Self-styled guru ‘sexually assaulted woman’
ReligionNewsBlog.com • Thursday May 27, 2010
A self-styled guru accused of being a serial rapist sexually assaulted a woman who had come to him for help, a court heard today.
Michael Lyons, who used the name Mohan Singh, denies touching the woman inappropriately and said he met with the woman to help improve her well-being.
His friend Sophie Reddyhoff said she introduced the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, to Lyons because she wanted him to “help her”.
Ms Reddyhoff told Wood Green Crown Court in north London that she met Lyons while she was travelling in India.
“From the time I spent in his company it became clear that he had expertise in body, nutrition, health and well-being,” she said.
The court heard that in January 2005 the two women met with Lyons, who was sometimes known as Dr Mohan, at a health club in High Street Kensington, London.
Ms Reddyhoff said that afterwards she joined others at a flat to watch a film and she invited the other women to join the group.
At the flat Lyons and the woman were alone together in a bedroom which had a curtain instead of a door.
Ms Reddyhoff said she could not see them but heard the pair jovially arguing.
“They can’t have been in there for more than five to seven minutes,” she said.
“He was challenging her on why she was so aggressive and why she was carrying herself like a man and she was arguing against that. They came out (of the room) laughing.”
She told jurors that the woman seemed “relaxed and happy” and left the flat an hour later.
Ms Reddyhoff said her friend did not tell her about any untoward incident which may have happened in the bedroom.
Ms Reddyhoff said her parents planted an idea in the head of the woman.
She said they “polluted” her mind because they were angry that she had changed when she got back from her travels in India.
“They just found a scapegoat in Mo because they had been angry that my interests and attitudes had changed since I came back from India.
“They were convinced I was in some cult with some scary leader which was very far from the truth.
Lyons, 52, from Brondesbury Park in Kilburn, north London, denies five counts of rape, two of sexual assault by touching and one by penetration on seven women between 1998 and 2008.
It is claimed that he attacked six of his victims in London and one in Manchester.
Lyons has declined to give evidence in the trial, which will resume tomorrow.
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