A 29-year-old Indian astrologer has been accused of raping a woman in Australia after he claimed to have diagnosed her with a "black magic curse".
Venkatesha Kodandappa is facing eight charges of rape and indecent assault over allegations that he raped a client at his office in the Melbourne suburb of Dandenong in January. He appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates Court for a committal hearing today where he pleaded not guilty to four counts of rape and four counts of indecent assault, the AAP news agency reported.
The astrologer was committed to stand trial on charges of raping the woman after diagnosing her with a "black magic curse". Police allege the astrologer told the woman she had a black magic curse and would need to have sex with a stranger to be cured. The court heard he then offered to cure her for free.
A police summary stated she refused his offer on two occasions before the alleged rape, according to an ABC News report. The court heard he later told her it was part of a prayer ceremony and he did it to clear her sins. Kodandappa will stand trial in the County Court.