Leaving the courthouse last Friday, 33-year-old advertising technology mogul Gurbaksh "G" Chahal was surrounded by family and bodyguards, shielding his appearance from the eye of the media, as ABC 7 nonetheless reported. Also, his appearance in the courtroom was "stonefaced," according to the Examiner.
The occasion was a hearing on a motion to revoke Chahal's probation. While accusations that Chahal, who once faced felony charges of domestic assault, had abused another woman news that leaked nearly a year ago they've finally been brought to court by prosecutors. Chahal could face jail time — something he has heretofore avoided — if his probation is revoked.
Three years ago, that probation was a godsend for Chahal, who nonetheless lost control of (if not stake in) his company, RadiumOne, just before a planned IPO. The founder and CEO rose to fame after selling two companies for a total of $340 million before his 25th birthday, success coupled with good looks that lead to appearances on Oprah and beyond.
Then, in 2013, Chahal was arrested on 45 felony counts of domestic abuse. Video from his San Francisco penthouse allegedly showed him hitting and kicking his then-girlfriend 117 times in a brief window of time. Only, that evidence was later deemed unlawfully seized and inadmissible. Thus, in 2014, Chahal plead guilty to just two misdemeanor charges, skirting jail time with a domestic violence program, community service, and three years probation.
Some time later, in 2015, former mayor and practicing attorney Willie Brown admitted to counseling Chahal for a steep fee. While Brown disputed that the sum was, as had been speculated, a million dollars, he won''t argue that it was after his involvement in the matter that the key video was deemed inadmissible.
That likely swayed the case, and with it, Chahal's fate. "Had the video been allowed as evidence with 117 slaps and kicks, I think we'd be in a different place," ABC7 quotes Beverly Upton, executive director of the San Francisco Domestic Violence Consortium.
Then, accusations that Chahal beat another woman, one he met in Las Vegas during his initial trial, surfaced last year. That woman, whose full name is not known to the media, says he kicked her repeatedly in his South Beach apartment: Now, prosecutors say Chahal's probation should be revoked as a result.
A non-US citizen, the alleged victim has expressed concern about her immigration status as well as her safety, and was not present at the hearing. “She told me Mr. Chahal told her not to report the incident otherwise he would report her to the immigration authorities,” an SFPD officer who spoke with the alleged victim when she called 911 told the court.
Meanwhile, as Chahal fights to remain a free man, he's decided to take on a new tactic: Accusing District Attorney George Gascon of racism. As Chahal walked by, according to KRON 4, nearly 20 supporters were outside the Hall of Justice, holding signs that made similar claims.
“Gascon has a hidden agenda, and that hidden agenda is that he’s prejudice,” said one protestor who also claimed he had ’d never met Chahal. “It appears [Gascon] is making a scapegoat out of Gurbaksh Chahal for his own political wishes.” The Examiner also writes also writes that Chahal's father held signs that read “Stop prejudice against minorities” and “Stop using Gurbaksh for political ambitions.” "
Further, SF Weekly speculates that Chahal himself is behind a broader campaign accusing Gascon of racism. Posts from the active Facebook figure show a mix of anti-Gascon sentiment and self-praise. Observe:
In the years since the first trial, Chahal has launched another company, a similar endeavor to RadiumOne called Gravity4. Incidentally, that company was slammed with a gender discrimination lawsuit, one brought by a former staffer who says she was harassed and spied upon. Later, she says she was told disparagingly that she was only hired to rehab Chahal's tarnished image.
Proceedings in Chahal's new case will continue in May.