Silicon Valley CEO accused of Domestic Violence; Gets only 13 days in Prison


Apple’s former engineer, Neha Rastogi, filed a case of domestic violence against her husband, Abhishek Ghattani.  She submitted a chilling video, as an evidence of the assault being meted out to her by her husband, to the court. In the video, Ghattani, a Silicon Valley start-up CEO can be heard physically abusing and pressurising, torturing Neha for a small technical problem that she witnessed in a website.

The almost six-minute-long video, shot on Rastogi’s iPhone, gives a peek into her decade-long struggle with domestic violence.

Like all good ol’ wives, Rastogi kept giving her husband one more chance to mend his ways, but  Ghattani took it as her weakness and kept abusing her even more.

The video, posted by The Daily Beast, does not have clear visuals and gives a sense that it may have been recorded unintentionally. But, the voice over by the couple is chilling and what is even more disturbing is that all this happened in front of their two-year-old daughter.

“You don’t want to get beaten up?” “Then control yourself.”- Abhishek Ghattani to Neha Rastogi in the video 

In the video, the couple is talking about a technical error which has caused a slowdown in the number of clicks the website used to get. Rastogi suggests that it is a software bug, which gives way to Ghattani’s bad temper. Ghattani now talks down upon her and asks her the meaning of a “bug” like a school teacher.

In this process, he also calls her a “bitch” in front of their child.

“No, no, no,” he says. “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?”

By help, Ghattani means whacking his wife. He then asks her, “You don’t want to get beaten up?” “Then control yourself.”

The video is a torment to even listen to.

Back in 2013, Rastogi had filed a complaint against her husband when during an argument, Ghattani started dragging her and punching her on the streets. Ghattani was charged with felony assault, but it was brought down to misdemeanour because of Rastogi’s request.

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. -Neha Rastogi in Victim-impact speech

Rastogi’s video shows her frustration and her attempt to move ahead from the traumatic relationship. Ghattani was arrested soon after Rastogi submitted the evidence, but contended no contest.

However, Justice has not been served well in this case as Ghattani’s top charge was again reduced from felony assault to felony accessory after the fact, with an accompanying misdemeanour of “offensive touching.” The plea deal was struck between the lead prosecutor in the case, Assistant District Attorney Steve Fein and Ghattani.

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The deal evoked that Ghattani will not be deported to India and will only have to serve a minimal 13 days in jail.

Rastogi told the court that Fein did not consult her while passing the judgement and said that the plea is a mockery of her suffering.

Rastogi said. “I get heard to be ignored? To be told that the system understands the abuse and the impact it has had on our child and me, but sorry it is what it is. I was told no jail, no classes, no penalties can change Mr Gattani. Is this the faith the DA’s office and the court have in the justice being provided in this court? Is that the reason for leniency in such cases? Have we given up on justice?”

It is crucial to note that this case has been taking place in the same Santa Clara House courthouse where Brock Turner was given six months for sexual assault.

The victim-impact speech was heard by Pro-tem Judge, Rodney Stafford, because the presiding judge, Allison Marston Danner, was absent. Stafford decided that it would be best to delay the sentencing until May 18, after Danner had returned.

Picture Credit- News India Times