Cricketer choked and raped woman, police allege

Danushka Gunathilaka
Danushka Gunathilaka

A Sri Lankan cricketer accused of raping a woman while in Australia for the T20 World Cup choked her so forcefully she was left “fearing for her life”, court documents allege.

Danushka Gunathilaka, 31, who was charged with four counts of rape on Sunday, is also accused of taking off a condom during sex with the woman.

The batter denied any violence or lack of consent in an interview with police. He was refused bail on Monday after police argued he is a flight risk.

A court suppression order was lifted on Wednesday, allowing reporting of the documents police relied on to oppose his bail.

According to the police facts given to the court, Mr Gunathilaka and the 29-year-old complainant – who cannot be identified – matched on Tinder on 29 October.

They agreed to meet up in Sydney on 2 November, going out for drinks and dinner before returning to the complainant’s house, the documents say.

There Mr Gunathilaka is accused of engaging in “forceful” sexual intercourse with the woman, allegedly choking her three times – once for up to 30 seconds.

“The complainant was fearing for her life and could not get away from the accused,” police allege in the court documents.

The woman also noticed a condom on the floor during the alleged assaults, despite asking Mr Gunathilaka to wear one, the documents say.

Police say the woman was “clear” that she did not consent to sex without a condom or to sex with choking.

The next day, police say the complainant told two friends what had happened, spoke to a counselling service and saw her doctor before contacting police.

She then underwent a sexual assault forensic examination at hospital and a brain scan to check for any injury resulting from the alleged repeated choking, they say.

In an interview with police detailed in the court documents, Mr Gunathilaka denied any violence and said the sex had been consensual, but, when asked by detectives, could not recall conversations with the complainant about consent.

Under new “affirmative consent” laws in New South Wales (NSW) – where the alleged incident occurred – a person must say or do something to communicate their consent for sex.

The reforms, which came into effect in June, also made “stealthing” – the removal of a condom without consent – a sexual assault offence.

Sri Lanka Cricket has suspended Mr Gunathilaka from all forms of the game and appointed its own panel to investigate the incident.

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