AN ‘ARROGANT’ restaurant owner with ‘wandering hands’ believed his position allowed him to try it on with young women who were applying for jobs.
Prashant Sengar, boss of the Spicy Affair restaurant in Victoria Terrace, Leamington, claimed six woman who made complaints about him to the police were all lying.
But after hearing from his victims, a jury at Warwick Crown Court found him guilty of seven charges of sexual assault.
Prosecutor Lee Marklew told the jury how Sengar’s first victim began working at the Indian restaurant in 2012, and he made her feel uncomfortable by slapping her bottom and looking at her ‘in a certain way.’
She brushed it off, but then the 40-year-old of Cornyx Lane, Solihull, assaulted her ‘in a much more invasive way’ when she went to get her coat at the end of her shift and two days later, he tried to kiss her.
She quit and reported the incidents to police but when he was arrested Sengar claimed she was lying and it was decided not to charge him.
Then in spring 2013 two friends went for interviews with Sengar. The court heard how he began to talk to them in an “unsettling and inappropriate” manner – asking if they were prepared to flirt.
A staff member showed one of the girls around – and when he was alone with her friend, Sengar took hold of her knee and asked if she would model for him.
When she froze, Sengar told her to ask her friend to come down – and he put his hand on her thigh before leaning in to kiss her.
As they left, they complained to another young woman who worked there. Eventually police were called and Sengar was arrested again.
He claimed he patted the girl’s knee, but denied anything happened with her friend and although an officer made the connection with his first victim, the CPS took no action.
Later that year a woman responded to an online advert for dancers, which had been placed by Lumos Events – a company Sengar had an interest in.
He arranged an interview at a Birmingham hotel but when the pair met, he asked her to follow him to a room he had paid for.
Sengar then asked her to sign a contract without seeing her dance, and when she said she wanted to speak to her parents, he put his arm round her.
He maintained if she wanted to be a dancer she had to do something for him and when she tried to leave, he grabbed her top and looked down it.
Sengar interviewed another woman at the restaurant and while they were looking at the till he stroked her back.
She quit a few days later.
And another interviewee was told the pay was for work and ‘playing and flirting’ as he rubbed his hand on her thigh and bottom.
The case was adjourned for a pre-sentence report, and Sengar was remanded in custody.