San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

April 25th, 2008
Hays County Hindu leader arrested on 20 indecency with a minor charges

From staff and submitted reports

The founder of a Hays County Hindu temple and spiritual retreat is in federal custody near Washington today after being arrested on 20 counts of indecency with a child.

Prakashanand Saraswati, 79, is accused of groping two women younger than 17 several times more than 10 years ago. A press release issued by the sheriff’s office this morning said he was arrested by U.S. marshals yesterday at Dulles International Airport and is being held in Alexandria, Virginia. He waived extradition and is awaiting transport back to Hays County, said Lt. Leroy Opiela, the sheriff’s office spokesperson.

The sealed indictments, handed down by a grand jury last week, were the result of an investigation begun in August last year, Opiela said

Called Shree Swamiji by followers, Saraswati founded the Barsana Dham Center on Farm-to-Market Road 1826 in 1990, according to the center’s Web site. The 200 acre campus is a representation of holy Braj district in India.

— BRAD ROLLINS

ELSEWHERE ONLINE

» Barsana Dham Center’s Web site

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