Nepal's former national cricket team captain Sandeep Lamichhane was on Friday convicted by a court of raping a minor.
In January, Nepal court released Lamichhane who was arrested after a 17-year-old girl alleged that he raped her in a hotel room in Kathmandu in August last year.
Lamichhane, 23, is Nepal’s most high-profile cricketer, and the first cricketer from Nepal to play in the Indian Premier League (IPL) when he made his debut for the Delhi Capitals franchise in 2018.
A single bench of Judge Shishir Raj Dhakal passed the order on Friday following the conclusion of the final hearings that started on Sunday, the Kathmandu Post reported.
The Kathmandu District Court on Friday convicted Lamichhane of rape.
The next hearing will determine the jail term for the senior member of the national team, the report said.
Lamichhne is currently out on bail. On January 12, the Patan High Court ordered the release of the cricketer. Responding to a review petition filed by Lamichhane, a joint bench of judges Dhruva Raj Nanda and Ramesh Dahal ordered Lamichhane's release on a bail bond of Rs 2 million with conditions.
The Kathmandu District Court on November 4, 2022, had passed the order to send Lamichhane to the Sundhara-based central jail after a detention hearing. Lamichhane had moved the high court challenging the order.
The Kathmandu District Attorney’s Office filed a case against Lamichhane accusing him of raping the girl on August 21.
The minor had filed a case against the cricketer on September 6 at the Metropolitan Police Circle, Gaushala.
Nepal Police arrested him on October 6 at Tribhuvan International Airport on his return from Trinidad & Tobago where he played in the Caribbean Premier League.
Through the chargesheet, the district attorney had demanded compensation from Lamichhane for the victim’s alleged physical and mental torture. After the charge sheet was filed, Lamichhane’s bank account and property were frozen.
A wily leg-spinner, armed with a vicious googly, he was a much sought-after cricketer in other big-ticket T20 leagues around the world, including the Big Bash League (BBL) in Australia, the Pakistan Super League (PSL) and the CPL.
The prodigiously gifted cricketer holds the record for the world’s second-fastest bowler to capture 50 ODI wickets and the third-fastest to race to 50 T20I wickets.
Lamichhane’s last international appearance came in August this year when he played against Kenya in a T20I encounter.
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