Sunday, Nov 23, 2014

Indian-origin tech mogul Gurbaksh Chahal beats girlfriend 117 times, ducks jail

Press Trust of India | Los Angeles | Posted: April 26, 2014 12:00 pm | Updated: April 26, 2014 12:01 pm

Indian-origin internet advertising mogul Gurbaksh Chahal has escaped jail despite beating and kicking his girlfriend 117 times, according to a media report.

Chahal, 31, pleaded misdemeanor, domestic violence and battery charges last week, dodging 45 felony counts for the videotaped 30-minute beating of his girlfriend, The Huffington Post reported.

The CEO of RadiumOne – a Silicon Valley company that focusses on real-time advertising across web, mobile and Facebook – faces no jail time.

Chahal was sentenced to three years’ probation, 52 weeks in a domestic violence training programme and 25 hours of community service.

The Internet mogul was arrested in August last year after police responded to a 911 domestic violence call at his San Francisco penthouse apartment.

His girlfriend told the officers that she was unable to breathe and that Chahal had told her four times, “I’m going to kill you,” a police officer said, adding: “She stated she was in fear for her life.”

Home security footage reportedly showed Chahal beating and kicking his girlfriend 117 times during the 30-minute attack. Prosecutors said Chahal lashed out at his girlfriend after learning that she had cheated on him during a trip to Las Vegas, according to court documents.

Soon after Chahal posted his USD 1 million bail and hired former federal prosecutor James Lassart as his attorney, his girlfriend stopped cooperating with the investigation and refused to testify against him.

During a preliminary hearing, Lassart did not deny that Chahal repeatedly beat his girlfriend, but insisted the physical damage was overblown.

In a crippling blow to the prosecution, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Brendan Conroy ruled the surveillance video could not be used as evidence because police seized it illegally from Chahal’s apartment. The prosecution argued it likely would have been erased if police had waited for a warrant.

Alex Bastian, spokesman with the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, issued a statement after the guilty plea yesterday, saying: “We disagree with the judge’s suppression of the video. The judge’s ruling substantially weakened the evidence we had for prosecution.”

Chahal, once named one of America’s “most eligible bachelors” by ExtraTV, managed to advance his online- advertising network into its final stages for an initial public stock offering despite his arrest. He also secured a new partnership with publisher Conde Nast in April.

Chahal sold his first online-ad network at the age of 16 for USD 20.5 million in stock. Seven years later, he sold another company he founded to Yahoo for USD 300 million.

He authored a book about himself in 2009 titled ‘The Dream: How I Learned the Risks and Rewards of Entrepreneurship and Made Millions’.

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