Domestic Violence is Never a NON VIOLENT Crime (Justice for Neha Rastogi)!
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People vs. Abhishek Gattani (Case No. B1687324, Santa Clara Superior Court, California).
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, between 2009 and 2011, while other types of homicides decreased, domestic violence fatalities in California increased by 11%. Domestic violence homicides comprise 11.8% of all California homicides. Please do not let Neha Rastogi become a part of these statistics.
Abhishek Gattani was reported to law enforcement authorities in July 2016 after perpetrating over ten years of physical, verbal, and emotional abuse on Neha Rastogi. Their minor daughter became witness to the physical and emotional violence perpetrated by her father upon her mother. Abhishek Gattani is a repeat domestic violence offender; the court has already given him one opportunity to seek help and modify his abusive behavior and yet HE has made the choice to not do so.
While Abhishek Gattani has pleaded “no contest” to the abuse charges and accepted the plea agreement purposed by the District Attorney, as a community we urge the court to find this agreement to be unconscionable. The District Attorney has charged Abhishek Gattani with a NON VIOLENT felony (accessory after the fact) and a misdemeanor offensive touching. Please do not send the message that domestic violence is a NON VIOLENT crime. The recommendation by the plea agreement is that Abhishek Gattani will serve a sentence consisting of 30 days in jail, and 5 months in a weekend work program, which includes a mandatory 52-week batterers intervention program course (required by California law). This is outrageous in the face of the documented abuse Neha Rastogi has endured.
We urge the court to review Neha Rastogi’s victim impact statement and sentence Abhishek Gattani without deference to his immigration status. Contrary to assertions made by the District Attorney, Neha Rastogi has not consented to the terms of the current plea deal (as evidenced in her victim impact statement) and she has urged the court to recognize the abuse she has endured and sentence Abhishek Gattani accordingly. In Neha Rastogi’s victim impact statement, she states, Abhishek Gattani has “started to threaten to kill me and when I expressed fear or feeling unsafe with him he called it “my self inflicted depression.” You have an opportunity in the case before you to save a life and send a clear message that domestic violence will not be tolerated in Santa Clara County, despite the immigration status of a domestic violence abuser. Any concerns on the part of the District Attorney’s Office about Abhishek Gattani potentially facing deportation if he were to be charged with a felony are not in the interest of justice. Neha Rastogi is the victim in this case, not Abhishek Gattani. Neha Rastogi has endured years of abuse at the hands of Gattani and their minor daughter has grown up as a witness to this abuse. The only victims in this case, are clearly Neha Rastogi and her minor daughter, not Abhishek Gattani. We urge you to protect these victims and not the immigration interests of their abuser.
As a community, we urge you to provide justice to Neha Rastogi and make our community safer by taking Abhishek Gattani, a violent domestic violence abuser, off our streets.
Victim Impact Statement of Neha Rastogi-http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2017/04/17/here-is-the-powerful-statement-a-wife-read-aloud-to-the-court-and-her-abusive-husband.html
This petition was authored with the help of Harjit Kaur, Attorney and Ensaaf's PR & Development Director
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