Balesh Dhankar trial for 36 charges including rape; pleads not guilty

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SYDNEY, 16 March 2023: Balesh Dhankar, an Indian community activist formerly connected to the Overseas Friends of BJP in Australia (OFBJP) and facilitating a VIP visit , faced court on Wednesday 15 March 2023 for alleged multiple 39 charges –  6 x Administering intoxicating substance with intent to commit an indictable offence, namely sexual intercourse without consent, 13 x Sexual intercourse without consent, 3 x Indecent assault and 17 of recording intimate images without consent. This has been confirmed by the Crown Prosecution media to South Asia Times (SAT) in a email on 16 March 2023.

The story was first broken by the Sydney-based Indian Subcontinent Times (IST) on May 24, 2019 ( https://theistimes.com.au/ofbjp-leader-dhankar-facing-criminal-caser/) and the trial of the accused has begun now.

The Sydney Morning Herald (https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/fake-job-sedatives-a-hidden-cam-sydney-man-accused-of-serial-rapes-20230315-p5csed.html?btis) has given details of the trial on 15 March ,2023.

The SMH story says, “A Sydney man allegedly filmed himself raping five women he lured to fake job interviews at a luxury Sydney hotel, having drugged them with sleeping medication, a court has been told.

The jury in the trial of Balesh Dhankhar asked to leave the courtroom this week after struggling to stomach videos of the accused man having sex with other women who are not the complainants.”

It adds: ” Police allege two types of sedatives were detected in a wine and sports drink bottle in Dhankhar’s fridge, and a camera hidden inside an alarm clock, the court heard.

A hard drive was found in Dhankhar’s backpack, Sergeant Katrina Gyde, the officer in charge of the case, told the court.

Sgt Gyde, reading from police files, said officers found 47 videos of him engaged in sexual intercourse with Korean women stored in folders bearing women’s names.”

And, ” Dhankhar barrister, Rebecca Mitchell, admitted the allegations were unpleasant and confronting, that Dhankhar had a sexual interest in women and used the ad to meet them, his business was false, and he was “deceptive”. She said that he also did not dispute having a sexual relationship with the women.

“Mr Dhankhar’s case is that each of the complainants consented to sexual acts they engaged in but the prosecution needed to prove Dhankhars guilt ,” Ms Mitchell told the jury.

Balesh Dhankhar also disputes the images were made without the women’s consent and denies drugging them, the barrister said.” The trial continues.

The OFBJP on 17 March, 2023 Tweeted, ” Balesh Dhankar has resigned from OFBJP Australia in July 2018. We strongly condemn his actions and he must face full force of law.”

 

By SAT News Desk

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