Gunathilaka has three sexual assault charges dropped

Gunathilaka has three sexual assault charges dropped

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.

Police allege the cricketer choked her for more than 20 seconds and at one point when she tried to remove his hand he squeezed tighter and “severely restricted her breathing”.

Lawyer Alen Sahinovic told the Sydney court on Thursday police had dropped three of the four charges against the cricketer, relating to previous allegations of fellatio and “digital penetration” without consent.

Documents tendered to the court reveal Gunathilaka now faces just a single charge of vaginal penile sexual intercourse without consent, after the cricketer allegedly choked and assaulted the woman.

Police allege Gunathilaka engaged in “forceful” intercourse after putting on a condom, before choking the woman on three occasions. On the last time, the woman’s breathing was allegedly restricted for six seconds.

The woman is alleged to have told police that she “too afraid to do anything”, and had only consented to sexual intercourse with the cricket star if he agreed to wear a condom.

The woman told police she later found the condom on the floor beside the bed.

The court was previously told that Gunathilaka and the woman – who cannot be named – had drinks in the Sydney CBD before they went back to the woman’s home in the city’s eastern suburbs.

The Sri Lankan national has been stranded in Australia since the charges were laid late last year.

He previously surrendered his passport and was ordered not approach any international departure point after being released on a $200,000 surety by Downing Centre court.

Gunathilaka will reappear before the same court on July 13 for committal. (Courtesy Newcastle Herald)

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