Sunday, March 7, 2010

Anand Krishna denies all allegations

Spiritual Anand Krishna, who is accused of sexual harassment, issued a statement Friday, calling the accusations slanderous.

"I am certain the accusations against me are made up and meant to defame me. None of them are true and none of the things alleged ever happened," Anand said Friday.

One of his former students, Tara Pradipta Laksmi, first reported Anand to the police last month, claiming she was sexually molested.

She said she was hugged and kissed without her consent, because she was hypnotized by Anand when the molestation took place, leaving her unable to refuse his advances.

Anand denied this, saying "we only meditate, not practice hypnosis" at his center.

He said Tara joined L'Ayurveda, his holistic health and meditation center in 2007, while her mother had joined previously in 2000.

"From the end of 2008 to May 2009, Tara was effectively acting as our youth coordinator at L'Ayurveda," he said.

Anand insisted there was no special relation between himself and Tara, except that "as the coordinator, she needed guidance".

He said that during her time at the center, Tara told him about her family problems.

Anand said he did not believe there were problems between him and Tara. However, when asked elaborate, he told reporters to "ask Tara's lawyers".

Apart from Tara, Sumida, a former employee of Anand, and three other women made similar accusations against Anand.

Anand said that Sumida and her husband Chandra worked at one of his centers from 2000. "She became a therapist in 2004," he said.

He added that Sumida used to be a market vendor while her husband used to be a motorcycle taxi driver.

Jakarta Police spokesman Boy Rafli Amar said police were still investigating the case.

"We are collecting evidence from witness testimony. I don't know when Anand will be summoned," he said.

Police were also analyzing witness testimony, Boy said.

Anand's lawyer, Darwin Aritonang, said he was optimistic the case against his client would fold.

He said there were no plans for a countersuit should his client be found not guilty.