Brampton Temple President Convicted for Sexual Assault Allegedly Tried to Pay Off Victim
A Hindu temple president convicted of sexual assault allegedly offered 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.
The victim claims that Sharma forcibly fondled, then raped her.
According to the statement from the judge, Sharma had attempted to get himself out of a conviction before the trail.
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 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.
You can read Judge Woollcombe's full decision here
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