An Indian Yoga teacher has been sentenced to nine months’ jail and fined SGD1,000 for molesting his student in Singapore. The incident took place during a private session at Real Yoga’s Tampines Grande studio in April, 2015.
The Indian man, identified as Rakesh Kumar Prasad (26), also used criminal force on the woman, who was an assistant manager and 25 years old at the time. Rakesh was convicted of two charges after a 12-day trial.
The Yoga instructor was found guilty of touching the victim inappropriately while helping her into a pose on April 26, 2015. After the end of the private session, he also ‘forcefully grabbed’ the back of the woman’s neck, according to court documents.
Fighting the case on behalf of the victim, James Chew, Deputy Public Prosecutor, sought a 12-month jail sentence with three strokes of the cane, saying deterrence was “particularly needed” as Rakesh abused his position of trust as an instructor. He displayed no remorse.
However, Rakesh’s lawyer Steven Lam pleaded leniency arguing for a nine-month jail term with no caning.
Steven Lam also tendered 50 testimonials submitted by the instructor’s students, colleagues and bosses in support of Rakesh.
Lam also said that the instructor knew of the allegations against him before he was arrested. He did not attempt to leave the country, although he had an opportunity to, Lam added.
The yoga instructor is on bail of SGD16,000 pending the hearing of his appeal.
In Singapore, the penalty for molestation is up to two years’ jail, a fine and caning. For using criminal force, he could be jailed up to three months and fined a maximum of SGD1,500.