LONDON, April 9 (UPI) -- A London man raped five young female followers he lured by saying he was a disciple of the Dalai Lama and promising them lives of luxury, prosecutors say.
Over a decade ending in July 2008, Michael Lyons, 52, also sexually assaulted two other women, prosecutors told Wood Green Crown Court jurors.
He faces five charges of rape, two charges of sexual assault and one charge of assault by penetration, The Times of London reported.
Lyons denied the charges.
Prosecutor Philip Katz called Lyons a "sexual predator masquerading as a guru and a healer" who would at first come across as "charismatic, charming and reassuring," but then turn "controlling, aggressive and sinister."
Lyons lived in a penthouse apartment in Brondesbury Park, North London, was chauffeured in Bentley and Mercedes cars and had female followers who would recruit new members. He gave women drinks and herbs, then performed acupuncture or massages before sexually assaulting them, prosecutors said.
The trial is expected to last about three months.