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Sri Lanka cricketer Gunathilaka has 3 of 4 sexual assault charges dropped

SYDNEY (AP) — Sri Lanka cricketer Danushka Gunathilaka had three out of four sexual assault charges against him dropped by a public prosecutor in an Australian court on Thursday.

The 32-year-old Gunathilaka was facing four counts of sexual intercourse without consent following the alleged rape of a woman in Sydney last November during the Twenty20 World Cup.

Police allege the international cricketer met up with the 29-year-old woman at a Sydney bar after matching with her on a social meeting website. The pair then returned to her home before Gunathilaka allegedly choked her and raped her.

A police facts sheet filed with the Downing Centre Local Court said the woman “was fearing for her life and could not get away from the accused” during the incident.

The prosecution successfully applied for an adjournment last month, which took the hearing beyond the six-month requirement for charge certification.

Gunathilaka’s lawyer Alen Sahinovic opposed the delay, arguing his client was being subjected to undue hardship as a foreign citizen with strict bail conditions and limited family and social support.

Gunathilaka traveled to Australia with Sri Lanka’s T20 World Cup squad last year but only played in their first game before being ruled out of the tournament with a hamstring injury.

He was arrested in the early hours of Nov. 6 at a Sydney hotel shortly before he was scheduled to board a flight home with the rest of the Sri Lanka squad.

He is set to reappear in court to make a plea on July 13.

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