A Silicon Valley CEO who pleaded “no contest” to beating his wife for a decade was offered a plea deal last week in Santa Clara County, California, that will probably allow him to serve less than a month in jail.
The Daily Beast reports that Abhishek Gattani, 38, is set to have his felony assault charge reduced after beating his wife for a decade. His reduced charge of “felony accessory after the fact” and a misdemeanor charge of “offensive touching” means that his not only will likely only get around 30 days or less behind bars, but he’ll also get his more serious charge of felony battery dropped.
Gattani’s estranged wife, Neha Rastogi, 36, read a victim’s impact stated during his sentencing last week, where she pleaded with a Santa Clara Supreme Court judge to rethink the lighter charges. Rastogi, apparently upset about the plea deal, said she felt cheated by the system.
“His charge should be felony – battery with the intent to harm if not kill. Offensive touching? I call it terrorism. That’s how I felt – terrorized and controlled held hostage by the fear of pain, humiliation and assault on my being and my daughter’s.”
Gattani, originally from India, moved to California in 2005, where he worked as a software engineer. Soon after, he became the director of engineering at a Kosmix. During this time he met Rastogi, a product manager. He later became the CEO of customer behavior analytics company, Cuberon.
Rastogi and Gattani spoke online several times before marrying in 2009. It was an arranged marriage, and according to Rastogi, the abuse began almost immediately.
“He hit me, multiple times during each incident on my face, arms, head, belly, pulled my hair and abused me and called me a bitch, whore, slut, bastard and much more in my language.”
Rastogi told the judge that towards the end of the marriage, she was so brainwashed that she followed Gattani’s instructions and admitted she was a “disgrace to him and the family we built and that if he was in my place, he would commit suicide out of shame, in other words telling me to commit suicide.”
In 2013, Gattani faced his first charge when a postal worker saw him dragging Gattani out of their Sunnvale, California, home, while punching her. His charges were eventually dropped to a misdemeanor after Rastogi told the judge that a felony could jeopardize his career in California and force him back to India. Ironically, the incident was used as evidence in his latest trial, along with recordings that Rastogi made in 2016 while Gattani beat her again.
The first recording, captured on Rastogi’s iPhone, Gattani is heard repeatedly punching her while ridiculing her over a software bug after she couldn’t open content on a webpage. As he hit her, Gattani questioned why she would “keep that link” or “remove it.” In another recorded conversation by Rastogi, Gattani is heard pressuring her to resign from her job.
“Even if it takes the entire day, whether it’s fighting, pushing you around snatching your phone. Or whatever,” Gattani said on the recording.
On yet another recording, Gattani told his estranged wife that he wanted to see her murdered and “stabbed 45 times.”
Despite the evidence, assistant district attorney Steve Fein reached a plea agreement with Gattani’s laywer.
During sentencing, Judge Allison Danner was not in court. A substitute judge, Rodney Stafford, reportedly surprised by the evidence, put off sentencing until Danner returned from vacation. Rastogi expressed her disappointment, not only with her estranged husband’s abuse, but also with the court system for giving him light charges.
“I feel fooled not just by a convicted criminal, aggressor, wife beater, batterer, that I unfortunately married – the worst mistake of my life – but by this court as well. With all due respect to the system… I stand fooled, disgraced and ridiculed as a victim.”
[Feature Photo: LinkedIn/Facebook]