March 21, 2023
AUSTRALIA—The former Hindu Council of Australia associate and leader in Sydney’s Indian community, Balest Dhankhar, is currently on trial for raping five Korean women, after luring them with a fake job post.
Dhankhar is charged with 13 counts of sexual assaults, 17 counts of intimate recordings without consent, six counts of using intoxicating substances to commit indictable offenses, and assault with an act of indecency.
He has pleaded not guilty. Dhankhar claims all five women consented to sex and being filmed.
According to Indian Link News, Dhankhar organized the Sydney reception of Prime Minister Modi when he visited Australia back in 2014. On behalf of the Hindu Council of Australia, he spoke at many functions from an interfaith seminar at the University of Sydney to the Syndey Harbor Bridge climb.
Authorities alleged Dhankhar filmed himself with a camera inside an alarm clock, raping five women. The footage was so obscene, jurors were sent home early after they pleaded with Judge Michael King for a break from watching the footage last Wednesday, reports the Daily Mail.
A total of 47 videos have allegedly been discovered of Dhankhar having sex with Korean women on his computer. They are cataloged under the victims’ names.
The Hindu community leader was arrested on October 21, 2018, after his fifth victim allegedly woke up while he was raping her. She was able to send a message to a friend while hiding in the bathroom of a hotel room.
The fourth victim told her story in court last Wednesday, claiming she woke up naked on his bed while she was being raped.
Court documents revealed Dhankhar created a fake company called The Asia Partnership, which was named after a real firm he used to work for—without their knowledge. He posted job ads on Gumtree for a Korean-to-English translator in late 2017 through 2018 to lure women in their mid-20s to the Hilton Hotel for job interviews.
They would be given documents to translate and when the women would accept the job offer, Dhankhar would later arrange a dinner to celebrate that evening and spike their soju (drinks).
Court documents also revealed Dhankhar bookmarked a large number of pornography with Asian women and even more with Korean women on his computer.
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