Sep 15, 2018

'Guru' Mohanial Rajani jailed for touching breasts with feet

BBC
September 14, 2018

A self-proclaimed "guru" who repeatedly touched women's breasts with his feet while he was being massaged in a ritual has been jailed.

Mohanial Rajani, who was a prominent member of a Hindu sect, even claimed to be a god and said the women had to perform "devotions" for him.

He also touched their breasts with his hands on two occasions, claiming to be either "blessing" or "purifying" them.

The 76-year-old was given a three-and-a-half-year jail term.
At Leicester Crown Court, Judge Robert Brown described the sexual assaults as "a gross breach of trust".

"You had the trust and loyalty and devotion of these girls and you took advantage of this for your own sexual pleasure," he said.

"Not surprisingly, both have suffered psychological damage as a result of this abuse."
Rajani, previously of Silverdale Drive in Thurmaston, Leicestershire, had pleaded guilty to four counts of sexual assault.

He admitted touching both of the women's breasts ten times with his feet during massages, and touching both of the women's breasts once with his hands.

Esther Harrison, prosecuting, said Rajani did not claim to be a guru publically, even to his own family.

However, he told the two young women's relatives that they were "blessed" and that he would become their guru.

"Gradually that changed and he declared himself not only their guru but as a god to them," said Ms Harrison.

'Personal service'

The women had to meet him every week for a "small, intimate gathering", or "satsang", said Ms Harrison.

Here they would perform "seva" or "personal service" for him, but Ms Harrison said it was "more personal than it needed to be".

"When they attended he would be lying down upon a bed," she said.

"Everyone present, normally four or five, would massage part of his body, usually taking each limb in turn."

He had stipulated that the two young women should wear saris, which meant he could put his foot on their breasts under the folds of the garment.

When later challenged he claimed the sexual assaults were part of a "testing process" to show they had given their minds to their gods.

During the first assault he claimed he was "blessing" the woman.

The second happened when the other victim confessed to Rajani that she was having a sexual relationship with a man her own age.

"He made it plain that in order to become pure again she would have to perform these [sexual] acts upon him," said Ms Harrison.

He then touched her naked breasts for about a minute with both hands while "claiming to be purifying them".

Eleanor Laws QC, defending Rajani, said he had "always been a kind, loving and caring, father, grandfather, uncle and relative to all of his family".

She said he had resigned from his position when people within the community were made aware of what happened.

"He can't play any part within the community that he had cared so much about, genuinely, for decades," she said.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-leicestershire-45525266

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