Guru raped meditation woman, court told

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The Independent Online

A self-styled guru accused of being a serial rapist told one woman she needed to be healed as he assaulted her, a court was told today.

Michael Lyons, who used the name Mohan Singh, met the woman in Washington DC, USA, and offered to help her with her bad back and discuss meditation techniques.

The woman, who can not be identified, told Wood Green Crown Court in north London that she and a friend were driven to a park by Lyons along with another man in June 2000 for what she thought was going to be a meditation session.

But she said Lyons told her married women were "whores" and Americans had "proud egos" that had to be healed before raping her.

The woman, who broke down in tears while giving evidence, said: "It was painful and it was wrong.

"I had been saying 'No' this whole time because I was afraid this was where this was going, but at the same time I was not trusting my instincts and I thought it would lead to meditation.

"He was repeating the same thing he said earlier about being proud and again how I needed to be healed."

The witness's allegations do not form part of the indictment against Lyons, relating to an incident she claims took place in the US.

The court was told she told her friend what had happened after Lyons drove them home and she in turn said she had been raped by the other man.

Soon afterwards the woman said her friend began receiving messages from Lyons' followers.

She said: "She had received voice messages on her phone from women in Mohan's circle who in the messages, which were very long, all saying how I was a liar, how I was a vampire, and how I was unworthy of her friendship and she shouldn't believe me."

The court heard her friend later left Washington DC and travelled through America with Lyons.

The pair lost touch until in 2008 the witness was emailed a link to an internet page about Lyon's arrest by her friend and she contacted British police.

Abbas Lakha QC, for the defence, said hospital records from the time of the alleged attack showed the witness did not want to involve the police and there was no evidence her claim to have spoken to two officers at hospital was true.

He said: "I suggest to you that if you had made a complaint even the most incompetent police force would have recorded it."

Mr Lakha said she brought up the rape allegation at the hospital after earlier failing to get a morning-after pill and that her evidence to the court was influenced by reading other women's accounts on the internet.

The witness denied this, saying: "There is no way I would be that manipulative and make up a story about being raped."

Earlier the court heard Lyons claimed to have worked with the Dalai Lama in a bid to impress women he met.

Lyons, 52, from Brondesbury Park in Kilburn, north London, is accused of five counts of rape, two of sexual assault by touching and one by penetration on seven women between 1998 and 2008.

It is claimed Lyons attacked six of his victims in London and one in Manchester.

The case continues tomorrow.