SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — Pressure is mounting on a Santa Clara County judge to give a former Silicon Valley CEO a harsher sentence in a domestic violence case.
Abishek Gattani, former CEO of the startup Cuberon, could spend just two weeks in jail for beating his wife for more than a decade.
The case has sent shockwaves through the community.
On Monday, Judge Allison Danner decided to delay sentencing from May to June to give her more time to look over the evidence.
In the videos recorded by the victim and obtained by the Daily Beast, you can hear what she claims is her husband yelling and hitting her.
“Don’t do this, please don’t do this,” a woman cries.
“Tell me!” a man yells.
“Please don’t do this,” the woman pleads.
Gattani received a plea deal of just 15 days in jail. He also avoided deportation back to his native India. It’s the second time he’s been convicted in a domestic violence case.
“All eyes are on the justice system when a case becomes high profile,” says Esther Peralez-Dieckmann, executive director of Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence in San Jose.
She says Judge Danner is in the spotlight as she decides whether to hand down a harsher sentence. Judge Danner, by the way, is being considered for state appellate judgeship this year.
“We have to really pay attention to when we sentence,” says Peralez-Dieckmann, “Are we actually going lighter in this case and why is that?”
According to the victim, Neha Rastogi, her husband got a plea deal based on his privileged status.
In a letter she wrote to the judge she said:
“I feel wronged by the DA’s office and this court. I stand fooled, disgraced and ridiculed as a victim. What I suffered at Abhishek’s hands has become insignificant in favor of considerations of Abhishek’s job, immigration status.”
“Sometimes the perpetrator doesn’t look the part,” said Tanis Crosby, CEO of YWCA Silicon Valley. “It could be a person of privilege, a celebrity an athlete.”
Rastogi is a former Apple executive herself.
The couple has a high profile in the community. Now they are at the center of a high-profile case.
“In a case like this where all eyes and the public scrutiny is so high, we have to get it right,” says Peralez-Dieckmann.
Gattani’s attorney did not want to speak on camera, but he claimed that many allegations included in Rastogi’s impact letter to the judge could not be supported.
The Santa Clara County District Attorney also declined an on-camera interview, but sent KPIX 5 a memo saying Gattani’s immigration status was just one factor considered in the case and the office stands by the plea agreement.