Lamichhane sentenced to eight years in jail for rape

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Sandeep Lamichhane has been sentenced to eight years in jail by a Kathmandu court for rape, the Kathmandu Post has reported.

A single-judge bench of the Kathmandu District Court had last month found the Nepal legspinner guilty of of raping an 18-year-old woman, and the sentence was announced on January 10.

The bench also slapped him with a fine of Rs 300,000 (USD 2255 approx) and ordered him to play Rs 200,000 (USD 1500 approx) in compensation to the victim. Lamichhane’s lawyer, Saroj Ghimire, told AFP that he “will appeal the decision in a higher court.”

In early September last year, Lamichhane, then the Nepal captain, was suspended by the Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) after an arrest warrant was issued against him in Kathmandu over the matter.

It followed the news that a complaint against Lamichhane had been lodged in a Kathmandu police station.

At the time, Lamichhane was in the West Indies with Jamaica Tallawahs taking part in CPL 2022. The club announced that Lamichhane would be leaving the tournament with immediate effect. Upon landing at the airport in Kathmandu in early October, he had been taken into custody.

Shortly before being arrested, Lamichhane had written on Facebook that he would “fully cooperate in all stages of the investigation and will fight a legal battle to prove my innocence” and called it a “conspiracy and wrongful allegation”.

He returned to the Nepal side in February this year – amid protests from rights groups at home – for a Cricket World Cup League 2 tri-series at home, against Namibia and Scotland, during which opposition players did not shake his hand after the games.

Subsequently, he was not considered for Nepal’s squad for the Cricket World Cup League 2 tri-series in Dubai in early 2023, but joined the team later as an injury replacement.

He has continued to turn out for Nepal since then, including at the ODI World Cup qualifier in Zimbabwe in June-July last year and the ODI Asia Cup in August-September.

On the day of his conviction, December 29, Lamichhane had led PARSA Club XI to a win over Nepal Army Club in a Nepal Pro Club Championship match in Birgunj. (ESPNcricinfo)

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