Friday, August 29, 2014

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Austin

Authorities: Saraswati escaped to India

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A Hindu guru convicted of molesting two teenage girls at his ashram in Hays County is likely to be in India after fleeing from sentencing, according to federal authorities.

Prakashanand Saraswati, known to his followers as Swamiji, was able to escape with the help of his followers after being convicted in March 2011 on 20 counts of indecency with a child by sexual conduct. Federal agents say his followers were able to get the 83-year-old to Mexico, and then to India through the use of a fake passport.

According to U.S. Marshall Hector Gomez, the federal investigation is now "fundamentally complete," and any efforts to bring the guru back to Texas is up to the State Department, which would require some help from authorities in India.

"Diplomacy is now the only tool that can be used to get him back in custody," Gomez said.

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