Sydney man found guilty of drugging, sexually assaulting 5 Korean women

Sydney man found guilty of drugging, sexually assaulting 5 Korean womenSydney man found guilty of drugging, sexually assaulting 5 Korean women
Michelle De Pacina
April 25, 2023
Balesh Dhankhar, a prominent member of Sydney’s Indian community who was accused of drugging, raping and filming five Korean women, was found guilty on 39 charges of sexual assault on Monday.
A district court jury in Sydney’s Downing Centre found the “politically connected predator” to have lured five Korean women into his home, paralyzed them with drugs and recorded video as he sexually assaulted them, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.
Dhankhar is a data expert and the former president of the Indian diaspora organization OFBJP Australia, an official group supporting India’s ruling party. 
Between January 2018 and October 2018, Dhankhar lured women in their mid-20s by holding fake job interviews at Sydney’s Hilton Hotel bar before spiking their drinks and bringing them to his nearby apartment to rape them. He used his mobile phone and a hidden camera in a bedside clock to film his sexual assaults, which reportedly left members of the jury writhing and asking to be sent home early. 
Although Dhankhar denied all charges, claiming that the encounters were consensual, all five survivors testified to being lured in similar ways. 
The fake job interviews were followed up with dinner at a Korean restaurant before Dhankhar would make an excuse to take them to his apartment by either promising them a view of the Opera House or claiming he needed his car keys. At the apartment, he would serve them spiked wine or ice cream.
Police raided his residence in October 2018, where investigators found a hard drive containing 47 videos that show Dhankhar having sex with the women. 
The videos were reportedly sorted into folders and labeled with each woman’s name. Detectives also found a series of bookmarks in Dhankhar’s browser with links to sex videos of unconscious women.
Sergeant Katrina Gyde, ​​the New South Wales Police officer in charge of Dhankhar’s case, said the bookmarked videos online were similar to the videos the defendant took.
“You thought it was fun… watching Korean women who were unconscious, impaired,” Gyde said.
During his hearing, Dhankhar reportedly cried and blamed his loneliness on the “unfulfilling” intimacy of his marriage. 
In court, his wife was also present and often in tears as she supported Dhankar. He sold his family’s assets and properties to fund his legal defense.
Dhankhar was denied bail and is set to return to court in May. He will be sentenced later this year.
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