Sydney man accused of drug use films his sexual assaults on Korean women
A man described as a “prominent member” of Sydney’s Indian community is currently on trial in Australia on 13 counts of rape, among several other sex crimes.
Balesh Dhankhar, former president of the Indian diaspora organization OFBJP Australia, stands up accused of rape of five women, all Koreans and in their mid-20s. The women said they were lured by Dhankhar under the pretense of offering them jobs before he drugged and raped them at his home between January 2018 and October 2018.
Dhankhar reportedly posted a Korean to English translation job on classifieds site Gumtree to lure women into the Sydney Hilton hotel bar, which is close to his home.
After they allegedly spiked their drinks with it Sleeping pills, or Rohypnol, a benzodiazepine associated with rape because of its solubility, he took her to his apartment and raped her. He reportedly used his mobile phone or a hidden camera alarm clock to film himself raping his victims.
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According to court documents a Korean woman who met with Dhankhar for a fake job interview in October 2018, said that Dhankhar expressed interest in her but she told him she wasn’t interested.
She shared that after drinking the wine he gave her at his apartment, she became dizzy and went to the bathroom to tell her friend of her whereabouts.
“Sister, I’m feeling very high but a different kind of high,” the victim wrote in her text. “And I worry about myself. Keeps trying to kiss me…I’m screwed.”
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Another victim told how Dhankhar gave her an ice cream and a glass of wine at his home in September 2018. All she could remember was seeing a condom wrapper and feeling dizzy and in pain. Two days later, she went to a hospital and reported the incident to the police.
According to prosecutors, the woman was seen in two videos where she was unresponsive and making “desperate noises” while Dhankhar had sex with her.
During a police raid on his apartment in October 2018, according to investigators found a hard drive contains 47 videos showing Dhankhar having sex with Korean women.
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Most of the clips show women who were unconscious, while some show women who appear to have consented to the act but were unaware that they were being filmed.
The jury is said to have asked for it leave the courtroom during this week’s trial after the scenes shown in the videos proved too much for her.
DNA evidence was also found from Dhankhar’s bedding, as well as a table of women’s names on his phone and notes that appear to relate to sexual activity.
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Dhankhar has pleaded not guilty to 13 counts of rape, 17 intimate recordings without consent, six counts of using intoxicating substances to commit a criminal offense and one count of assault by an act of indecency.
For the past four years he has tried to have his name suppressed in news articles, but to no avail.
Dhankhar was a “senior data visualization consultant” for Sydney Trains at the time is said to have committed the offences. During his release, he was hired by ABC and Pfizer.