“And he told me that the only way I could ever win the yoga competition was if I had sex with him.”
Baughn told "Nightline" she she fought her way free. I looked him in the eye and I said, “I will never have sex with you. I don't need you to win. I'm going to do it on my own.”
Baughn did compete in the competition in 2008 but placed second. One of the judges told ABC News that Baughn's was the strongest routine and said it's likely Bikram personally overturned the judges’ decision to award her top honors. Baughn said a different judge told her after the competition that “she was robbed.” This judge when reached by ABC News stood by the integrity of the judging and disputed ever telling Baughn that she was “robbed" of the title.
Through their attorneys, Bikram and his company declined a request from "Nightline" for an interview and issued a statement categorically denying the allegations.
It said: “The defendants strongly dispute the allegations at issue and intend to vindicate themselves in court. They do not intend to try this case in the media.”
Bikram did give ABC an interview in a 2012 for a separate "Nightline" profile. At the time, there were already rumors about inappropriate contact with students and Wright asked him about them.
“That's bull****,” Bikram said. “The hardest problem of my life, David, is staying away from women,” Bikram said. “Women like me and I have to run, city after city, country after country, all my life to stay away from the women. Yes that's the number one problem all my life.”
He claimed that his duties as a guru demanded he resist the advances of women admirers.
“Yogi is supposed to be yogi, they cannot get involved with women,” he said.
Baughn insists he is lying.
“He absolutely chases women,” she said. “He victimizes women. And someone can look him in the eye and say ‘No’ and it doesn’t matter.”
Indeed, others are making similar accusations. Two of them spoke with "Nightline," along with their attorney Mary Shea.
“When we filed the lawsuit on behalf of Sarah Baughn, she broke the culture of silence within the community,” Shea said. “I think that gave other women courage to stand up and be heard.”
One of the women, Larissa Anderson, said she was once a devoted disciple and a member of Bikram's inner circle.
“He raped me,” Anderson said.
“We were watching a movie. And he grabbed the back of my head and he kissed me. And I pulled away, she said. “He pulled my face back to him and kissed me again and he stood up and he grabbed my hand and he walked me to the living room just next to the kitchen, and he sat me down on the couch. And he pulled up my skirt, pulled down my underwear, pulled his boxer shorts down, and had sex with me.”
She said when the alleged assault took place, Bikram’s wife and children were sleeping upstairs.
She claims there's a pattern among the women he targets.
“The young women who want to believe in something so badly, - he sees it,” Anderson said. “And usually it's at a time that they're trying to change their life around for the better. And those are the people he targets because they're vulnerable.”
In her case, Anderson said, she was a recovering drug addict who had previously been the victim of rape and sexual assault.
A third woman who spoke with "Nightline" asked that her name be withheld. In her lawsuit, in which she is identified only as Jane Doe No. 3, she claims Bikram raped her three separate times in 2010 between April and December.
The first time, Jane Doe 3 said, was at teacher training, where she has been given a scholarship with the $7,000 fee waived.