MIDTOWN — The older brother of a Long Island man accused of drugging and raping his girlfriend bombarded the victim with dozens of texts and calls in an effort to convince her to recant her claim — and even tried to bribe her into silence, prosecutors charge.
Wholesale jeweler Karan Kejariwal, 32, of Rego Park, tried to get his brother Varun Kerajiwal, 24, out of trouble by harassing the woman who accused him of drugging her at a Midtown hotel and violating her as she faded in and out of consciousness, authorities said.
The victim, 31, told police that she awoke inside the Roosevelt Hotel on East 45th Street at about 7 a.m. on March 4 and realized she had been drugged and raped. She immediately called the police and reported Varun, who police arrested at the hotel about half an hour later, a police spokesman said.
After Kerajiwal was arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court later that night on and released just after midnight on March 5 on $5,000 bail, his big brother began to assail the woman with texts and phone calls, more than 40 in total, in an effort to silence her, prosecutors charge.
“I will give you $5,000 if you take your statement back,” Karan Kerajiwal, the president of Dialuster Inc., a family-run jewelry wholesale company located in the Diamond District, said in a text message, according to a criminal complaint.
Rather than dropping the charges, however, the woman notified police about Kejariwal’s harassment and bribery attempts, and officers arrested him on March 15 after he turned himself in at the 13th Precinct station house in Gramercy, police said.
Karan Kejariwal was charged with felony bribing a witness and misdemeanor witness tampering, according to a spokeswoman for the Manhattan District Attorney. He was released on $5,000 bail with a protection order for him to stay away from the victim, records show.
He could face up to seven years in jail if convicted, prosecutors said.
Approached at the company’s office on West 47th Street Tuesday, Varun Kejariwal declined to comment, and said his older brother was out of the office.
Igor Litvak, defense attorney for both men, declined to comment on the specifics of the cases.
“It’s too early to comment, but we don’t think this case is going anywhere,” Litvak said. “They deny the charges, and we believe both cases will be dismissed or settled with a non-criminal disposition.”
Varun Kejariwal is due back in court on April 3 and Karan Kejariwal is scheduled to appear May 5, records show.
Varun Kejariwal was previously arrested just after midnight on Nov. 9, 2016, for drunk driving in Queens, and pleaded guilty on Dec. 21 to a first-offense drunk driving charge, according to court records. He is due for sentencing in that case on April 5 at Queens Criminal Court.