Indian-Origin CEO Who Beat Wife Could Do Just Month In Jail: Report

Indian-Origin CEO Who Beat Wife Could Do Just Month In Jail: Report

Abhishek Gattani, who abused and assaulted his wife Neha Rastogi, could serve less than a month in jail

Washington: An Indian-origin CEO of a Silicon Valley start-up who is accused of domestic abuse by his wife may end up serving less than just a month in jail after he was offered a plea deal, according to a US media report.

Neha Rastogi, 36, who worked with Apple, says her husband of 10 years, Abhishek Gattani, abused her during their 10-year marriage. In May last year, she allegedly recorded an incident of assault on her iphone. "You begin to hear the repeated thwacks in the presence of their then 2-year-old daughter," said The Daily Beast.

Mr Gattani, 38, pleaded "no contest" to beating his wife and was offered a plea deal last week in a California court that will probably allow him to serve less than a month in jail, The Daily Beast reported.

He pleaded no contest when Ms Rastogi approached the police. His charge was then reduced from felony assault to felony accessory, with an accompanying misdemeanour of "offensive 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 Mr 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, doing manual labour for eight-hour shifts on weekends.

Ms Rastogi allegedly offered no objection when he provided her with the details of the deal, said the government lawyer.

But Ms Rastogi, who is presently separated and in the process of divorcing Mr Gattani, read a statement in court last week that allegedly declared herself doubly victimised by her husband and by the criminal justice system.

"Offensive 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," Ms Rastogi was quoted as saying by the Daily Beast report.

Mr Gattani is the co-founder and CEO of a customer behaviour analytics company founded in 2015 in California.

In 2013, Mr Gattani was charged with felony assault, which was later reduced to a misdemeanour after Mr Rastogi told the judge that a felony could jeopardise his career in California and force him back to India. At the time, she reportedly hoped to make her marriage work.
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