Gurbaksh Chahal, CEO and founder of marketing company RadiumOne, was fired Saturday night after a scandal involving felony charges of domestic abuse toward his girlfriend.
Though cameras caught him reportedly striking her 117 times over 30 minutes, Chahal’s final sentence included only 25 hours of community service.
The criminal complaint includes charges that he hit [girlfriend Juliet Kakish] in the head and body repeatedly, covered her mouth and obstructed her breathing, and threatened to kill her.
Footage of the brutal attack was caught on a home surveillance system. Armed with the tapes, prosecutors eventually brought 45 felony counts against him of assault and domestic abuse.
However, Chahal wound up pleading guilty to only two much less serious misdemeanor charges of battery and domestic violence battery and accepted a sentence involving three years probration, 25 hours of community service, and a domestic violence training course.
The felony charges were jettisoned, reportedly, because the video footage to support them was ruled inadmissible.
Chahal’s defense attorneys argued before the court that the footage was seized illegally, a measure prosecutors claimed was necessary to prevent Chahal’s erasing the tapes. The victim’s later refusal to cooperate with prosecutors further weakened their case: “After initially calling 911 and talking to police, Kakish ended her cooperation with authorities for reasons that remain unclear.”
Chahal admitted on his blog in a post titled “Can You Handle the Truth?” that his temper “got the better” of him because he found out his girlfriend “was having unprotected sex for money with other people.” However, he defended his actions by stating that “there is a difference between temper and domestic violence” and that the video footage that was ultimately ruled inadmissible was “bullshit” that “made the SFPD look bad because they violently assaulted me as I opened my door despite my being fully cooperative.”
Chahal stated in the post:
I was charged with 45 felony counts of domestic violence. All of those charges were dropped, and ultimately the case settled when the DA’s office recognized they had no case and offered me a misdemeanor plea. I accepted that plea, because after a lot of soul searching I believed I was acting in the best interest of my company, my employees, my customers, my family, my friends and my investors.
I want you to know that this is not an excuse. I know that intimate partner violence is never excusable under any circumstances. I recognize that my temper got the better of me, and I will regret that for the rest of my life. But there is a difference between temper and domestic violence, and the truth of what actually happened is no where close to what the police claimed nor anywhere near what the online chatter and pundits are now making it out to be. And yes, I lost my temper. I understand, accept full responsibility and sincerely apologize from the bottom of my heart for that. But I didn’t hit her 117 times, injure her, or cause any trauma as the UCSF medical reports clearly document.
RadiumOne Chief Operating Officer Bill Lonergan will replace Chahal as CEO of the company.