Balesh Dhankhar is currently on trial for 39 charges including 13 counts of rape

Balesh Dhankhar is currently on trial for 39 charges including 13 counts of rape

A former ABC contractor, Balesh Dhankhar, is currently on trial for 39 charges including 13 counts of rape allegedly committed between January and October 2018.

The charges stem from his alleged luring of five young Korean women with a fake job ad before drugging and raping them on a camera hidden in a clock.

Prosecutors allege he used tablets of the sleeping drug Stilnox or infamous date-rape drug rohypnol to spike glasses of wine and other drinks, causing the women to become unconscious.

When they were unconscious, he allegedly raped them multiple times at his studio apartment in the World Square complex in the Sydney CBD.

Dhankhar allegedly recorded the rapes on a camera hidden in a clock he bought on eBay, or on his mobile phone, which were recovered by police.

A detailed spreadsheet discovered by police allegedly kept coded notes about each of his victims, with a column labelled ‘action’ describing how far the sexual activity went – those he is accused of raping were at ‘fourth base’.

He was arrested on October 21, 2018, after the fifth woman allegedly woke up while he was raping her, and sent messages to a friend while hiding in the bathroom.

Dhankhar pleaded not guilty, claiming all five women consented to sex, and to being filmed, and is in the middle of a lengthy trial in the NSW District Court.

The ‘lead data visualisation consultant’ worked for Sydney Trains during all the alleged rapes, and was hired by Pfizer and the ABC for one-year contracts while on bail in 2019 to 2021.

The fourth of his alleged victims bravely told her story in court on Wednesday, claiming she woke up naked on his bed while she was being raped.

The court heard Dhankhar created a fake company called The Asia Partnership, named after a real firm he used to work for – but without their knowledge.

He posted job ads on Gumtree for a Korean to English translator in late 2017 and through 2018 to lure in the women, all aged in their mid-20s.

After they responded, he set up an interview at the Hilton Hotel in the Sydney CBD, where he asked them about their lives and gave them information about the ‘job’.

Dhankhar then invited the women to dinner at Koibito, a nearby Korean restaurant, where they drank soju, wine, or Korean drink makkoli.

The court heard he allegedly drugged his first known victim there on January 25, 2018, but on future occasions administered the sedative at his home instead.

Ms Nightingale told the jury he convinced them to come to his flat ‘using a variety of excuses or ruses’ such as showing them a good view of the Sydney Opera House.

Dhankhar is a prominent member of Australia’s Indian community, being the founding president of the OFBJP – an Australian support group for India’s ruling party.

He has spent the past more than four years fighting the charges, unsuccessfully trying to have his name suppressed. The trial continues, with more to come.

Read More On The Topic On TDPel Media