Aug 9, 2015

Religious leader Swami Ji’s escape will be featured on CNN’s ‘The Hunt’

Calily Bien
August 7, 2015

Swami Prakashanand Saraswati
Swami Prakashanand Saraswati
AUSTIN (KXAN) — The U.S. Marshals Office is hoping a high-profile piece on John Walsh’s CNN show The Hunt Sunday will help lead them to Swami Prakashanand Saraswati.


Swami—known to his followers as Swami Ji—was convicted on 20 counts of child molestation in 2011. While the trial was going on, Swami was allowed to remain on bond; but on the first day of the punishment phase, he never showed up and and authorities haven’t seen him since.

In 2007, three young girls of Barsana Dham, an ashram in northern Hays County made an outcry to the Hays County Sheriff’s Office alleging they had been abused in the ashram at the hands of Swami.

The Lone Star Fugitive Task force determined Swami was able to make his way across the border into Mexico and eventually back to his home country of India.

Robert R. Almonte, United States Marshal for the Western District of Texas states, “We would encourage the domestic and international audience of The Hunt to give law enforcement that important tip, make that critical call, and let us put this Swami’s run to an end.”

Karen Jonson was a follower of Saraswati for 15 years before helping the victims bring charges against the Swami. She was interviewed by CNN late last year and hopes the national stage could lead to Saraswati’s capture.

“I’ve watched past episodes of “The Hunt” and they are fabulous. I see they have received tips that helped apprehended some of the people they focus on.”

Although she is happy the victims’ story will be shown to the entire nation, Jonson said she is still skeptical of the chance the Indian Government will cooperate and allow U.S. authorities to return the swami to face his conviction. Marshals have said there has been very little movement or cooperation from Swami Ji’s supporters or the government in his native country.

‘The Hunt’ airs at 8 p.m. CST on CNN.

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