Nitin Khanna — one of Oregon's most active tech investors and software entrepreneurs — has reached a settlement in a civil suit filed against him by a woman who alleges that he brutally raped her in 2012. According to her accusations, the rape took place in the early morning hours on the day of his wedding, where she was contracted do do hair and makeup for the bridal party.
The victim filed a civil lawsuit on January 6, seeking $2.85 million in damages. On a crowd-funding page set up in order to help cover her hefty legal fees, she alleges that she was drugged, raped and sodomized. (Khann's lawyer vehemently denied the allegations.) According to her account, she remained at the wedding after the attack because she was aware that Khanna — who was never named on the crowd-funding page — is extremely powerful, and she was afraid that he'd sue her for breach of contract if she left. She also feared that one of his family members would hurt her.
In early 2013, she attempted to bring criminal charges against Khanna but county prosecutors declined to charge him. Her description of their shoddy, completely mishandled "investigation" is pretty fucking damning:
They did not treat me very well and did not do much of an investigation. Detective Ryan Simmons asked me questions like "Do you have any pictures of you on you're phone having sex with other people?" I said "No! Of course not!" or "what if he had been nicer to you, would you really be this upset?" "what were you wearing, were you drinking? were you dancing? Were you flirting? Have you ever dated any of his friends or sent them sexy pictures?"... They made me feel like it was my fault, when it was extremely difficult to do a 3 hour recorded statement alone in a room with a male stranger, describing every graphic detail.
Police found DNA from Khanna's semen on the dress that the alleged victim was wearing that night, and logs tracking the hotel door locks are consistent with the victim's account. However, the police department cited "insufficient evidence to disprove defenses that are anticipated" as a reason for declining to prosecute. In the memo in which the department announced they wouldn't be pursuing the cause, it was also noted that the victim had consensual sex with someone else the following night — seemingly implying that that discredits her accusation. Because, as we all know, if a woman flirts or drinks or has sex ever, then she must want sex from everyone at all times.
Her lawyer, Scott Upham, thinks that the district attorney's reluctance to prosecute the criminal case had something to do with the fact that the accused rapist is wealthy and well-regarded: "They want mathematical certainty in these high-profile, rich-and-famous politician and celebrity cases. They don't want to lose because it looks bad in the press." And now that the parties have settled out of court, it looks like everyone's avoided bad press to the best of their ability — with the exception of the victim, of course, who claims that Khanna has damaged her business by spreading rumors that she has a history of falsely accusing men of rape and then extorting them.
According to a statement from Khanna's lawyer: "The parties have settled this dispute. The terms of the settlement are confidential and reflect both parties' desire to put this issue behind them and move forward."
Image via YouTube.