Home / Silicon Valley / Wife decries Silicon Valley tech exec’s lenient domestic-violence plea deal – The Mercury News

Wife decries Silicon Valley tech exec’s lenient domestic-violence plea deal – The Mercury News

PALO ALTO — Wealth, privilege and justice for women have once again collided at a courthouse in the heart of Silicon Valley, where the wife of a tech executive accused of beating her is furious at prosecutors for handing him a lenient plea deal.

Like “Emily Doe,” whose speech decrying Stanford student athlete Brock Turner’s light sentence for sexual assault became a viral rallying cry against “rape culture,” Neha Rastogi’s statement about her husband’s plea deal has drawn sympathy. Supporters see her as the latest victim of a justice system that trivializes violence against women, particularly in wealthy Palo Alto.

“Her experience was completely dismissed by our justice system,” said Esther Peralez-Dieckmann, executive director of Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence.

But others say there is often a sharp difference between the message advocates may want to send and the outcome the justice system can produce in a given case. Teresa Garvey, a retired domestic violence prosecutor at AEquitas, a Washington-based organization that offers training to prosecutors who handle cases of sexual and domestic violence, said “victims don’t always understand the strictures and rules of evidence.”

“The victim’s wishes are just one of many factors,” Garvey said.


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