Home Cricket News Sandeep Lamichhane Receives 8-Year Prison Term For Rape Conviction

Sandeep Lamichhane Receives 8-Year Prison Term For Rape Conviction

Sandeep Lamichhane Receives 8-Year Prison Term For Rape Conviction
Sandeep Lamichhane

Former Nepal cricket captain Sandeep Lamichhane once hailed as the symbol of cricketing prowess in Nepal at the tender age of 23, has been handed an eight-year imprisonment term by a Kathmandu court due to rape allegations. Lamichhane’s meteoric rise had significantly boosted the popularity of cricket in the Himalayan nation.

However, his reputation took a significant blow in 2022 when he was accused of raping a young woman in a hotel in Kathmandu. Although he managed to secure bail and participate in international tournaments while awaiting trial, the legal proceedings culminated in a conviction last December.

The recent sentencing was confirmed by Ramu Sharma, a Kathmandu district court official, who revealed that Lamichhane must also pay a fine of 300,000 Nepalese rupees ($2,255) to the court and an additional 200,000 rupees ($1,500) to the victim, reflecting the psychological impact of the assault on her.

Notably, Lamichhane was absent during the court’s pronouncement, with his attorney, Saroj Ghimire, expressing intentions to challenge the verdict in a higher judicial instance. Interestingly, discrepancies arose regarding the victim’s age at the time of the incident. While the victim claimed to be a minor during the assault, the court determined her age as 18 in a prior judgment.

Sandeep Lamichhane
Sandeep Lamichhane (Credit: Peter Della Penna)

Throughout the ordeal, Lamichhane consistently refuted the allegations and garnered considerable public backing. Despite a warrant for his arrest, Lamichhane initially evaded authorities while participating in the Caribbean Premier League in Jamaica. However, following his arrest and subsequent release on bail, the Nepali cricket authorities reinstated him, allowing him to represent the nation in significant events such as the World Cup qualifiers and the 2023 Asia Cup.

Yet, his return to the field was met with mixed reactions; although he received a warm reception from fans upon his comeback in February, many Nepalis expressed dismay and distanced themselves from the national team, exemplified when Scotland’s team declined to shake hands with him in Dubai.

Cricket’s popularity in Nepal has been on an upward trajectory, with the country achieving one-day international status in 2018. Lamichhane’s participation in prominent leagues worldwide, including the lucrative Indian Premier League in 2018, significantly contributed to this growth.

Despite the alarming statistic of approximately 2,300 reported rape cases in Nepal during the 2021-22 fiscal year, advocacy groups emphasize that many more assaults remain unreported, underscoring the broader societal issue that transcends the realm of sports.

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