Sri Lanka’s Danushka Gunathilaka To Face Rape Trial In Australia

Danushka Gunathilaka, a cricketer from Sri Lanka, is going to trial for a rape he allegedly committed in Australia last year while he was there playing in the Twenty20 World Cup.

The 32-year-old had three sexual assault charges against him dropped last month, and Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) suspended Danushka Gunathilaka immediately following his arrest last November.

The Australian Associated Press (AAP) reported that Gunathilaka pleaded not guilty to the remaining charge of sexual intercourse without consent in a local court in Sydney.

The complainant's assertions

The woman (victim), testifying via video link, broke down in tears as she explained the incident to the court. She was fearful for her life when Danushka choked her, and so she just wanted it to be over as quickly as possible.

Crown prosecutor Gabrielle Steedman told the court that in the days following the incident, the defendant had messaged a friend to say that something bad had happened.

Ms. Steedman testified that the alleged victim had told another friend on the phone that Mr. Danushka Gunathilaka had become aggressive in the days following the incident.

Ms. Steedman gave a statement based on a conversation with a friend. According to their conversation, Mr. Danushka Gunathilaka was on top of her; she couldn't breathe, and he changed into an animal and a different person when they went to bed. 

Arguments in defence

Murugan Thangaraj SC, the cricketer's attorney, questioned the alleged victim about the sexual encounter earlier in the day.

The woman claimed Mr. Danushka Gunathilaka had discouraged her from using a condom. Mr. Thangaraj, however, argued that this was not the case.

The attorney testified that Mr. Danushka Gunathilaka never said he did not want to wear a condom that night. He never pushed the woman to engage in unsafe sexual activity.

A response came from the alleged victim that it is not correct.

Mr. Thangaraj questioned the woman further about her police statement, telling the court that she had written that Mr. Gunathilaka had one hand choking her and the other was on the bed.

Since the woman claimed that the sex continued for about 10-15 minutes in the same manner, Mr. Thangaraj continued questioning her, arguing that his client would not have had time to remove the condom. 

A condom was on the floor next to the bed, which the woman claims he could discard.

Mr. Thangaraj requested that the woman not mention that Mr. Gunathilaka threw a condom or anything else when describing him.

The woman protested that this was incorrect and insisted that he had taken the condom off and thrown it on the floor.

The charge stems from an alleged incident on November 2 last year, when Mr. Danushka Gunathilaka stole or removed a condom before having sex with a woman in her home in the city's eastern suburbs.

The couple first met at Opera Bar, where surveillance footage captured them sharing a passionate embrace. They then went out for drinks in the city and took a ferry back to the woman's house.

The verdict came out in the favour of Gunathilaka and was returned his passport, free to fly back to Sri Lanka. 

Where is Danushka Gunathilaka now?
Discipline issues have also led to his occasional benching. A single charge of sexual intercourse without consent has led to his current trial in Sydney, Australia.
What exactly are Danushka Gunathilaka's charges?
New South Wales law considers "stealing" (having sex without a condom without the complainant's consent) to be a criminal offence, and these charges originally included non-consensual choking, digital penetration, and the practice.
Exactly what are Gunathilaka's supposed crimes?
In November of last year, during the T20 World Cup, Sydney police arrested 32-year-old Gunathilaka from the team hotel on four counts of sexual intercourse without consent.