Danushka Gunathilaka granted bail in sexual assault case

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    Sri Lanka’s Danushka Gunathilaka has received a bit of relief in the ongoing case against him on the charges of sexual assault after he was granted bail by the court. The Sri Lankan cricket association and the government backed the cricketer, offering a sum of $150,000 for his bail.

    Danushka Gunathilaka was arrested by the Australian police in the early hours of November 6 from the Hyatt Regency hotel on Sussex Street after a case was filed against him on charges of sexual assault. Gunathilaka, who was left behind by the Sri Lankan team after their T20 World Cup campaign ended following the loss to England, spent 11 nights in custody after he was refused bail on November 7.

    But the cricketer was granted bail after his lawyer Murugan Thangaraj, submitted a bail application to the Supreme Court of New South Wales. The earlier bail appeal was refused by the court after the police had argued that the release of the accused cricketer could endanger the safety of the complainant.

    However, Thangaraj assured the court that, “Gunathilaka was being supported by a Sri Lankan cricket association and [the] Sri Lankan government and If he breaches his bail, of course his career would be over.”

    “We know, on the complainant’s own case, there was consensual oral sex and consensual vaginal intercourse prior to any problem arising on her version. It is not a strong prosecution case. Because they have found the social media of the complainant, why should that be held against him? It’s totally irrelevant in respect of bail.” Thangaraj said.

    After listening to the argument of the defendant, Magistrate Janet Wahlquist granted bail on conditions including a $150,000 surety. The accused will have to report to the police daily, maintaining a curfew from 9 pm and 6 am without contacting the complainant. He has been further banned from using platforms like Tinder and other dating applications. 

    Sri Lanka Cricket suspended the all-rounder from all forms of the game after his misdemeanor came to light. The next hearing on the case has been scheduled for January 12.

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