Danushka Gunathilaka, a Sri Lankan international cricketer, was cleared of sexual assault charges by a Sydney judge who noted that the evidence showed there was “no opportunity” for him to have removed a condom during intercourse and that he was honest throughout his police interview.
On November 2, 2022, the 32-year-old batsman was charged with “stealing” during intercourse with a 29-year-old woman in her residence in the eastern suburbs without her consent. He entered a not guilty plea to engaging in sexual activity without consent, and Judge Sarah Huggett in Downing Center District Court scheduled a four-day trial.
The evidence demonstrates that there was no opportunity for the accused to remove the condom because that intercourse was continuous, the judge stated in announcing a not-guilty judgement on Thursday.
Gunathilaka, also known as Danny, and the woman chatted on Instagram and WhatsApp, including through video chats, after matching on Tinder on October 29.
After meeting for drinks at the Opera Bar and dinner at Frankie’s Pizza, they traveled by ferry to the complainant’s house, where Gunathilaka made a recording of the woman singing and playing the guitar.
“The mood as captured by those videos seemed relaxed, happy, and playful,” the judge remarked.
However, there were times when she had the impression the complainant appeared “motivated to paint the accused in a negative light.” She claimed the complainant came across as intelligent and wasn’t a witness “motivated by a desire to give deliberately false evidence.”
The woman stated that Gunathilaka engaged in forcible sexual activity in her bedroom for 10 to 15 minutes while choking her at least three times and slapping her buttocks.
Within three to five seconds of the sex concluding, according to her, she saw a condom on the floor of her bedroom. Gunathilaka allegedly threw it there, but the woman claimed she didn’t see him do it.
The couple is captured on camera leaving the Opera Bar arm in arm.
The sexual encounter “turned out very differently from what she [the woman] expected or wanted,” according to crown prosecutor Gabrielle Steedman, and his actions were “entirely consistent with someone who would, in that state of mind, remove his condom, despite her clear wishes to the contrary.”
The woman had described it as “continuous sexual activity,” according to Gunathilaka’s lawyer Murugan Thangaraj, SC, adding there was “no window” for Gunathilaka to have removed the condom during intercourse.
“And that’s it. With that evidence, the Crown is unable to establish its case at all, much less to the required standard, Thangaraj said.
As the Sri Lankan team was leaving for the airport in the early hours of November 6, Gunathilaka was taken into custody in the Hyatt Regency Hotel. He allowed authorities to examine his hotel room, and they discovered a Burberry satchel bag inside of which were two wrapped condoms.
The fact that two unused condoms were discovered on his home “supports that he would wear a condom on occasion,” the court stated.