Indian yoga instructor convicted in Singapore of molesting a woman

The Indian man plans to appeal against his conviction and is out on a bail of $16,000.
Indian yoga instructor convicted in Singapore of molesting a woman
Indian yoga instructor convicted in Singapore of molesting a woman
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An Indian yoga instructor has been convicted of molesting and forcefully grabbing a woman’s neck in Singapore.

26-year-old Rakesh Kumar Prasad has been sentenced to nine months in jail and has been fined $1,000. He has been found guilty of outraging the modesty of a woman. The 12-day trial in the court began in 2016.

Rakesh, a yoga instructor who was trained and certified in Kolkata, reportedly cupped and pinched his assistant manager’s breast while she was doing yoga at Real Yoga’s Tampines Grande studio on April 26, 2015.

According to Channel News Asia, the survivor tried to push away his hand and said: “Don't touch my boobs”. According to Singapore-based Straits Times, he did not stop, but went on to slip his hand inside her sports bra and tried to squeeze her breast. “When she protested, Rakesh allegedly smiled and told her: ‘It's not like there's anything to touch’,” the report said.

Rakesh allegedly also told her, "Don't ever use the word 'boob' and don't shout in class, if not, people can hear".

“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 public prosecutor said in court.

Rakesh reportedly plans to appeal against his conviction, and is out on a bail of $16,000, said Channel News Asia.  

According to PTI, he was initially sentenced to jail for a year and three strokes of the cane.  His lawyer Steven Lam reportedly urged the court to be lenient and submitted 50 testimonials from the Rakesh’s students, colleagues and bosses, after which jail term was brought down to nine months. Steven also told the court that the touches were ‘fleeting’.

While submitting the testimonials, he said that they speak “..volumes about Rakesh’s character and the positive impact he’s made on the lives of many people…who (have been) willing to step forward to attest to his character despite the nature of the charges against him.”

While arguing for leniency, Steven reportedly told the court that despite being aware of the allegations against him, Rakesh did not attempt to leave the country.

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