Temple leader faces charges in Issaquah molestation incident

December 7, 2010

By Staff

Police said the leader of the Bellevue Vedic temple molested a 12-year-old Issaquah girl after he used his position as a spiritual leader to become close to the girl.

Investigators said Vinay Keshavan Bharadwaj, 35, faces three counts of second-degree child molestation. The spiritual leader met the girl at the temple. In November 2008, Bharadwaj started calling her on the phone every night and speaking to her near bedtime, court documents state. Investigators said Bharadwaj started kissing and fondling the girl at about the same time. He asked her not to tell her parents about the incidents.

The girl often told her parents she had another activity planned, and then Bharadwaj picked her up near her home, the documents state. Bharadwaj continued kissing and fondling the girl during discreet encounters at her home, inside his vehicle and at his apartment until April 2009, the documents said. Bharadwaj left for India until August 2009.

Bharadwaj and the girl continued to communicate through e-mails and instant messages, but she stopped communicating with him after he made disparaging remarks about her family, the documents state.

The girl contacted police in July. Redmond Detective Patty Neorr obtained a search warrant to search Bharadwaj’s mobile phone records.

The state recommended $100,000 bail because Bharadwaj is considered a flight risk.

Bharadwaj is in custody in Los Angeles. He waived extradition and is due to be brought back to King County, Prosecutor’s Office spokesman Dan Donohoe said.

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