A woman and a yoga guru settled her lawsuit alleging he raped her in 2010 during a $13,000 nine-week teacher training program at the yoga guru’s San Diego studio.
Lawyers for the woman, identified in her Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit only as Jane Doe 2, filed court papers with Judge Rolf Treu stating that the case against 69-year-old Bikram Choudhury and the Yoga College of India was resolved. No terms were divulged.
The Colorado woman reported the alleged assault shortly after it occurred in a room at Choudhury’s studio on Nov. 18, 2010, but San Diego authorities told her they could not move forward with a case without any witnesses, her lawyer, Mary Shea, said previously.
The suit was filed in May 2013. It alleged Choudhury induced young women like the plaintiff to enroll in teacher training classes to become yoga instructors only so he could “sexually assault and/or rape them.”
During weeks of grueling training, Choudhury called the plaintiff as “a piece of gold in a roomful of brass,” the suit alleged.
Choudhury’s sexual advances were rebuffed by the plaintiff, but she was raped after she became too exhausted from the schedule to resist him, the suit alleged.
Choudhury’s students must abstain from sex, are taught that his techniques can cure cancer and other diseases, and told that Choudhury is akin to a god, the complaint alleged.
The plaintiff alleged the schedule to which she was subjected was designed to “break down her body, will and spirit” and brainwash her, and that Choudhury’s students are directed to show “unquestioning obedience.”
Choudhury’s teaches a form of Hatha Yoga in which the temperature during training is set higher than 100 degrees.
After the first complaint against Choudhury was filed in 2013, more surfaced as women spoke publicly about their accusations of assault and harassment. The settlement papers were filed Thursday.
—City News Service