A Priest At The Hindu Sabha Temple Offered To Pay Off The Victim To Drop Rape Charges Against Temple President Parveen Sharma!
Parveen Sharma was the president of the Hindu Sabha temple in Brampton. He was charged with two counts of sexual assault alleged to have taken place on October 2 and 3, in 2015. The 25-year-old victim had met Sharma through the temple. She was looking for an apartment to rent. Sharma was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison after being convicted of two counts of sexual assault and rape.
BRAMPTON – A Hindu temple president convicted of sexual assault allegedly tried to get the priest at his temple to pay off the woman who accused him in order to have all charges dropped.
This is according to a written court document by Justice Jennifer Woollcombe.
Parveen Sharma was the president of the Hindu Sabha temple in Brampton. He was charged with two counts of sexual assault alleged to have taken place on October 2 and 3, in 2015.
The 25-year-old victim had met Sharma through the temple. She was looking for an apartment to rent.
Sharma became her landlord in August 2015 when she moved into the basement apartment of his home where he lived with his wife. She was a tenant until October 4, 2015, the day after the second sexual assault allegation. Woman says Sharma forcibly fondled and then raped her.
According to the statement from the judge, Sharma had attempted to get himself out of a conviction before the trial.
In the days leading up to the trial, the temple’s head priest, Adhay Dev Sharma, met with the victim. He asked if she would accept $50,000 to drop the allegations.
Dev Sharma testified, claiming that it was the victim who had initiated the meeting and asked him for $50,000. He also claimed that he didn’t know about the charges the president was facing when he met with her.
At the trail, the victim denied initiating this meeting and asking for any money. Justice Woollcombe took the side of the victim.
She wrote in her decision: “He (Priest) is the one who instigated the meeting, clearly prepared to discuss payment to the complainant. It seems to me that the only conclusion to reach from his evidence is that he wanted to explore whether or not the complainant was open to taking a payment to make the charges go away.”
Judge Woollcombe rejected Dev Sharma’s testimony saying it “defies any logic”.
Parveen Sharma was sentenced last week to two-and-a-half years in prison after being convicted of two counts of sexual assault and rape.
A spokesman for Peel Region Police told the National Post that officers have not investigated whether priest Adhay Dev Sharma’s alleged attempts to silence the witness violated any laws.
Steven Skurka, Parveen Sharma’s lawyer, said his client will be appealing after mounting a “vigorous” defence to the sexual assault charges, and was released on bail Friday pending the appeal.
A spokesman for the temple could not be reached for comment.
According to the ruling — which was issued in February but only came to light this week — the victim in the case rented a basement apartment from Sharma in August 2015, having met him at the Hindu Sabha temple, where he was president. He, his wife and their 26-year-old son lived upstairs, reported National Post.
They developed a friendly relationship, frequently exchanging text messages, but on Oct. 2 he forced himself on her, trying to remove her bra and touching and kissing her breasts, only stopping after she asked two or three times, said Woollcombe’s decision.
He came twice more to her apartment the next day and sexually assaulted her, the second time forcing her into unprotected intercourse, the judge found. The woman testified she was left “emotionally broken.”
The victim testified that some friends who also attended the Hindu Sabha temple told her they had been approached by others at the institution who asked if she would take money to drop the charges. At a temple with a history of dispute among its leaders, others asked if she would accept money to proceed with the case, the decision said.