Dinesh (Dennis) Khanna threatened to revoke a client’s mortgage unless she performed oral sex on him, the woman testified Monday, as the trial for the former Hamilton mortgage broker began in superior court.
Khanna, 63, is charged with six counts of sexual assault involving four women and one charge of fraud. He has pleaded not guilty.
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The trial is the latest in a series of legal and regulatory enforcement faced by the Oakville man whose licence was suspended by provincial regulators in December 2015 after alleging he carried out a “pattern of manipulation and exploitation” of his clients through his Metro Financial Planning Limited business on King Street West. In 2017 the Financial Services Commission of Ontario ultimately refused Khanna’s application to renew his mortgage broker’s licence.
Assistant Crown Attorney Fraser McCracken read out an agreed statement of facts at the beginning of the trial, including that in Sept. 2015 a woman told Hamilton police she had been sexually assaulted by Khanna.
That woman handed over a napkin in a plastic bag, which the Centre of Forensic Sciences (CFS) determined contained male semen, according to the statement of facts. Investigators later seized a coffee cup Khanna threw away and submitted it to the CFS for DNA analysis.
“Based on the DNA analysis of the napkin and the coffee cup, the Accused admits the semen on the napkin is his,” the statement of facts reads.
As part of their investigation, police put out a press release announcing a sexual assault charge against Khanna and advising there could be more alleged victims.
The first witness to testify in the trial said she contacted police after reading about the charge.
She testified she found his business while paging through a phone book searching for someone to help her secure a mortgage because her credit rating was bad.
The woman, who can’t be identified because of a publication ban, said after Khanna helped her get a mortgage he called her and said he wanted to come tour her house to see the renovations she’d been working on, because he knew she was planning to sell.
Witness says she ‘got in too deep’
He showed up with another man and, after walking through the home, the woman said, Khanna asked to see the master bedroom.
Assuming he wanted to talk about money, the witness said she complied. But then he closed the door.
“He just point blank said ‘Give me a blow job,'” she testified, adding she started to laugh because she thought he was joking. “I was still laughing, but then I wasn’t because I could tell he was serious.
He had me in a throat hold. If I did anything wrong … he was going to tell on me.– Witness in Dinesh Khanna trial
“He said ‘If you don’t do this I’ll have your mortgage revoked.'”
The witness said Khanna threatened to tell the mortgage company he’s used to arrange her mortgage that she’d lied about her job and income on her application.
The woman said she was working as an exotic dancer at the time, but had been told by Khanna to have her friend sign a letter saying she worked for his trucking company and earned a salary there.
“He had me in a throat hold,” she testified. “If I did anything wrong … he was going to tell on me.”
The woman said she did as he demanded.
After giving him oral sex, the woman testified she was crying and Khanna left the room before inviting the man who came with him to take a turn.
The witness said the other man did not ask her for oral sex and just stayed in the room with her long enough to make Khanna think they had.
When the two men left, the woman said Khanna threw $70 on the counter and said something to the effect of “you’re a whore” or “you’re a hooker.”
When asked why she continued to work with Khanna after the alleged incident, the woman said she felt she had no choice.
“I just got it too deep with him,” she testified, adding she was confused by the mortgage and other financial matters, so left it to him to handle.
Defence points to signed documents
During cross examination, defence lawyer John Rosen, challenged the woman on her level of confusion, pointing to her past employment history and describing her as a “smart, independent … woman who’s run a business.”
Rosen said the witness was trying to ask as through “It’s all [Khanna’s] fault” even though she had signed or initialed documents throughout the mortgage process.
“You could have just walked away from the deal,” he said.
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Rosen spent much of the afternoon meticulously walking the witness through mortgage and loan documents, but the woman maintained she couldn’t recall signing many of the documents he presented.
“Oh come on … look at your initials,” he said in disbelief at one point.
“I just signed this stuff. I didn’t go over details or even read it,” she answered. “It was confusing to me.”
Rosen responded by saying she was the buyer, but the witness said she had put her trust in Khanna who always seemed confident and assured her there would be no problems.
The trial continues Tuesday.