Two women have accused Tibetan Buddhist teacher Dagri Rinpoche, 65, of molestation, reports the Tibet Sun. One incident allegedly occurred in 2008, and the other earlier this month.
Update May 14, 2019: According to the Tibet Sun, Dagri has denied allegations of wrongdoing. On Facebook, a third woman has accused him of molestation. She says Dagri grabbed her breast when she was a student at the College for Higher Tibetan Studies in Dharamsala, India, between 2005 and 2009.
Update May 15, 2019: FPMT has suspended Dagri Rinpoche from teaching until a police investigation is complete, according to a statement from the organization. In a separate statement, FPMT co-founder Lama Zopa Rinpoche says that “Dagri Rinpoche is a very positive, holy being—definitely not an ordinary person.”
Update May 22, 2019: Valdivia has posted a public response to Dagri and FPMT. In her response, Valdivia addresses Dagri’s claim that she had “mental problems,” writing “He is trying to say that I am crazy… Instead of apologising he’s blaming and discrediting the victims.” She also writes that, “After all this, none of us have even received a single apology or acknowledgement of wrongdoing from Dagri R… All that me and other nuns and friends who supported us have received is blame, shame, threats and slander.”
Dagri is recognized as the reincarnation of Pari Dorje Chang, who was a teacher of Lama Yeshe — cofounder of the Friends for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT). Dagri travels for the FPMT and is an advisor for Sravasti Abbey in Washington State. According to a biography on the FPMT website, Dagri is “particularly close” to the Dalai Lama and Lama Zopa Rinpoche.
On May 3, on a flight from Delhi to Kangra Airport, Dagri Rinpoche allegedly molested a woman, as reported on the Hindi website Amarujala. The woman reported the incident to the police, and Dagri was taken into custody for questioning.
On May 7, Spanish woman Jakaira Perez Valdivia, 34, posted a video to YouTube in which she alleges that Dagri molested her in 2008. Valdivia says she went to see Dagri because she had a disk hernia and had been told Dagri could help. “I was in a lot of pain,” she says in the video.
Dagri allegedly gave Valdivia strong alcohol to drink, told her to take off her clothes, and then massaged her body, repeatedly trying to touch her breasts and pelvis, and pressed his penis against her. Valdivia says she told Dagri she was uncomfortable but he kept trying to fondle her.
Valdivia signed a sworn declaration about her experience with the local police and sent it to FPMT and the office of the Dalai Lama. The office of the Dalai Lama set up a meeting between Valdivia and Dagri, during which Dagri apologized. Valdivia says that, after the meeting, members of the community called her account into question. Dagri has continued to teach.