Indian yoga instructor convicted for molesting woman in Singapore

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Rakesh Kumar Prasad was sentenced to a nine-month jail term along with a fine of 1,000 Singapore dollar by the court but granted a bail of 16,000 Singapore dollar pending appeal.

Singapore: An Indian yoga instructor has been convicted by a court in Singapore for molesting a woman during class, according to a media report on Tuesday. Rakesh Kumar Prasad was sentenced to a nine-month jail term along with a fine of 1,000 Singapore dollar by the court but granted a bail of 16,000 Singapore dollar pending appeal. Prasad’s lawyer said that he would be apealing against the court decision, the Straight Times reported.

According to the report, Prasad committed the offences against the woman in April 2015 at a yoga studio in Tampines housing estate. The woman was then aged 25.

Following a 12-day trial, which began in 2016, District Judge Luke Tan found Prasad guilty earlier this year on one count each of outraging the woman’s modesty and using criminal force on her. Prasad repeatedly molested her when she was alone, it said.

In his submission, Deputy Public Prosecutor James Chew said, “The victim… Did not leave the class or seek help immediately because she was in a state of shock and disbelief. She felt helpless in that environment and did not know what to do.”

“She had felt violated and embarrassed by the accused’s actions, and was in disbelief that this could happen to her in a yoga class,” the report quoting Chew as saying.

Chew urged Judge Tan to sentence Prasad to at least a year’s jail with three strokes of the cane. He said, “The accused had abused his position as a yoga instructor in repeatedly violating the victim in the midst of the yoga class.”

Defence lawyer Steven Lam pleaded for a nine-month jail term and stressed that the touches were “fleeting”. He also told the court that Prasad will be appealing against his conviction. Judge Tan offered him bail of 16,000 Singapore dollar.