SINGAPORE – A yoga instructor has been hauled up for allegedly touching five women improperly during classes.
On Tuesday (Nov 30), the 32-year-old Indian national, who told a district court that he is now unemployed, was charged with 10 counts of molestation.
Details about him and his then workplace cannot be disclosed due to a gag order to protect the identities of his alleged victims.
They were then between 24 and 29 years old.
He was at his downtown workplace some time in 2019 when he allegedly slapped a 24-year-old woman’s buttock with his hand.
Between 2019 and July last year, he is said to have performed acts such as touching the women’s private parts.
The man appeared in court via video link and was offered bail of $15,000 on Tuesday.
His case has been adjourned to Dec 14.
Police said in an earlier statement that they have zero tolerance towards sexual offenders who “threaten the personal safety of the community”.
The man was not the first yoga instructor to face molestation charges.
In April 2018, another Indian national was sentenced to nine months’ jail and a fine of $1,000 after he molested a female student, then 25, in 2015.
Following a 12-day trial which began in 2016, the court convicted him of one count each of outraging her modesty and using criminal force on her.
He cupped her breast while she was bending forward. She smacked his hand away and told him not to do it.
Instead of stopping, he pinched her breast. She told him off again but he molested her a third time by reaching into her bra. She knocked his hand away.
The man, then 26, appealed against his conviction, with his lawyer arguing that surveillance footage of the studio indicated that he could not have molested the woman in the way she described.
The court rejected the arguments.
In October 2018, the man’s jail sentence was increased to a year, and he was also ordered to receive three strokes of the cane after the High Court allowed an appeal by the prosecution.
For each count of molestation, an offender can be jailed for up to two years and fined or caned.