A Silicon Valley CEO entered into a plea deal stemming from his second felony domestic violence charge, even though the victim submitted audio evidence of her husband verbally berating and beating her.
Under the plea agreement, Cuberon co-founder Abhishek Gattani will have a felony assault charge reduced to felony accessory after the fact, with an accompanying misdemeanor of “offensive touching,” the Daily Beast reports. He will likely spend less than 30 days in jail and could “and could have the felony expunged from his record,” the Beast adds.
In several secret recordings, Gattani can be heard attacking the victim, his wife Neha Rastogi, beginning with verbal abuse.
“No, no, no,” he said in one recording when the pair were discussing software bugs (Rastogi worked at Apple, Flip Video and Cisco).“When did I say that’s a bug? We talked about bugs right? Is it getting very difficult for you to focus? You really do need help. You need me to take another step and come to you. You need help?”
“You don’t want to get beaten up?” he continued. “Then control yourself.”
Rastogi took the recordings to police, who arrested Gattani for his second domestic violence charge. He had previously been charged with felony assault in Nov. 2013, after a postal worker reported a woman being assaulted on the street. According to the Beast, the officer’s report included witness accounts of Gattani “pushing and pulling [Rastogi] along the sidewalk while punching her with a closed fist in the side and back multiple times.”
That felony charge was reduced to a misdemeanor charge at Rastogi’s urging, the Beast notes, Three years later, in May 2016, she recorded audio of her husband’s abuse.
The plea was made at Santa Clara County Superior Court, the same place where judge Aaron Perksy drew national criticism after sentencing Brock Turner to six months in jail for three charges of felony sexual assault. At what was supposed to be Gattani’s sentencing at the courthouse, Rastogi read aloud from an impact statement relating to the plea.
“‘Misdemeanor—offensive touching’? I didn’t even need to look this one up, as it made me laugh when then I realized that I was laughing at myself, I was the joke here,” she said. “‘Offensive touching!’”
“Please explain me is it offensive touching when a 8 month pregnant woman is beaten and then forced to stand for the entire night by her husband? Is it offensive touching when a mother nursing her six-day old child is slapped on her face by her husband because he thinks she is not latching properly with the child? Is it offensive touching when a women is flung to the floor and repetitively kicked in her belly? Is it offensive touching when a woman is slapped nine times by her husband until she agrees to everything he is saying and then gets hit again for not agreeing with it sooner?” Rastogi continued.
“Offensive touching—I call it terrorism,” she said.
Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Rodney Stafford promised he listened “very carefully” to Rastogi’s “powerful statement.” Unfortunately, he was just filling in for fellow Judge Allison Danner.
“So, until today, about 15 minutes ago, I knew nothing about the case,” Stafford said. “So, I don’t know how the negotiations were arrived at. I assume that the matter was negotiated in good faith by both the prosecution and the defense.”