A 'healer' accused of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl in Belfast told investigating officers the claims against him were "false allegations", a jury heard today.
'Holy man' Charanjit – who is a member of the Punjab Armed Police in his native India – was interviewed by police last October and questioned about the allegations made against him.
His alleged victim claimed she was brought to the 'holy man' she called Babaji after complaining of a sore stomach.
The schoolgirl said that on two separate occasions, she was sexually assaulted by Charanjit in a locked bedroom.
She claimed that Charanjit diagnosed her problem as a stone in her stomach, and that whilst 'healing' her, he penetrated her with his finger and penis on two separate occasions. Charanjit (46) from Twinburn Gardens in Newtownabbey, has been charged with eight offences including rape and sexual assault.
He denies all eight charges against him, which are alleged to have occurred on dates between September 30, 2012 and February 1, 2013.
During day five of the trial at Belfast Crown Court, the jury was read interviews with Charanjit that were conducted last October. When the girl's allegations were put Charanjit, he branded them as false.
Regarding the so-called healing of the girl, Charanjit said she was brought to him by her mother. He denied touching her in any way, but said he "read" a glass of water which he blew on and prayed over before it was handed to the girl.
When he was asked if this was the truth, Charanjit said during interview: "If anything I said is a lie, shoot me here. I am ready to die here."
Earlier yesterday, a medic who examined the schoolgirl told the jury that she found evidence that indicated the girl's internal private parts has been penetrated, resulting in two small tears.
The trial is due to resume on Monday.