A video of Silicon Valley princeling Gurbaksh Chahal assaulting his former girlfriend could finally land him in jail.
The video is high quality, as might be expected of a surveillance camera in the penthouse bedroom of a high-tech princeling.
The footage was so clear that San Francisco police were able to determine that Gurbaksh Chahal punched and kicked his girlfriend 117 times in 30 minutes. He also smothered her with a pillow for 20 seconds.
“She stated she was unable to breathe,” San Francisco Police Officer Anh Nguyen testified at the preliminary hearing against Chahal, as reported in the San Francisco Chronicle. “She stated that he said, ‘I’m going to kill you’ four times. She stated she was in fear for her life.”
Chahal was charged with 47 felony counts in the Aug. 5, 2013, attack, including possession of a deadly weapon, the pillow.
And it seemed certain that 31-year-old Chahal was one Silicon Valley startup star for whom IPO would now stand for Initial Prison Offering.
Never mind that Chahal had become a figure of legend by selling his first digital ad startup, ClickAgent, for $40 million when he was just 18.
Never mind that Chahal sold his second digital ad startup, BlueLithium, for $300 million four years later.
ever mind that Chahal had posed smiling beside President Barack Obama at a fundraiser just 10 months before the attack.
Never mind that Chahal now put his megabucks to work, hiring one of San Francisco’s very best defense lawyers, a former prosecutor and retired brigadier general named James Lassart.
Never mind that the girlfriend who had started it all with a call to 911 and who had told the police she had been afraid for her life suddenly ceased to cooperate with the authorities.
Never mind that Chahal had allegedly paid her as much as $4 million, as charged in a civil suit filed by a former employee.
Never mind that he arranged to pay another $1 million to a prominent political powerbroker who suggested he might be able to make the case “go away.”
The cops still had the video.
Until they didn’t.
Before Chahal even had to attempt a fix, a judge ruled that the video was inadmissible because the police had seized it improperly. The judge was not swayed by the prosecutor’s argument that the cops hadn’t had time to secure a warrant because a tech mogul could so easily erase the footage.
With no victim and no video, the district attorney’s office agreed to reduce the 47 felony charges to two misdemeanors. Chahal pleaded guilty with the understanding that he would get probation, along with 25 hours of community service and a $500 fine.
“A traffic ticket,” Chahal remarked online.
He sought to excuse himself and smear the woman by suggesting in a blog that he had only reacted as anyone might upon learning that his girlfriend had supposedly engaged in “unprotected sex for money with other people.”
“There is a difference between temper and domestic violence,” he contended.
Monday, August 8, 2016
Another Reminder of Why These Words Often Go Together
Democrat. Billionaire. Misogynist. Corrupt.