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YOGA INSTRUCTOR OUT ON BAIL, PASSPORT IMPOUNDED FOUND GUILTY OF MOLESTING

A former yoga instructor, Rajpal Singh, was found guilty on May 16 of outraging the modesty of three women but acquitted of molesting a fourth woman. The 34-year-old Indian national committed the offenses during 2019 and 2020 while conducting classes at Trust Yoga. The women were all students at his classes.

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The matter came to light in July 2020 when a woman alleged online that Singh had molested her during a class. Trust Yoga acknowledged the allegations, asked Singh to take a leave of absence, and began an internal investigation. In the weeks after the first woman’s allegation, several other women came forward with their own alleged experiences of sexual assault at Trust Yoga.

Singh was charged with 10 counts of outrage of modesty in November 2021 and claimed trial to contest them. During his trial, Singh claimed he did not commit the physical acts, but the judge found his defense to contain material deficiencies that undermined his claims. Singh was convicted of molesting three women and will return to court for sentencing in July. The offence of outrage of modesty carries punishment of up to three years in jail, a fine, caning, or any combination of these penalties.

The case of Rajpal Singh, a former yoga instructor, has shed light on the serious issue of sexual assault and the importance of taking such allegations seriously. The investigation into Singh’s behavior began in July 2020 when a woman came forward with allegations of sexual assault during one of his classes at Trust Yoga. Following this, several other women also shared their own experiences of sexual assault by Singh.

The investigation and trial revealed that Singh had committed the offenses during 2019 and 2020, while he was conducting classes at Trust Yoga. The women who came forward were all students at his classes, and they described how Singh had molested them while adjusting their poses.

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The judge in the case found that three of the complainants were “unusually convincing” witnesses, and Singh’s defense was found to contain material deficiencies that undermined his claims. Singh’s broader defense that he would never need to touch a student’s private parts to adjust their positions was also contradicted by his own statements to the police.

The case has also highlighted the issue of delayed reporting of alleged sexual assault. The judge noted that such delays may be due to “significant psychological and emotional complexities” and that the absence of immediate confrontation should not be viewed as a marker of the credibility or veracity of a complainant’s claim.

The sentence for Singh will be announced in July, and he faces punishment of up to three years in jail, a fine, caning, or any combination of these penalties. The case serves as a reminder of the importance of taking allegations of sexual assault seriously and the need for thorough investigations to ensure that justice is served.

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