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Vic online love fraudster avoids jail

A man of Indian descent who thought he’d get more online dating profile hits pretending to be a blond Caucasian has narrowly avoided jail after taking his deceit too far.


Deepak Dhankar, an Indian-born father of three, used photos of a muscular, blond stranger and adopted the name “Jamie” for a dating profile he used to arrange a tryst with a Melbourne woman because he was sexually frustrated.

He was charged with procuring sex by fraud after the woman discovered he was not who she thought he was.

He was sentenced to a community corrections order in the Victoria County Court on Wednesday.

Judge Jane Patrick told Dhankar, 29, it was a serious matter to obtain access to another person’s body by deception and had he not pleaded guilty she would have jailed him.

“It appears that you chose this extremely selfish, immature and inappropriate way to deal with your frustrations arising from the problems you and your wife were having,” Judge Patrick said.

Dhankar, a financial planner, turned to online dating in 2012 after his third child was born and his wife became ill.

In October that year he started chatting and exchanging explicit photos with the victim before they agreed to meet at her house for a sexual liaison.

Dhankar let himself in through the unlocked door and entered the bedroom where the woman was naked and face-down on the bed.

The two had agreed beforehand that “Jamie” would play the role of a dominant and the woman would be a submissive.

As part of that arrangement, Dhankar insisted she keep her eyes closed and never look at “Jamie”.

The woman consented to this and Dhankar performed sex acts on her while she lay on the bed.

He then told her to go into her bathroom where their sexual activity continued until the woman’s small child stirred.

When the woman went to settle her child, she saw Dhankar’s hand and realised he was not the blond he’d described himself to be.

She decided to play along because she was afraid of what might happen if she let on she was aware he wasn’t “Jamie”.

In her victim impact statement, she told the court the incident left her feeling violated.

Judge Patrick questioned the wisdom of the woman’s actions but said that did not diminish Dhankar’s moral culpability.

Dhankar was sentenced to a two-year order that requires him to perform 200 hours of community service.