Former Gujarat police officer DG Vanzara, accused in the alleged fake encounters of Ishrat Jahan and Sohrabuddin Sheikh, defended religious leader Asaram hours after a Jodhpur court convicted him of raping a teenager and sentenced him to life in prison on Wednesday.

Vanzara claimed the girl never said in the first information report that she was raped, and added that it was not right to call Asaram a rapist, The Indian Express reported. He said the chargesheet only mentioned that Asaram tried to touch the girl improperly.

“Nowhere does it say that she was raped,” Vanzara said. “What it says is that he tried to touch her improperly.” He said the girl, even during the trial, never spoke of rape. “Her virginity was found to be intact when medical tests were carried out. Her hymen was also intact. This was never a case of rape,” Vanzara told reporters.

He claimed he had copies of both the FIR and the chargesheet of the case and said he was a “vigilant follower” of Asaram, NDTV reported. He said he respected the court’s verdict, but added that it was “improper to dub Asaram as a rapist for being convicted in a sexual assault case”.

Accused of extra-judicial killings, Vanzara had spent nine years in jail before being cleared of all charges in August 2017.