign citizen with strict bail conditions and limited familial and social support.

Gunathilaka travelled to Australia with Sri Lanka’s T20 World Cup team last year but played in only in the team’s first game before being ruled out of the competition with a hamstring tear.

He was arrested early on November 6 at Sydney’s Hyatt Regency Hotel, shortly before he was scheduled to board a flight home with the rest of the team after it bowed out of the tournament.

He will reappear in court to make a plea on July 13.

1800 RESPECT 1800 737 732

National Sexual Abuse and Redress Support Service 1800 211 028

-AAP

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