Indian guru Asaram given life sentence in second rape case

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An Indian court on Tuesday sentenced self-proclaimed spiritual guru Asaram Bapu to life imprisonment on charges of rape and sodomy, according to his lawyer.

The verdict is the second life term against the octogenarian, who is already serving a life sentence following his 2018 conviction for raping a 16-year-old girl.

Asaram’s lawyer C.B. Gupta told CNN the court in the western state of Gujarat also ordered him to pay 50,000 rupees (about $600) in compensation to the victim.

“We may appeal the judgment in the high court,” the lawyer said.

Asaram, 81, described on his website as a “spiritual revolutionist” and “great teacher,” is one of India’s best-known spiritual gurus.

Known as “Bapuji” or “father” among his followers, he rose to prominence in the 1970s before building a vast religious empire that includes hundreds of thousands of followers, about 400 religious schools across India, and numerous global outreach programs.

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