Balesh Dhankhar, a politically connected man of Indian origin, has been found guilty of raping five Korean women in Sydney after drugging them. He has been termed as one of the worst rapists in the city’s recent history.
Trial and verdict
The District Court jury in Sydney’s Downing Centre found Dhankhar guilty of each of the 39 charges against him. He was found to have lured five Korean women into a web of lies and also paralysed them with drugs. The verdict was announced on Monday, after which Dhankhar cried inside the court. However, his request for bail was denied, and he was taken away by the officers.
Who is Balesh Dhankhar?
Balesh Dhankhar was the former chief of the ‘Overseas Friends of the BJP’ in Australia. He had been charged with 54 offences, including 39 counts of rape, four counts of attempted rape, 11 counts of aggravated sexual assault, and one count of indecent assault. He will have to face the court again in May, and later in the year, he will be sentenced.
Support from family
Dhankhar's wife supported him in court. It has been reported that he cried only when he explained to the women that he was lonely after an extra-marital affair broke down. The reports also stated that he had sold his family's assets and properties to fund his legal defense.
In 2018, several videos of Dhankhar were found with other women. According to reports, he had drugged and filmed himself having sex with them. The videos were later used as evidence against him during the trial.