Convicted ashram leader missing

March 8, 2011 at 2:18 PM

AUSTIN, Texas, March 8 (UPI) -- The leader of a Texas ashram convicted of molesting girls was ordered arrested by a judge when he failed to show up for sentencing.

District Judge Charles Ramsay revoked Prakashanand Saraswati's $1 million bond and issued an arrest warrant Monday, the San Antonio Express-News reported.

"He had appeared for every court hearing," a surprised District Attorney Sherri Tibbe said after Monday's hearing, "so that didn't appear to be an issue."

However, there had been previous concerns he was a flight risk, she said.

Saraswati was convicted last week on 20 counts of molesting young girls in his ashram in Austin, Texas.

After last week's verdict, Saraswati was freed after posting bond.

The attorney for Saraswati said he had no knowledge of his whereabouts.

"We haven't located our client," Jeff Kearney told Ramsay. "We don't know the reason for his absence. We don't know if he's lying in a ditch somewhere."

Kearney said he believed his client's health was the likely reason behind Saraswati's absence.

"He's very ill," Kearney said. "This is an 82-year-old man with severe health issues."

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
North Korea on missile cruiser deployment to Japan: U.S. 'will burn'
North Korea blasts South's idea of unified system
Puerto Rico not able to pay more than $72 billion in debts
North Korea calls U.N. human rights commissioner 'mediocre peddler'
Seven arrests made in Tunisia hotel killings