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Danushka Gunathilaka rape case: Sri Lankan granted bail, banned from using dating apps

Danushka Gunathilaka rape case: The Sri Lankan all-rounder is stuck in Australia after he was charged with raping a woman in Sydney. On Thursday, he was granted bail and banned from using social media and dating apps.

Danushka Gunathilaka rape case: Sri Lankan granted bail, banned from using social media-ayh
First Published Nov 17, 2022, 11:29 AM IST

Sri Lankan all-rounder Danushka Gunathilaka is having the most challenging time of his life after being charged with raping a woman in Sydney during his team's 2022 ICC T20 World Cup stint earlier this month. He was arrested just hours before his team's departure earlier this month and has since been undergoing a legal trial, where he could face a jail term of 10-14 years. Meanwhile, on Thursday, he was granted bail by a Sydney court on the matter and has been banned from using his social media accounts and dating apps. He has been charged with having sexual intercourse with the woman on four counts without her consent.

Magistrate Janet Wahlquist vested the bail to Gunathilaka at Sydney's Downing Centre Local Court, where e was in attendance through an audio-visual link from Parklea jail. Meanwhile, Police prosecutor Kerry-Ann McKinnon opposed the Lankan's bail and termed him a flight risk, which could endanger the complainant's safety, to which Wahlquist explained that she took the same approach as against any Australian citizen.

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"Of course, he would be on bail in these circumstances," said Murugan Thangaraj, SC for Gunathilaka, reports ESPNCricinfo. As per the police facts sheet, "The complainant tried to remove the accused's hand by grabbing his wrist, but the accused squeezed tighter around her neck. The complainant feared for her life and could not escape the accused."

During an interview with the police following his arrest, Gunathilaka substantiated some of the allegations made by the woman. However, he denied that he had been violent or received no consent. Prosecutors also alleged that the woman did not give any permission to him for sex or any other sexual activities without a condom.

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Thangaraj added that Gunathilaka had fully complied with the investigating authorities besides surrendering his passport. "There is no capacity demonstrated for him to be able to flee," she stated. As for the bail, it was granted for an amount of AU$ 150,000, which included surety and other conditions. While he has been banned from using dating apps, he cannot use his social media accounts outside the presence of his legal team.

McKinnon argued for the complainant's life risk by saying, "This man was in her home. They walked to the address together." However, Thangaraj replied, "How will he remember where she lived, in those circumstances, even if he wanted to?" McKinnon added that the woman was harassed on social media through alleged accounts with Sri Lankan names, forcing her to quit her social media handles.

ALSO READ: Gunathilaka denied bail by Sydney court over rape charges; Sri Lanka Cricket suspends him

Thangaraj termed the latter allegations irrelevant and said, "He has not encouraged a single person to do a single thing. She's off social media, so that's all stopped." Meanwhile, Gunathilaka will only be assigned to live in a specific location and must report for police duty when needed. After meeting on a dating app, the woman said they met on a date and headed to her home in Rose Bay, where he refused to use a condom and choked her three times. Meanwhile, he remains suspended by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC).

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