On Friday in San Francisco, a Superior Court judge sentenced tech entrepreneur Gurbaksh Chahal, 34, to 12 months in county jail for a pattern of domestic violence against his girlfriends.
Chahal, who was found guilty of violating his probation with another assault which took place in his San Francisco penthouse, had to relinquish his passports. He was also outed from his own company, Gravity4, at the end of July. His sister Kamal Kaur succeeded him as CEO of the company.
Bloomberg journalist Ellen Huet tweeted that Judge Tracie Brown granted a stay pending an appeal from Chahal's attorney, James Lassart. Brown reportedly set bail at $250,000.
Judge grants stay of sentence pending appeal from Chahal attorney James Lassart. Lassart confirms he plans to appeal. Bail $250k.— Ellen Huet (@ellenhuet) August 12, 2016
Chahal was not taken into custody Friday after the ruling.
Gurbaksh Chahal, a 34-year-old tech mogul from Punjab, India, has several charges of domestic violence under his belt, but has evaded prison time until now. Considering the fact that he’s violated probation as well as faced several wrongful termination lawsuits, it’s likely that he will get prison time this time around. He is expected to be sentenced this week.
In 2014, a judge fined Chahal a mere $500 for beating up his girlfriend. If the surveillance video from 2013 serves him justice, Chahal could face up to two years in prison.
A home security camera captured Chahal kicking his girlfriend 117 times in 30 minutes and smothering her face with a pillow for 20 seconds. In August 2013, he was charged with 47 felony accounts including possession of a deadly weapon, which in this case was a pillow.
According to Anh Nguyen, a San Francisco police officer who testified at Chahal’s preliminary hearing, “She stated she was unable to breathe. She stated that he said, ‘I’m going to kill you’ four times. She stated she was in fear for her life.”
However, the judge at the time dismissed these felony charges since the video was obtained without a warrant. Instead, Chahal was charged with two misdemeanors, receiving probation, 25 hours of community service and the $500 fine. Of the punishment, he reportedly remarked, “A traffic ticket.”
But, while on probation and in the middle of taking a mandatory 52-week class on domestic violence prevention, he was accused of yet another assault by a different girlfriend, who also dialed 911 from his penthouse.
Beverly Upton, executive director of the San Francisco Domestic Violence Consortium, said of the assault that is was the “same room, same bed, just no security camera that we know of.”
As with the first incident, the alleged victim was conveniently unable to be a witness in court. According to court papers, she returned to her native South Korea after Chahal threatened to turn her in to border patrol for immigration fraud.
However, the judge ruled that the district attorney could use the video from the first assault case to establish evidence that the second incident was similar.
It appears that Chahal, once named “America’s Most Eligible Bachelor” by the television show “Extra!,” may be finally indicted for his crimes. His court date is this Friday.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Wikimedia Commons