Hindu priest held in rape of teenager during 'ritual'

The New York Daily News/September 9, 2006
By Scott Shifrel

A Hindu priest sexually assaulted two underage sisters - conning one of them into having sex with him during a bogus cleansing ritual that involved spreading oil over her naked body, prosecutors said yesterday.

Ramlal Ramadhar, 59, was charged with statutory rape for the attacks, which allegedly occurred in 2002 and 2003 but came to light after one of the girls, now 19, confided to a college counselor.

"Under the guise of being their religious leader," Ramadhar allegedly took "advantage of the youngsters and their trust in him by robbing them of their innocence," Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. "Fortunately, one of the sisters found the courage to come forward."

Ramadhar, whom authorities say was a police officer in his native Trinidad, allegedly promised to help the then 16-year-old get rid of "evil spirits."

He allegedly lured her to an apartment in December 2002 and asked that she take her clothes off and lie atop a white sheet with her arms outstretched. Then he began to chant, put coins on her and rubbed oil from head to toe before sexually assaulting her, according to a criminal complaint.

In February 2003, Ramadhar allegedly lured her to an Econo Lodge on Rockaway Blvd. where he repeated the ritual and the assault, the complaint says.

"Now I have to do this to complete the ritual and I am sorry but I have to do this," he allegedly said before raping her.

Ramadhar told cops he knew his actions were wrong but his wife, Stella Ramadhar, called the alleged sex attacks a "big misunderstanding."

Ramadhar faces up to four years in prison for third-degree rape. He was arraigned Thursday and ordered held on $50,000 bail by Queens Criminal Court Judge Alex Zigman.

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