Ajay Chopra

Posted: June 24, 2014 by Serendipity in Photo, Registered Sex Offender, Victoria
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Ajay Chopra 08/02/12 Pb Matt Kimpton

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-06-23/man-jailed-over-27palm-reading27-assaults-on-vline-trains/5544688

Man posing as palm reader jailed for sexually assaulting women on V/Line trains

Updated Mon 23 Jun 2014, 10:44pm AEST

A Bendigo man has been jailed for 21 months for sexually assaulting young women on V/Line trains while posing as a palm reader.

Ajay Chopra, 41, pleaded guilty to five charges over a series of sex assaults on trains between Bendigo and Melbourne in 2011.

The court heard Chopra would pretend to be a palm reader before grabbing the women’s hands and assaulting them.

His youngest victim was 18 years old.

“All of this was a ruse, and what you were attempting to do was either to put their hand in your crotch area or put your hand in their crotch area,” Judge Gerard Mullaly said.

Prosecutor Neil Hutton said that once Chopra had hold of a woman’s hands he would resist any efforts by them to pull away.

In one case, he held his hand under a woman’s dress; in another, he held his victim’s hand against himself.

“She could feel the man’s erect penis on the back of her hand,” Mr Hutton said.

“This activity happened for most of the trip to Bendigo, where he got off the train.

“He turned and said, ‘have a nice life’, as he did so.”

Victims left fearful of using public transport

The court was also told his victims were traumatised by the assaults and felt fearful travelling on public transport, particularly with men.

“Your offending was repetitive, escalating and persistent,” Judge Mullaly said.

“The sexual assault of fellow female passengers is shameful, dishonourable conduct. Decent men do not act like this.”

The court heard Chopra moved from India with his wife to Bendigo in 2011 and had shown no insight into, nor remorse for, his crimes, instead focusing on saving face.

Judge Mullaly said he had chosen vulnerable young victims and the nature of his offending had wider ramifications for the community.

“The fact they were conducted on public transport adds to the unfortunate sense of fear that women have that public transport is not safe.

“This fear is corrosive and impacts on women’s rights to go about their lives freely.”

Chopra was placed on the sex offenders register for life and will be eligible for parole in 10 months.

Poor court facilities prolonged suffering of victims: judge

Judge Mullaly also said the delay in the matter being resolved in the courts had prolonged the suffering for Chopra’s victims.

He added that Bendigo residents were being denied proper justice because of a lack of court facilities.

He said the public deserved to know why crimes committed in 2011 had taken so long to pass through the courts.

The case began in Bendigo but had to be moved to Melbourne because there was no suitable courtroom.

“Court facilities in Bendigo are and have been for too long inadequate to uphold the criminal justice system,” Judge Mullaly said.

Judge Mullaly said its court facilities compared badly with other regional cities in Victoria of the same size.

“It stands apart.

“It’s citizens must wait too long to have their cases heard…we must urgently investigate all possibilities to open up another courtroom in Bendigo.

“This case must prompt a re-doubling of efforts.”

 

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-08-17/bid-to-ban-media-from-train-sex-assault-case-fails/4204874

Train sex assault accused to stand trial

Updated Fri Aug 17, 2012 10:04am AEST

A Bendigo man accused of assaulting women on V/Line trains in central Victoria last year has been ordered to stand trial.

In the Bendigo Magistrates Court, Ajay Chopra, 39, has pleaded not guilty to indecently assaulting women who were passengers travelling between Bendigo and Melbourne.

After hearing evidence from some of the alleged victims, the magistrate has committed Chopra to stand trial.

An attempt to suppress publication of the case has been rejected.

The court was told Chopra is part of the small Indian community in Bendigo and further media coverage of his case could hinder his right to a fair trial.

However, the magistrate disagreed and refused the defence’s application for a blanket suppression of the case.

Chopra is due to face the County Court in Bendigo next month.

 

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