Cuberon co-founder Abhishek Gattani, 38, will have his felony assault charge against his wife reduced to a felony accessory after the fact – with an accompanying misdemeanor of ‘offensive touching’
A Silicon Valley CEO has been allowed to plead no contest to abusing his former Apple engineer wife over their 10-year marriage, despite her providing audio evidence of him beating and verbally abusing her.
The plea agreement means Cuberon co-founder Abhishek Gattani, 38, will have his felony assault charge reduced to avoid the risk of him being deported back to his native India, the Daily Beast reports.
His estranged wife Neha Rastogi, 36, read a harrowing victim impact statement during Gattani’s scheduled sentencing last week at the Santa Clara Supreme Court urging the judge, who is currently on vacation, to rethink the punishment.
Gattani’s reduced charge of felony accessory after the fact – with an accompanying misdemeanor of ‘offensive touching’ – means he will likely only spend 30 days in prison and could have the felony removed from his record under the terms of the plea deal.
Rastogi, who used to work at Apple helping to develop products like iPhones, started secretly recording the abuse on May 17, 2016.
In one six minute recording, Gattani can be heard verbally berating his wife before he starts hitting her as they discussed software bugs.
‘We are talking about a bug, what is a bug… NEHA… Rastogi?’ he asks.
His estranged wife Neha Rastogi, 36, read a harrowing victim impact statement during Gattani’s scheduled sentencing last week
‘No, no, no. 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? Then control yourself.’
At one point in the video, Rastogi can be heard begging for him to stop hitting her.
‘Abhishek, please don’t hit me more,’ she said. ‘I am just trying to be more critical over here. I am just trying to question this… Please don’t do this, please don’t do this. Please don’t do this. Please don’t do this. Please don’t do this.’
In another recording on June 14, 2016 Rastogi can be heard asking him: ‘You are telling me that you are at the brink of cutting my throat and killing me?’
‘Yeah I would like to see you murdered,’ he says. ‘And I am not kidding. If you can’t believe me I can swear on anyone’s life.’
Rastogi then took the recordings and several photos of her injuries to police and Gattani was arrested for his second domestic violence charge. He was previously charged with felony assault in 2013 after a postal worker saw him beating his wife on the street. The charge was reduced at Rastogi’s request.
The pair wed in an arranged marriage in 2009 and they have a 3-year-old daughter.
Santa Clara Supreme Court (above) Judge Allison Marston Danner who presided over the case was not present for Gattani’s sentencing last Thursday. The judge filling in for her, Rodney Stafford, postponed the sentencing so Danner could hear details of the victim statement
She read her victim impact statement to the court on Thursday after Judge Allison Marston Danner scheduled Gattani’s sentencing for a day she was away.
But the judge filling in for her, Rodney Stafford, postponed Gattani’s sentencing until May saying he didn’t know how the negotiations for the plea deal were made.
He added that Judge Danner may not have known some of the more harrowing details included in Rastogi’s ‘powerful’ victim statement.
Rastogi told the court she had been abused by Gattani for the entire duration of their decade-long marriage. She said she had been silenced during her marriage and the court proceedings were her only chance to speak out.
She made clear her outrage at the reduced charge, including a misdemeanor of ‘offensive touching’.
‘Please explain to 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 6 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 9 times by her husband until she agrees to everything he is saying and then gets hit again for not agreeing with it sooner…?’, she said.
Rastogi said she called the abuse 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.’