Sri Lankan international cricketer Danushka Gunathilaka is accused of choking a Sydney woman during an alleged sexual assault after he met her on Tinder, leaving her “fearing for her life” and requiring a brain scan, documents released by the court reveal.
The police facts in the case against the 31-year-old can be reported after lawyers representing Nine, the publisher of this masthead, News Corp and the ABC argued against suppression. The police then withdrew their suppression application “in its entirety”.
Gunathilaka was arrested on Sunday morning at the Hyatt Regency Hotel on Sussex Street before the Sri Lankan team’s departure, and charged with four counts of sexual intercourse without consent. He was refused bail during a closed hearing on Monday in Downing Centre Local Court.
According to the police facts, Gunathilaka and the 29-year-old complainant from Rose Bay matched on Tinder on October 29 and also spoke on Instagram and WhatsApp, including via video calls.
The pair were not known to each other beforehand, the court documents state.
Police allege Gunathilaka had encouraged the woman to come to Brisbane before the pair arranged to meet in person at Opera Bar in Sydney on November 2, when the accused allegedly arrived at 8.20pm.
The pair stayed at the bar for half an hour, during which the accused had two standard alcoholic drinks and the woman had five drinks, police say. Gunathilaka and the woman then went to Frankie’s Pizza and each had one alcoholic drink, before catching a ferry at 10.50pm.
Police allege that whilst waiting for the ferry, the accused “pressed his body against” the woman and kissed her “forcefully”, and during the journey had “slapped her buttocks with his hand”, to which she allegedly replied, “Oi”.
At the woman’s home, Gunathilaka is accused of engaging in “forceful” sexual intercourse, during which he allegedly “put one hand around her neck for 20-30 seconds and choked her”.
“The complainant was too afraid to do anything,” the police facts state, alleging that he had choked her twice more.
On the third occasion he had allegedly restricted her breathing for six seconds, before she “tried to remove the accused’s hand by grabbing his wrist, but the accused squeezed tighter around her neck for a further 10 seconds”.
“The complainant was fearing for her life and could not get away from the accused,” police allege.
During the alleged choking, the police facts claim Gunathilaka continued to have sexual intercourse for 10 to 15 minutes before sitting on the edge of the bed. At this point, the complainant allegedly noticed “the condom was on the floor”.
“The complainant was in shock, she did not feel safe saying anything to the accused out of fear of retribution,” the police facts state.
Sri Lanka’s Danushka Gunathilaka has been arrested over an alleged sexual assault.
ICC Men’s World Cup
Sri Lankan international cricketer charged with sexual assault
“The complainant was clear that she did not consent to engaging in sexual intercourse without a condom. Further, the complainant did not consent to sexual intercourse that involved choking.”
Removing a condom during sex without consent is known as “stealthing”.
The second charge relates to the alleged aggressive digital penetration of the woman’s vagina, while the third and fourth charges are allegations that Gunathilaka had put his penis in her mouth.
Police allege the woman was “frozen and in shock” and Gunathilaka had left her house in a taxi.
The following day, police say the complainant “told two friends what happened to her”, spoke to a counselling service and went and saw her GP before contacting police.
Police say she provided a statement and photographs of the messages with the accused, and attended hospital where she underwent a sexual investigation kit and a brain scan to check for any injury resulting from the alleged repeated choking.
Gunathilaka was arrested in the lift area of the hotel and consented to a search of his room and luggage. He participated in a recorded police interview, assisted by an interpreter.
“The accused corroborates some parts of the complainant’s version, however, denies any violence or lack of consent with respect to sexual activity,” the police facts state. “When asked specifically about the nature of consent conversations and actions had, the accused could not recall.”
Sri Lanka Cricket has suspended the 31-year-old from all forms of the game, and said it would “take necessary steps to promptly carry out an inquiry into the alleged offence”.
SLC has since formed a three-member panel that includes a retired high court judge to probe the alleged sexual assault case.
Lawyer Ananda Amaranath, who represented Gunathilaka in court on Monday, has withdrawn from the case. He said he had been retained by Sri Lanka Cricket and the Sri Lanka High Commission.
Defence barrister Sam Pararajasingham and solicitor Sara Black represented the player at the suppression hearing.
Gunathilaka played a first round Twenty20 World Cup match against Namibia on October 16 but was ruled out of the remainder of the tournament with a hamstring injury.
He has played nearly 100 one-day and T20 internationals for Sri Lanka as well as a handful of Tests.
The case is due to return to court on January 12.