One rape charge remains for Sri Lankan cricketer

·2-min read
Dean Lewins/AAP PHOTOS

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".

After 10-15 minutes she noticed the condom she had asked him to wear was laying on the floor next to the bed.

"The complaining was in shock and did not say anything out of fear of retribution," a police facts sheet said.

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

Police said the woman "was fearing for her life and could not get away from the accused" during the 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 only played in their first game before being ruled out of the competition with a hamstring tear.

He was arrested in the early hours of 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 they bowed out of the tournament.

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

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