An actor known for his roles in Hindi television serials allegedly raped a Bengaluru-based aspiring actress and filmed the act using his smartphone.
He later blackmailed the woman in return for money and sexual favours before being arrested by the Karnataka Police in Mumbai earlier this week.
The actor, Sourabh Sai Sartaj (23), is now cooling his heels behind bars after the court remanded him in judicial custody.
The aspiring actress, who is mother to a baby girl, became friends with Sourabh last year at a reality dance show in Mumbai, according to the police complaint filed by the victim.
It has been alleged that Sourabh befriended the woman on the pretext of helping her secure acting roles in Hindi TV serials and movies. The victim fell for the actor's trap as she was keen on a career in showbiz. The woman later introduced Sourabh to her husband when they met in Bengaluru.
Earlier this year, Sourabh visited the victim's home near Mysuru Road when she was alone at her residence. While Sourabh was offered a glass of fruit juice, he allegedly spiked the woman's drink, after which she lost consciousness.
Taking advantage of the situation, Sourabh then allegedly raped her and recorded the attack on his phone. He later started blackmailing her for money and sex.
On three occasions when Sourabh visited Bengaluru, he summoned the victim to the hotel where he was staying. He continued to seek sexual favours from her whenever he wanted.
However, when the victim refused to accept his demands, Sourabh threatened that he would not only upload the video on social media platforms but would also share it with her husband.
The victim, who was extremely disturbed by the developments, did not tell her friends and family of the trauma she faced, the police said.
Sourabh allegedly took a total of Rs 15 lakh in cash from the victim on various occasions by blackmailing her. He also forced her to sell her gold ornaments to pay the rent for his flat in Mumbai. However, when the victim ran out of money and was left with no other option to handle the problem, she approached the police for help.
According to the police, the victim hid the facts from her husband, fearing that he would abandon her. She started visiting her hometown in Udupi district to avoid the actor.
“She has suffered a lot at the hands of the accused. We have collected video footage from every hotel where Sourabh had called the victim. We also visited the store where the woman sold her gold jewellery. We are in the process of accumulating evidence for the case. The probe will continue," said the Bengaluru Police.