Danushka Gunathilaka granted bail on sexual assault charges: Details here
Sri Lankan batter Danushka Gunathilaka has been granted bail in a second bid before the Local Court in Sydney. Gunathilaka was charged with four counts of sexual intercourse without consent. He subsequently was arrested by the Sydney Police. While the batter had the support of the Sri Lankan cricket association and the government, a surety of $150,000 was also offered. Here are further details.
Why does this story matter?
- Gunathilaka was accused of sexually assaulting a 29-year-old woman in Rose Bay earlier this month.
- He was arrested in the early hours of November 6 from the Sri Lankan team hotel in Sydney's central business district.
- As a result, the Lankan team flew without him after their ICC T20 World Cup 2022 campaign ended.
- The batter has now been granted bail.
Gunathilaka gets bail in the second bid
As per a New South Wales police statement, Gunathilaka and the woman met days after they matched on dating app Tinder. Gunathilaka had spent 11 nights in custody as he was refused bail in Downing Centre Local Court on November 7. The matter reappeared in the Local Court list on Thursday (November 17), when defence barrister Murugan Thangaraj, SC, applied for Gunathilaka's release.
How did the case pan out?
Gunathilaka appeared via video link from Parklea Correctional Centre in prison. Police prosecutor Sergeant Kerry-Ann McKinnon had highlighted two "unacceptable risks": the accused might fail to appear and, he would endanger the safety of the complainant. Thangaraj submitted that his client was "being supported by a SL cricket association and [the] SL government". Hence, his career would be over if he breaches the orders.
Gunathilaka granted bail on conditions
Magistrate Janet Wahlquist granted bail on conditions including a $150,000 surety. While Gunathilaka will have to report to the police daily, he will be on curfew from 9 PM to 6 AM. He has also been handed a ban on accessing Tinder and other dating applications. Gunathilaka, who has no previous criminal record, is unlikely to face trial until 2024.
Danushka Gunathilaka has been suspended by SLC
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has suspended Danushka Gunathilaka from all forms of cricket after the matter came into light. Notably, he got ruled out of the T20 WC during the qualifying stage due to a hamstring injury. However, he stayed back with the squad. The 31-year-old has 299, 1,601, and 741 runs in eight Tests, 47 ODIs, and 46 T20Is respectively.