An Indian astrologer has been committed to stand trial for allegedly raping a woman he diagnosed with a black magic curse, saying he needed to have sex with her to cure it.
Venkatesha Kodandappa told the victim, whom he met when she attended his practice as a client, that she needed to have sex with a stranger to cure her, according to court documents.
Kodandappa, 29, allegedly offered to provide this service free of charge.
He appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates Court for a committal hearing on Friday where he pleaded not guilty to four counts of rape and four counts of indecent assault.
The prosecution summary submitted to the court said the victim declined the offer, paid for her initial astrology session and left.
She was scared of the suggestion because she was a virgin, the court documents say.
A friend of the victim who was called to the committal hearing on Friday told the court Kodandappa had told the victim the curse meant her husband would die.
"She was scared that if she dated someone this will happen to her," the witness told the court.
The documents allege the accused repeatedly called the victim, even after she told him she was not interested and would not return.
She attended his office again in January 2013 after he told her he was still concerned for her.
At this meeting he again diagnosed her with a black magic curse, the documents say.
The prosecution alleges that on the second visit Kodandappa hugged the victim and told her to "feel the magic" before rubbing her body with turmeric and indecently assaulting and raping her.
Throughout the alleged offending he told her twice to "take an interest".
After the victim got dressed, Kodandappa told her it would usually take nine sessions but he would do it for her in only three, the documents say.
In a summary of a recorded conversation also tendered to the court, the accused allegedly said he did not intend to give her tension by having sex with her.
"That was done as part of a prayer ceremony. I had told you earlier it was for clearing the sins," he said, according to prosecution documents.
He will appear in the Victorian County Court for a directions hearing on Wednesday.