PITTSFIELD — A woman has reported she was sexually assaulted by a co-worker and held her against her will after she accepted a text invitation to "hang out," with him in late July.
Alexander Kushi, 24, is free after posting $10,000 bail following his arraignment in Central Berkshire District Court Monday.
According to a probable cause statement authored by Massachusetts State Trooper Ryan E. Mauer, on July 30, the alleged victim accepted the text invitation from Kushi about 5:30 p.m.
The woman was a volunteer chef at the Kushi Institute in Becket, where Kushi was also working at the time.
Court documents do not specify what position Kushi held at the institute.
According to its website, the institute's mission is to, "teach, guide and inspire individuals towards greater personal freedom, health happiness and peace by using the principles of Kushi macrobiotics."
A message left with the institute for comment was not returned by press time.
When the woman arrived at Kushi's temporary residence in Washington, he showed her a large collection of knives before inviting her on to his bed.
Over the woman's repeated protests, Kushi allegedly removed his shirt, kissed and groped the woman and hiked her skirt up.
She told police she had to forcibly remove Kushi's hands from her chest and genital areas.
She said Kushi's knives were within arm's reach during the assault.
Kushi allegedly removed his pants and underwear and ground his nude genitals against the woman, who said she was in shock and unsure of what to do.
She attempted to distract Kushi by asking for water. When she tried to get up to get some, he allegedly held her down and handed her some water himself.
She said Kushi had wrapped his feet and arms wrapped around the woman in an apparent attempt to prevent her from leaving while he continued groping her.
The alleged assault went on for another five or ten minutes, the woman said until it was interrupted by the unexpected arrival of three people at Kushi's residence at which point he got off of the woman, enabling her to leave.
According to the probable cause statement, Kushi sent the woman a text on August 3, where he admits he was present with her during the time of the alleged assault.
According to court documents, the woman said she brought the incident to the attention of Kushi Institute staff and was asked to write and submit a report about it. The woman said she wrote a report, but did not turn it over to the institute.
She reported the alleged assault to police on August 10.
Troopers served a search warrant at Kushi's Washington address on August 24 and also attempted to reach him at the institute.
Police were told Kushi had resigned from his position at the institute on August 16, and moved back to Sheffield, prompting the issuance of an arrest warrant.
Kushi pleaded not guilty Monday to charges of assault with the intent to rape and kidnapping.
He is due back in court on October 13 for a pretrial hearing.
Contact Bob Dunn at 413-496-6249.