A district court jury in Sydney, Australia on Monday found Indian-origin Balesh Dhankhar guilty of drugging and raping five Korean women after luring them to his apartment using fake job ads.
He has been described as “one of the worst rapists” in the city’s recent history.
Dhankhar, a data expert had faced trial over 39 charges including 13 counts of rape committed between January and October 2018.
The Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) reported that police found dozens of videos of him sexually assaulting the women when they raided his apartment in Sydney in October 2018. “The videos were sorted into folders, each labelled with a Korean woman’s name. Then detectives found a series of bookmarks in Dhankhar’s browser,” SMH said.
The SMH reported that it all began with a fake job ad for Korean translators posted in 2017. Dhankhar interviewed the victims at the Hilton hotel cafe before pressuring them into dinner, soju and wine.
Then, Dhankhar would make an excuse to go up to his apartment in World Square Tower. “He sometimes promised them a view of the Opera House, or claimed he needed his car keys.”
Dhankhar gave the women wine or ice-cream laced with sedatives; traces were found in the blood and hair of two victims. “His wife and family did not live in Australia at the time,” SMH reported.
He was arrested on October 21, 2018, after his fifth victim woke up while he was raping her, and sent messages to a friend while hiding in the bathroom, the Daily Mail reported.
The accused struggled to explain a call list of the people who responded to his online ad. “The spreadsheet includes his victims, whether he thought they were attractive, whether they had sex and how they reacted to being drugged and abused,” the SMH reported.
Dhankhar recorded his acts using a camera hidden in his bedside alarm clock and on his phone.
Dhankhar sold his family’s assets and properties to fund his legal defence. His decision to contest the charges means he now faces many years in prison for his crimes.
He asked to remain on bail but Judge Michael King refused before Dhankhar was handcuffed and led away by officers.
Dhankhar, 43, will face court again in May and will be sentenced later in the year, a media report said.