Abhishek Gattani. Pic/LinkedIn
An Indian-origin Silicon Valley CEO Abhishek Gattani who has been accused of beating his wife Neha Rastogi for several years is likely to serve less than a month in jail after he was offered a plea deal.
Abhishek Gattani, 38, who pleaded 'no contest' to beating his wife Neha Rastogi, 36, was offered the plea deal last week in Santa Clara Superior Court, California, that will probably allow him to serve less than a month in jail, The Daily Beast reported.
Rastogi, a former Apple executive, had recorded a five-minute-long audio clip on May 17 last year.
According to The Daily Beast, the audio clip goes on like the two have been discussing a website that had been garnering numerous clicks but now was getting only a few. Rastogi seems to have suggested that the problem is a software bug. Gattani presses her as a teacher might to define a bug in computer terms. But what he really seems to be seeking to teach her is submission.
"We are talking about a bug, what is a bug... NEHA... Rastogi?” he asks on the video. “You are a QA [quality assurance] person, right? This is amazing. I am having fun today actually. Let’s talk about what-- is-- a-- bug?" "Let’s say you—" she begins.
The audio clip then reveal the repeated number of thwacks in the presence of their then two-year-old daughter. He pleaded no contest when she approached the police. Gattani's charge was reduced from felony assault to felony accessory after the fact, with an accompanying misdemeanour of "offencive touching", the report said.
Prosecutor Assistant District Attorney Steve Fein described the plea deal a fair outcome, noting that accessory after the fact is also a felony, though not a violent one that would place Gattani at risk of being deported back to India. He noted that the plea calls for a six-month jail term, though only 30 days of actual incarceration, with the balance served in the weekend-work programme, doing manual labour for eight-hour shifts but otherwise at liberty. Fein said Rastogi offered no objection when he provided her with the details of the deal.
She, however, said she was never even close to fine with it and became less so having learned that Gattani would likely serve not even half of the 30 days in jail and could have the felony expunged from his record if he successfully completed three years of probation and the other terms of the plea.
In 2013, Gattani was charged with felony assault, which was later reduced to a misdemeanour after Rastogi told the judge that a felony could jeopardise his career in California and force him back to India.
Rastogi, who is presently separated and in the process of a divorce from Gattani, in a four-page victim impact statement that she read aloud in court last Thursday, declared herself doubly victimised by her husband and by the criminal justice system, the report said.
"Offencive touching, I call it terrorism... That's how I felt, terrorised and controlled, held hostage by the fear of pain, humiliation and assault on my being and my daughter's," Rastogi was quoted as saying by the report.
The judge who presided over the case, Allison Marston Danner, was on vacation when the sentencing was scheduled. Pro-tem judge Rodney Stafford put off the sentencing until May 18, the report said.
Gattani's attorney Michael Paez had earlier told the news site that his client has nothing to say to the press. Gattani and Rastogi got married in 2009. He the co- founder and CEO of customer behaviour analytics company Cuberon which was founded in 2015 in California.
-with agency inputs