Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Los Angeles Yoga Guru Facing Sexual Assault Allegations

During the course of a 40 year career, Indian Yoga guru Bikram Choudhury has garnered acclaim as one of the foremost exponents of meditation, spiritually centered exercise, and healthy living. However, recent allegations seem to imply that there is a much darker side to the Los Angeles based guru. Several women have filed lawsuits against the Yoga master, claiming that he sexually harassed or assaulted them. 

What Defines A Sexual Assault And Battery Claim In California?

In order to proceed with a sexual assault and battery claim for monetary compensation in the state of California, several key criteria must be shown by the person who brings the claim. 

First, the plaintiff must show that the defendant intentionally sought to cause harmful or offensive contact with the plaintiff's genitalia, groin area, buttocks, anus, or breasts. It must then be shown that contact resulted from these actions that was seen as highly offensive and unwanted by the plaintiff. 

Alternatively, the plaintiff can show that the defendant expressly intended to cause an offensive or harmful contact by using the the plaintiff's genitalia, groin area, buttocks, anus, or breasts, and that a sexually offensive contact resulted, either directly or indirectly, through these actions. 

The plaintiff can also choose to demonstrate that the defendant caused the plaintiff to feel an "imminent fear" of harmful or offensive contact with their genitalia, groin area, buttocks, anus, or breasts. 

Second, the plaintiff must show that they absolutely did not consent in any way, directly or indirectly, to this touching of their genitalia, groin area, buttocks, anus, or breasts by the defendant. 

Third, the plaintiff must show that they were harmed or offended by the conduct of the defendant. 

Why Bikram Choudhury May Be Liable For Sexual Assault Charges

In the case of the Choudhury charges, there are several specific elements that place his alleged conduct squarely in the realm of sexual assault. Choudhury has admitted to talking loudly about his penis in front of several of the women who are presently filing charges against him, thus setting the stage for a legitimate sexual harassment complaint.

Secondly, one of the plaintiffs, Sarah Baughn, alleges that Choudhury pressed his body against hers on multiple occasions, while whispering unprovoked and unwanted sexual suggestions into her ear. Later, according to Baughn, he sexually assaulted her in a hotel room. 

The other women who have filed suit against Choudhury have voiced similar complaints. While Choudhury is most certainly innocent until proven guilty, the suits that have been brought against most definitely fall under the heading of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and sexual battery.

What Kind Of Compensation Is A Sexual Assault Victim Entitled To?

Under the laws of California, a person who proves that they were the victim of deliberate sexual assault is entitled to compensation that includes, but may not be limited to, general, special, and punitive damages. In plain terms, this means that the plaintiff is entitled to compensation that covers their legal costs, as well as costs resulting from any medical attention, money spent on physical or emotional therapy, compensation for wages lost because of an inability to report to their work place, and other related costs. 

A Sexual Assault Attorney Can Get Victims The Compensation They Deserve

If you have been the victim of sexual harassment, battery, or assault, it is important to contact an attorney immediately. If you suffered physical or emotional trauma, or have had to undergo rape trauma care or psychiatric treatment as the result of your experience, a sexual assault attorney can get you the justice and full compensation you deserve in order to overcome your experience and regain your financial and emotional independence.