Sri Lankan cricketer Danushka Gunathilaka will stand trial on a rape charge stemming from an alleged incident that occurred while he was in Australia to play in the Twenty20 World Cup last year.
The 32-year-old, who was suspended by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) immediately after his arrest last November, had three of the four sexual assault charges he faced dropped last month. The 32-year-old faces one count of sexual intercourse without consent after the Crown withdrew three additional charges last month.
Gunathilaka has entered a not guilty plea to the remaining charge and will stand trial, the Downing Centre Local Court was told on Thursday.
Police claim that in November 2022, after matching with the 29-year-old woman on Tinder, the batsman met her at Sydney’s Opera Bar.
After that, the two went back to her home in the eastern suburbs of Sydney, when Gunathilaka reportedly suffocated her and sexually assaulted her without using a condom. His lawyer Alen Sahinovic said the charge relates to stealing, which is the practice of removing a condom during sexual intercourse when the other person has only consented to condom-protected sex.
Danushka Gunathilaka Attempting To Have His Bail Conditions Eased
Reports have also suggested that Gunathilaka is requesting that the terms of his release be relaxed so that he will only have to report to the police three times each week as opposed to daily. Gunathilaka’s attorney, Alen Sahinovic, contended that the fewer counts he was facing and his lack of a criminal record made him eligible for less stringent bond requirements.
After being barred from using Tinder and other social media platforms when initially given bail in November 2022, Gunathilaka’s release was modified in February to allow him to use the WhatsApp messaging app and walk out at night.
Magistrate Susan Horan is waiting for an up-to-date fact sheet before deciding on the application, saying the ‘risk of failure to appear is still present’.
Gunathilaka has played 8 Tests, 47 ODIs, and 46 T20Is for Sri Lanka from 2017-2022. He has 2 ODI centuries with 1601 runs and 11 fifties to his name.