An Indian-origin Businessman Gokula Nanda, 62, of West Hills, Lost Angeles County, who also claimed to be a Hindu monk, was ordered to stand trial on charges that he sexually assaulted 3 women under the guise of spiritual healing, in Torrance, the US.
He was ordered to stand trial for 6 counts of sexual battery by fraud, 3 counts of sexual penetration by a foreign object, and 2 counts of sexual battery.
According to the testimony Nanda sexually battered with the victims while claiming to be performing healing rituals at the meditation sessions in various locations, including his Eastern medicine store in Santa Clarita and in Torrance, between April 2011 and 2015. He was arrested in May last year.
He was released in July on a $100,000 bail pending further court proceedings. He is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing on February 29, 2016.
Torrance police has also learned there were similar allegations made against Nanda dating to 2005.
While the case remains under investigation by the Torrance Police, Nanda has pleaded not guilty. If convicted as charged he faces a possible maximum sentence of 19 years in state prison.
According to his Facebook page, Nanda studied at Sivananda Ashram at Vedanta Forest Academy. He hails from Kalapathara district in Odisha. Nanda is also an owner of Hari-Om India Market in Santa Clarita in California.