Rape charge dismissed against former Microsoft programmer
Cleared of a second-degree rape charge, a programmer fired after what he said was consensual sex with a female janitor on Microsoft’s Redmond campus now seeks a fresh start.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Former Microsoft programmer Vineet Kumar Srivastav is beginning to rebuild his life after rape charges that cost him his job last year were recently dismissed, his attorney says.
Srivastav, 37, was arrested July 26, 2013, four days after he was accused of raping a female janitor inside his office on Microsoft’s Redmond campus. Srivastava maintains that the sex was consensual, his attorney Todd Maybrown said.
“My client is now forever scarred by this case,” Maybrown said. “In the end justice won out, but that doesn’t erase the damage.”
Srivastava was fired from Microsoft after the accusation. He faced a potential sentence of life in prison for the charge of second-degree rape and feared deportation to his native county of India, Maybrown said.
Maybrown credits King County prosecutors with clearing Srivastava’s name.
“They did the right thing and made sure that he found justice,” Maybrown said.
A notice of dismissal of the charges was filed by the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office July 3. The dismissal indicates “evidentiary considerations not known at the time of filing” as the reason for the case’s dismissal. The document stated that the dismissal was “in the interests of justice.”
Dan Donohoe, spokesman for the prosecutor’s office, declined to comment on the reasons for the dismissal.
According to charging documents, the janitor was cleaning the third-floor kitchen in Building No. 27 around 11 p.m. July 22 when Srivastava approached her and motioned for her to follow him down the hall to his office. She grabbed her cleaning supplies and followed him, “assuming he needed something clean(ed) in his office,” the papers say.
Once inside the office, Srivastava grabbed the woman’s breasts and buttocks, showed her pornographic videos on his cellphone, then slammed her to the floor and raped her, charging papers say. The woman screamed and struggled to get away, then lay on the floor crying while Srivastava left the office to dispose of the condom he wore during the attack, according to the papers.
Redmond police said Srivastava claimed the woman forced him to have sex, saying he was “afraid of her,” and had retrieved a condom from his car, then reluctantly returned to his office because he “felt like he had no choice,” charging papers say.
“He said he should have been stronger but was missing his wife who has been in India” for two weeks, according to the charges.
One contributing factor to the dismissal of charges was that the 33-year-old woman made accusations against another man in 2011 that were deemed false by investigators, according to Maybrown.
In that case the woman denied having a relationship with the accused man, whom she had been dating for 3½ years, Maybrown said.
The woman stood by her claims that she was assaulted in that case, according to Maybrown.
Another fact that contributed to the dismissal of the charges was that Srivastava left the office to go to his car during the time of the alleged rape, according to Maybrown.
“That fact undermines that there was an assault,” Maybrown said.
Srivastava’s passport was held for the 11-month investigation into the case, Maybrown said, which kept him from visiting his seriously ill father in India.
He has not been rehired by Microsoft and is presently living in the U.S. and seeking employment, according to Maybrown.
“This is something that my client will never be able to forget,” Maybrown said. “It changed his life.”
Erin Heffernan: 206-464-3249 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Information from Seattle Times archives is included in this story.