A 24-year-old yoga instructor from India, Rakesh Kumar Prasad, is accused of molesting his student three times during a lesson last year. He faces one charge of outrage of modesty and one count of using criminal force.
The Court heard that on 26 Apr 2015, Rakesh molested his 25-year-old student by cupping and pinching her breast while he was instructing her. He 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.
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.
Testifying on the second day of the trial, Real Yoga Tampines outlet receptionist said that the victim paid for a one-year membership in January 2015 and that after the alleged molestation, she asked for a refund of about $1,400 in unused fees as she stopped attending classes. But a Real Yoga manager refused to reimburse her.
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.
It is unclear how many of Real Yoga’s instructors are locals. The company’s website suggests that their instructors are mainly from India.
A reviewer of Real Yoga at Coconasana said that the studio’s consultants do hard selling and their membership options are not cheap as well.
“Membership options: Class cards – 10, 20, 30, 50 for 1 studio at $370+, $600+, $800+ and $1120+
Unlimited – 18 months for all studios at $119/ month (incl. gst), payable by installments with credit cards (otherwise it’s 1 payment).”