The head of a new-age sect in Italy, said to have at least a thousand followers, has been arrested on suspicion of sexually abusing young girls and their mothers.
52-year-old Danilo Speranza is the founder of the “Maya” sect – he is also accused of extortion.
Speranza created Maya in the 1980’s, aiming to help beat drug addiction with new age philosophies and yoga.
It is based in a nondescript building in the San Lorenzo neighbourhood of Rome.
Reports in the Italian media say the investigation began more than a year ago, when a group of the alleged victims complained to the authorities.