Asylum-seeker cleared of indecent assault

The future for a Sri Lankan asylum-seeker in Australia is unknown despite him being cleared of indecently attacking a sleeping university student.


Daxchan Selvarajah was found not guilty by a Sydney District Court jury on Friday of attacking the Macquarie University student in her bed.

The 24-year-old had been accused of ripping through a flyscreen door at the student’s home at Macquarie University in the early hours of February 21, 2013, before molesting her in her bed.

He beamed and began wiping his eyes as he stepped from the dock on Friday morning, after the jury’s foreman informed the court he and his fellow jurors had reached a not guilty verdict on all charges.

But it’s not yet known if Mr Selvarajah will be allowed to remain in Australia after his original visa was cancelled.

His bridging visa has been replaced with a justice visa since his arrest.

“Where a non-citizen has had their visa cancelled on the basis of criminal charges that are subsequently set aside or result in an acquittal, the department will review the case,” an immigration spokesman told AAP.

The most serious of the three charges Mr Selvarajah faced was breaking and entering and indecently assaulting the young woman, who alleged she woke in the night to feel a hand under her pyjamas.

During a two week trial, Mr Selvarajah had told the court he left home in the early hours to buy cigarettes from someone who he thought was a fellow Sri Lankan.

“I knew he was living in that building but I didn’t know exactly which unit,” he said.

“I had gotten addicted to smoking that many cigarettes, I could not stop.

“That’s why I could not fall asleep.”

As the jury was led from the courtroom on Friday, an elated Mr Selvarajah hugged supporters and shook hands with his lawyers.

He was not held on remand over the charges but has been kept in immigration detention since 2013 after authorities refused him an Australian visa due to the attack allegations.

It was not immediately clear whether he would walk free from court a free man or be returned to Villawood detention centre.