Cricketer Danushka Gunathilaka on Trial for Sensational Sexual Assault Case


Renowned international cricketer Danushka Gunathilaka finds himself on trial for a charge of sexual assault without consent, bringing an end to a four-day hearing at the Downing Centre District Court. The charges stem from an alleged crime committed on the 2nd of November of the previous year, where it is proclaimed that the 32-year-old cricketer practiced ‘stealthing’ – a reprehensible act involving the removal of a condom during intercourse without consent – in the residence of a woman located in the eastern district of Sydney.

The two individuals initially crossed paths at the Opera Bar, situated near the Sydney Opera House, with CCTV footage revealing their initial friendly embrace. Following shared drinks within the city, they proceeded to the woman’s domicile via ferry.

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Fresh on the heels of the trial’s conclusion, both parties’ closing rebuttals were presented before the court this past Thursday. Crown Prosecutor Gabrielle Steedman implored Judge Sarah Huggett to rule in favour of a guilty verdict against the cricketer, citing the complainant’s testimony as “undeniably compelling” and substantial enough to be deemed as evidence beyond a reasonable doubt. She expressed the sentiment that there remained no room for debate concerning the likelihood that he had engaged in the unsolicited removal of the condom during intercourse.

Painting a picture of a disappointing evening that fell far short of the woman’s expectations and desires, Steedman accused the cricketer of being harsh and disinterested in respecting her expressed boundaries and wishes. Such behaviour, the prosecutor argued, aligns seamlessly with a suspect capable of overriding the complainant’s sexual preferences and removing a condom contrary to her consent.

Steedman concluded by arguing that Gunathilaka was ‘relentlessly’ committed in his pursuit of the woman, based on the exchange of messages between them preceding the date of the incident. Additionally, she suggested that while Gunathilaka harbored a preference for condom-less sex, he reluctantly conceded to the usage of a condom to appease the woman, a move she characterized as a ‘negotiation’.

Gunathilaka’s defense, led by Barrister Murugan Thangaraj SC, retorted by questioning the credibility of the woman’s account, citing inconsistencies in her testimonies. Thangaraj maintained she delivered statements that were both “self-serving” and “false” and indicated a discrepancy in her recollection on whether Gunathilaka had timed the removal of the condom in a manner that was unbeknownst to her.

Thangaraj’s counter-argument also highlighted an experience recounted by the woman about inappropriate behaviour on the part of Gunathilaka during their couch interaction, before she led him to her room, an account he deemed to be “completely illogical”. During the course of his rebuttal, Thangaraj questioned the woman’s selective recall revolving around facts that amplified her narrative while ignoring those that could potentially undermine it.

In the aftermath of the trial, the court of public opinion awaits Judge Huggett’s verdict, scheduled to be delivered on the 28th of September.