Danushka Gunathilaka has been cleared of sexual assault charges, including the act of “stealthing,” in his recent trial.
Sri Lankan cricket player Danushka Gunathilaka faced allegations of sexual misconduct during the T20 World Cup last November, resulting in his arrest. While initially charged with four counts of rape, the court tried him for one “stealthing” incident. After pleading not guilty, he endured a four-day trial under Judge Sarah Huggett. Now acquitted, Gunathilaka can resume cricket activities in Sri Lanka, where he had been under suspension by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC).
Judge Huggett’s decision hinged on the continuous nature of the intercourse, stating that there was no opportunity for the accused to remove the condom. She also commended the complainant, who remains anonymous by law, as a credible and honest witness who did not intentionally provide false testimony, ultimately leading to Gunathilaka’s exoneration.
“The evidence establishes that there was no opportunity for the accused to remove the condom during intercourse because that intercourse was continuous. I find that the evidence regarding the complaint far from supports the complainant. Rather it undermines the reliability of her evidence,” said the judge during verdict.
The judge further noted that there were instances where the woman’s actions seemed driven by a potential bias against the cricketer, aiming to portray him negatively.
Gunathilaka’s defense team indicated their intention to seek reimbursement of his legal expenses from the Crown.
After leaving the court, he expressed gratitude to his legal team, parents, and supporters for their steadfast support during what he characterized as an extremely challenging 11-month period. He shared, “I’m happy my life is normal again. I can’t wait to go back and play cricket.”
While on bail throughout the trial, Gunathilaka was prohibited from participating in international cricket or returning to his hometown, Colombo.
Last Updated on September 28, 2023
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