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Court upholds probation revocation for Silicon Valley mogul

Gurbaksh Chahal
The Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A California appeals court upheld a judge’s decision to revoke probation for a Silicon Valley internet mogul who made $300 million at age 25 and appeared on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” before pleading guilty years later to domestic violence.

A division of the 1st District Court of Appeal in San Francisco on Thursday rejected claims by Gurbaksh Chahal that the judge made numerous errors.

An email message seeking comment to an attorney for Chahal was not immediately returned.

Chahal made $300 million in 2007 when he sold his digital advertising company to Yahoo.

A year later, he appeared on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in a segment that highlighted his success and promoted him as a highly eligible bachelor.

He pleaded guilty in April 2014 to misdemeanor domestic violence charges after prosecutors said surveillance footage from his San Francisco penthouse showed him punching and kicking his girlfriend more than 100 times and trying to smother her with a pillow.

Prosecutors say he violated his probation by attacking a second girlfriend, and San Francisco Superior Court Judge Tracie Brown ruled in their favor in 2016.

Although she sentenced Chahal to a year in jail, he did not immediately begin serving the sentence because the judge allowed him to appeal.

Chahal argued Brown was wrong to consider the surveillance footage of the first attack when deciding whether to revoke his probation.

The footage has not been played in court or made public, and had previously been deemed inadmissible on the grounds that it was improperly obtained.

The state appeals court rejected that argument. It also rejected Chahal’s claim that prosecutors did not do enough to get his second accuser to testify at his parole revocation hearing.

The woman left for South Korea and declined to cooperate with prosecutors, according to court documents.

None of Chahal’s arguments had “merit,” the appeals court said.

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This story has been corrected to reflect that the judge revoked probation, not parole.

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