Sri Lanka cricketer Danushka Gunathilaka found not guilty in sexual assault case 

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Sri Lankan cricketer Danushka Gunathilaka has been found not guilty in a sexual assault case in which he was accused of raping a woman during the T20 World Cup in Australia last year.

In November 2022, Australian cops charged Gunathilaka with four counts of sexual intercourse with a 29-year-old woman without consent. As per reports, the two had met after coming in touch with each other through a dating app.

While Gunathilaka was suspended by the Sri Lankan cricket board following his arrest, three of the four sexual assault charges he was facing were dropped in May. He was, however, charged with “stealthing” – removal of a condom during sex without consent.

Media reports quoted Judge Sarah Huggett as saying that, looking at the evidence available, there was no chance for Gunathilaka to remove the condom since “that intercourse was continuous”.

The judge also disagreed with the prosecutors’ allegations against the Sri Lankan cricketer that he deliberately made incorrect statements when he was quizzed by the cops. According to the judge, Gunathilaka’s answers could have been a result of “confusion, fatigue, a language barrier, and possibly memory”.

“The accused answered every question asked of him in the interview, and I formed the distinct impression he was doing his best to be truthful and assist the police,” the Judge Huggett commented.

Following his acquittal in the case, Gunathilaka is now free to return to Sri Lanka, according to media reports.


Danushka Gunathilaka reacts to verdict

Speaking after being found not guilty in the sexual assault case, Gunathilaka thanked everyone who stood by him during his tough times.

He told reporters present outside the court:

“I think the judge’s verdict says everything. I just want to thank people who helped me during this sad time, and the last 11 months has been really hard for me.”

A left-handed batter, Gunathilaka (32) has featured in 8 Tests, 47 ODIs, and 46 T20Is for Sri Lanka, scoring 299, 1601, and 741 runs, respectively.

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Edited by Renin Wilben Albert
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