HILLSBOROUGH (CBS SF) – A former tech company CEO pleaded not guilty Wednesday to multiple felony charges after he allegedly attacked and tried to sexually assault his toddler son in Hillsborough last month while possibly being under the influence of LSD, prosecutors said.
Zainali Jaffer, 29, former CEO of the mobile advertising company Vungle, was arrested at about 4 a.m. on Oct. 15 at his home in the 1000 block of Lancaster Road, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office.
Jaffer’s father had initially called police and told them that his son punched him in the face and also punched his 3-year-old and 1-year-old sons, prosecutors said.
When officers arrived, they found Jaffer naked and on top of his 3-year-old son, trying to force his son’s face on his genitals, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said last month after charges were filed in the case.
Officers had to use a Taser stun gun to try to subdue Jaffer, who allegedly resisted and spat at an officer. Wagstaffe said Jaffer may have been under the influence of LSD.
The two children suffered cuts and bruises but no fractures.
Officials at San Francisco-based Vungle fired Jaffer after learning of the allegations.
A post on the company’s Facebook page by new CEO Rick Tallman said, “We are aware of the extremely serious allegations leveled against our former CEO, and we are shocked beyond words. While these charges are completely unrelated to his former role at the company, they are obviously so serious that it led to his immediate removal.”
Tallman added, “The actions of one individual are in no way reflective of the almost 200 dedicated and hard-working people who work for Vungle. Everyone at the company is appalled and deeply saddened by these events.”
Jaffer’s charges include attempted oral copulation on a child younger than 10 years old, lewd act on a child by force, felony assault, felony child abuse, battery on a police officer and resisting arrest.
He is out of custody on $300,000 and will return to court for a preliminary hearing on Dec. 15, prosecutors said.
Jaffer’s defense attorney Daniel Olmos declined to comment following his initial court appearance last month.