Sri Lankans accused of harassing Danushka Gunathilaka rape victim on social media

November 17, 2022

At the bail hearing of cricketer Danushka Gunathilaka who has been charged with four counts of sexual assault, Police prosecutor Sergeant Kerry-Ann McKinnon said there were two unacceptable risks in granting him bail : that the accused would fail to appear and that he would endanger the safety of the complainant.

McKinnon said the woman had been “inundated” and “harassed by unknown people with Sri Lankan names through her social media” and had to shut it down.

The prosecutor submitted those offering support for Gunathilaka “were not known to him prior to his arrest”, and described the person behind a $150,000 surety as a “friend of a friend” from Melbourne who had been an Australian resident since 1999.

“We say ... that is another concern for the court as to the influence that this man has in his home country of Sri Lanka,” she said. “He’s got people that he has no personal connections within this country offering up a substantial amount of money to secure his release.”

His lawyer in response said “social media matters” had occurred after the arrest and Gunathilaka had “not encouraged a single person to do a single thing”.

“Because they have found the social media of the complainant, why should that be held against him?” he said. “It’s totally irrelevant in respect of bail.” he had noted.