|Woman Tried to Kill Herself after Rape by Priest
By Tristan Kirk
December 17, 2008
A WOMAN raped by a Hindu priest has tried to kill herself several times and says she has been ostracised by the community after she was attacked.
The 41-year-old was raped by Shashikant Vyas in February this year, and now says her life has been ruined as friends and neighbours blame her for bringing about the prosecution of the priest.
Vyas is facing a spell behind bars for raping the woman, ripping off her clothes, pinning her down, and leaving her with multiple injuries to her arms and breasts after he attacked her.
She fled after the rape and was helped by a passerby who called the police in to arrest Vyas.
The woman has tried to kill herself at least four times, and the latest attempt on Sunday has left her in hospital with burns to her head, arms and chest.
She will need to have multiple skin grafts to repair the damage, and it is believed her injuries are life changing.
Her husband and son have also turned on her since she was raped, refusing to speak to her and defending Vyas' actions even after he admitted carrying out the attack.
In a statement read out yesterday at Harrow Crown Court during Vyas' sentencing, Miss Laura Steele, representing the woman, said: “She feels blame has been apportioned to her. Her standing in society has gone.
“She is trying to put her life back together with a greater emphasis on religion.
“She wants to punish Mr Vyas for what he has done, she feels he has ruined her life.”
Vyas came to England from India four years ago, and began to be known as a priest who performed religious ceremonies in the local community.
He met the victim and her family at a religious ceremony three years ago, and started advising them on spiritual matters.
Vyas appeared in court yesterday, with a red stripe of paint down his forehead.
He was supported from the public gallery by the victim's husband and son.
The judge in the case, Alan Greenwood, deferred sentencing until today for further submissions from Vyas and his lawyers, but told him he faces a spell behind bars.
He said: “This is an extremely serious case. I think it has probably been made clear to you by now that a prison sentence is inevitable.”
Any original material on these pages is copyright © BishopAccountability.org 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.