Indian-origin Silicon Valley CEO gets one month jail term for beating wife

Abhishek Gattani, an Indian-origin Silicon Valley CEO accused of beating his wife, Neha Rastogi, for several years, may end up serving less than a month in jail after he was offered a plea deal, according to a US media report.

Gattani, 38, who pleaded “no contest” to beating his wife, 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, reports said.

In the nearly six-minute-long video that former Apple executive Rastogi recorded on May 17 last year, one could hear repeated thwacks in the presence of their then two-year-old daughter.

Abhishek Gattani (right) and his wife Neha Rastogi.
Abhishek Gattani (right) and his wife Neha Rastogi.

He pleaded no contest when Rastogi, 36, 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.

“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 daughters,” Rastogi was quoted as saying by the report.

Steve Fein, the prosecuting Assistant District Attorney has 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.

Abhishek Gattani wife Neha Rastogi.
Abhishek Gattani. Photo courtesy:

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 he 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 week, declared herself doubly victimised by her husband and by the criminal justice system, the report said.

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.