Today RadiumOne CEO Gurbaksh deleted tweets maintaining his "innocence," after pleading guilty to two misdemeanors for domestic violence and battery. During his Twitter spree last night, Chahal also denied the existence of a videotape that showed him hitting and kicking his girlfriend 117 times, which was suppressed by the judge.
In response to questions from Valleywag about the existence of the tape, Assistant District Attorney Alex Bastian said:
"We disagree with the judge's suppression of the video. The judge's ruling substantially weakened the evidence we had for prosecution. Additionally, the victim and her retained attorney have been uncooperative with the process. Though it is not the outcome we had hoped for, the case has reached a resolution where the defendant acknowledges guilt, is placed on domestic violence probation and has to take domestic violence classes."
Bastian has previously given the same statement to the San Francisco Business Times and other outlets, but it seems worth reiterating in light of his denial. As we noted yesterday, even without the video, the 45 felony counts in the criminal complaint are excruciatingly detailed. Many of them allege repeated blows to the victim's head.
This is not the first time that Chahal has attempted to spin public perception of the case. The San Francisco Appeal reported on attempts to remove mention of the case from Chahal's Wikipedia page. The blog traced it back to anonymous Wikipedia editors whose IP addresses were based in San Francisco, as well as "an account that was reportedly operated by Eileen Koch and Company, an LA based public relations firm."
Reached by telephone this week, EKCPR's founder Eileen Koch denied that Koch or her employees had made any edits to Chahal's entry recently. Koch said that it was "possible" the firm had done some work on it when Chahal was a client between September 2007 and March 2008, but said that she couldn't remember specifics.
Sam Singer of Singer and Associates, who is currently employed by Chahal as a spokesman, also denied editing the encyclopedia entry. "We don't do that," Singer told the Appeal.
Six hours after the SFAppeal published their report, the Koch and Company account in question "removed all mention of the legal battle from Chahal's page yet again."
Chahal employed Sam Singer, the spin doctor SFCitizen refers to "Master of Disaster" as far back as August, 2013, when the incident occurred. In fact, Singer emailed the Gawker tips inbox with an unsolicited statement on "overblown and misleading charges."
This must have been before Chahal hired trial lawyer James Lassart, who is also representing alleged arms dealer Leland Yee. The email calls the charges "simply wrong." The email also mentions a photograph of the victim, but not the video:
"The charges against Mr. Chahal are simply wrong. We will strongly fight and prove the allegations to be overblown," said Stuart M. Gordon of Gordon & Rees LLP, his longtime civil attorney.
Mr. Chahal's attorney noted the young woman has asked the District Attorney to withdraw the charges, filing an official affidavit of termination of investigation and presenting herself to the SFPD this week with her attorney.
"This is an example of overreaching by the DA's Office. Even before the arraignment today, the young woman voluntarily asked the charges be dropped, met with the prosecution, and provided photographic proof of an unblemished complexion to SFPD authorities, all of which demonstrate the weakness of the allegations."
"The pictures speak volumes about the case and demonstrate the claims of aggravated assault leaked to the press are simply not true," Gordon added.
The District Attorney's office would not comment on the photo. Last week, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that the victim hired CNN commentator Mark Geragos to represent her and refused to cooperate with the investigation. But according to the San Francisco Examiner, when the attack occurred she told police it was not the first incident of domestic violence at Chahal's hands.
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[Original image via Getty]