The 24-year-old yoga instructor from India, Rakesh Kumar Prasad, who is accused of molesting his student three times during a lesson in 2015, is back taking classes at Real Yoga. All Singapore Stuff (ASS) which reported on this said that he is taking classes in the Real Yoga’s Tampines and Parkway branches. A search of the fitness centre’s website indicates that a Rakesh does teach in respective branches.
Rakesh, an employee of the fitness centre, faces one charge of outrage of modesty and one count of using criminal force. The Court heard that on 26 Apr 2015 that he molested his 25-year-old student by cupping and pinching her breast while he was instructing her. Rakesh is also accused of trying to squeeze the victim’s breast by slipping his hands into her sports bra. The incident happened at the Real Yoga studio in Tampines Grande.
When the woman protested, he smiled and and suggested that her breasts were small. As the victim was leaving the yoga studio, Rakesh also grabbed the back of her neck, the woman told the Court.
According to his profile on Real Yoga’s website (which has since been removed), Rakesh “is trained and certified as Real Yoga teacher at our Kolkata branch before setting foot in Singapore”.
CCTV footages were played in Court. The victim said that she hit her instructor’s hand and told him not to do it when he tried to molest her. He was undeterred and pinched her breast and told her to bend lower. He further threatened to pinch her even harder if she would not listen to him.
Rakesh’s lawyer repeatedly asked the victim why she did not seek help immediately to which the victim replied with tears, that she did not know any studio staff, and added, “I was helpless, what did you expect me to do?”
After the alleged molestation, the victim demanded a refund of the one-year-membership fee she paid but Real Yoga refused. The victim asked for a refund of about $1,400 in unused fees as she stopped attending classes. The victim had to take the fitness studio to a Small Claims Tribunal to get her cash back. The Tribunal ruled in favour of the victim and ordered Real Yoga to refund her amount.
According to ASS, Rakesh’s lawyer cleared him to work with the fitness centre until his next hearing in August this year. Rakesh is represented by lawyer, Genesis Shen. Rakesh is represented by lawyer, Genesis Shen. Mr Shen’s line of questioning of the alleged molest victim riled many netizens when it was reported in the media.
When he cross-examined the woman, he repeatedly asked her why she did not seek help immediately after being molested. He also asked her if her actions were consistent with “how a molest victim would react”. His questions reduced the helpless woman to tears. She replied that she was alone, and did not know any studio staff.
“I was helpless, what did you expect me to do?” she asked with tears welling up in her eyes.