Woman brainwashed, physically and sexually abused at Burlington mansion, judge told

Burlington Post, Canada/June 2, 2021

By David Lea

A woman who alleges she was brainwashed, exploited as well as physically and sexually abused while living as part of a Burlington commune testified that at one time, she worshipped the group’s leader like a god.

The virtual trial of Mohan ‘Jarry’ Ahlowalia got underway in a Burlington court on Wednesday, June 2.

He has pleaded not guilty to 30 charges, including assault, assault with a weapon, sexual assault, and a rash of human trafficking and firearms charges.

During the day’s proceedings Justice Jaki Freeman heard from a witness who testified that from 2004 to December 2019 she lived as part of this group of families who resided together, first in Oakville and then at a mansion in Mount Nemo in rural Burlington.

The woman, whose name is protected by a publication ban, said she became acquainted with Ahlowalia through her now ex-husband who was living with Ahlowalia at the time they first met.

She said on their second date her husband took her to Ahlowalia’s Oakville home, where she watched the movie ‘Bend it Like Beckham’ with Ahlowalia and the other people living at the residence.

She was so enchanted by the experience that she moved in just two weeks later.

“I was in awe. I was amazed. There was this large loving family. I was drawn in immediately. I was taken in,” said the woman.

“I didn’t understand the dynamics of how people who are not blood related live together. But I thought it was fantastic.”

The witness noted that at the time her parents had recently retired and moved out of the country and she was missing them terribly.

She said she now believes Ahlowalia capitalized on those feelings.

She testified he soon convinced her to drop out of college because she didn’t have “the smarts to succeed in her field.”

The woman ultimately went to work for a packaging business the group established on the grounds of its Mount Nemo property.

She testified she wasn’t paid for much of this work and noted that when the subject came up Ahlowalia told her she received food and a roof over her head and questioned what more she needed.

The court heard from the witness that mental abuse inflicted on her by Ahlowalia escalated, particularly after the birth of her children.

“I was told by Jarry that I am unfit to speak to my own children,” she said.

“Everything was criticized from the way I looked to the way I walked to the way I talked. I rarely spoke to my babies.”

The woman testified there were numerous acts of physical abuse.

She said on one occasion Ahlowalia smashed her head into a door in front of her husband over an eggplant not being delivered to his mother in a timely fashion.

When asked by Assistant Crown Attorney Monica Mackenzie whether she and her husband discussed this incident the woman responded there was no need to discuss it because he saw it happen.

“People were aware abuse was happening, but no one spoke up,” she said.

“I think everyone was just glad it wasn’t happening to them.”

On another occasion the woman said Ahlowalia became annoyed with her while she was working at the nearby restaurant the family operates and pressed a knife against her sternum.

She said an employee witnessed this incident, but nothing was reported to the police at that time.

The woman said Ahlowalia would blame her for these incidents, saying her stupidity would force him to do these things.

The witness testified Ahlowalia also sexually assaulted her on multiple occasions, sometimes putting his hand down her shirt and demeaning her for her breast size in front of others.

On another occasion she said he groped her and told her to wear more ‘accessible’ clothing in the future.

The trial continues Thursday, June 3.

To see more documents/articles regarding this group/organization/subject click here.