As of late, there has been an overabundance of news coverage regarding controversial issues like domestic violence, immigration and decisions made by the criminal justice system. These stories have sparked debates from spectators that fall in all areas of the political spectrum. One standout case in particular, that conflates each of these national conversations into one, has made headlines for its distinctiveness and complexity. And it has raised questions of the implications in domestic violence cases involving immigrants.
Silicon Valley couple Neha Rastogi and Abhishek Gattani seemed to be leading a happy life. The Indian American couple ended up together through an arranged marriage - a decision Rastogi felt deeply connected her with her Indian culture. They both have relatively successful careers. Rastogi, a top engineer at Apple, at one time worked alongside Steve Jobs himself, while her husband was the CEO of Cuberon, a customer behavior analytics company. Although things seemed well, their relationship was far from perfect. A few months into their marriage, Rastogi began to notice her husband's deep rooted issues with anger. Gattani would become infuriated over small matters, like sold out movie tickets, and proceeded to take his frustrations out on his wife through verbal insults. Rastogi claims the verbal abuse got so bad he rarely called her by her actual name, replacing it with vile words like “slut” or “whore." It wasn't long until this anger escalated into physical violence.
Over the course of the couple's ten years of marriage, Gattani was arrested twice for assaulting his wife. In 2013, the year their only child was born, the authorities were alerted by a postal worker who witnessed Gattani punching Rastogi outside of their home. He was arrested and soon bailed out by his wife, who desperately hoped the time spent in jail would serve as a wake up call for her husband. But Gattani's arrest had an adverse effect on his behavior. The abuse gradually got worse.
During the second instance on May 17, 2016, she decided to record one of his escapades for evidence. The video contains Gattani lecturing her about software issues. In between phrases, nine loud slaps coupled with sounds of his wife sobbing and pleading, “please don't do this,” can be heard on the video. Gattani can also be heard saying "I would like to see you murdered." Rastogi claims this was one of her husband's mild outbursts. She also admits he beat her while she was pregnant.
According to the Huffington post, Gattani is awaiting sentencing for this incident. He has pleaded no contest to felony assault charges, and prosecutors have offered him a plea deal of merely 30 days behind bars. District Attorney Jeff Rosen claims he “seeks to avoid deportations” and as a result, Gattani's charges have been reduced from a felony assault to “misdemeanour offensive touching.” Outraged, Rastogi read aloud a statement in court declaring herself “doubly victimized by her husband and the criminal justice system.” She claims the charges were “insulting.”
Gattani's case has caused spectators to question how race, gender and immigration dynamics will play a role in his conviction. He is expected in court on May 18 for sentencing.
If you are facing domestic violence charges in the Seattle area, contact the Law Offices of Steve Karimi for a free consultation.