SINGAPORE — A 32-year-old former Trust Yoga instructor was charged on Tuesday (November 30) with assaulting five female students over the course of a year.
Rajpal Singh, who is from India, was charged with ten counts of assaulting the women, aged 24 to 29, during classes he taught in 2019 and 2020 at Telok Ayer premises of Trust. The women’s identities cannot be disclosed to a court-imposed gag order.
According to his teacher profile on the Trust Yoga website, Singh was known as Raj Chauhan. The profile, which said he was from the Indian city of Rishikesh, was deleted after he was suspended from teaching due to allegations of sexual assault.
Singh appeared in court via video link. Asked by the judge about his response to the charges, Singh said he would not plead guilty and would seek trial. He added that he needed time to hire a lawyer as he was currently unemployed.
In response to questions, Trust Yoga said Singh left the company in September 2020.
Yahoo News Singapore reported last year that five women, former students of Trust Yoga, filed police complaints between July 13 and August 29 last year after Rajpal allegedly touched their private parts while assisting them in yoga poses.
While most said they weren’t comfortable with touch, the students brushed it off because they trusted the instructor.
It wasn’t until one of the alleged victims aired her grievances on Instagram that the other women began to think Singh’s actions might have been deliberate.
In a series of Instagram stories, the victim detailed two alleged acts of sexual harassment which she claims happened during a class on July 11 last year. She said he punched her left buttock while she was in a forward bend, then assaulted her again while she was in an inversion pose.
Trust released a statement on its Facebook page on August 3 last year, saying Singh had been placed on leave. The studio later said it had added more CCTV cameras to its premises and refined its standard operating procedures for reporting and resolving complaints.
His case will then be heard in court on December 14.
Molest is liable to imprisonment for up to two years, or a fine, or caning, or any combination of such penalties.
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