The brother of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer avoided a criminal trial and the risk of jail time by pleading guilty Friday in a domestic violence case, but may have cleared the way for a costly civil suit.
Mason Mayer, 33, pleaded guilty to one count of misdemeanor false imprisonment on Friday after allegedly beating, spitting upon, and threatening to kill his then-girlfriend, Kelli Ann Trent, a year ago.
He received three years of probation and must undergo counseling, according to Superior Court Judge Bruce Chan.
Mayer was arrested in November following the September 2011 attack. Trent said she delayed going to police out of fear of Mayer’s “extremely wealthy and powerful famiiy,” according to an affidavit. Mayer also threatened to release nude photographs of her, according to reports.
Mayer made no comment during his brief appearance Friday. He and his attorney, Martin Sabelli, declined to speak with reporters.
By pleading out, Mayer will not stand trial, but he has admitted “tortious misconduct,” according to Gloria Allred, the celebrity litigator retained by Trent in the case.
“Mason Mayer has brought shame upon himself, his sister, and his entire family,” Allred said via a statement. “We hope that his family will urge him to take full responsibility for that he has done and the injustice to that he forced Kelli Ann to suffer.”
Allred declined to say if Trent planed to file a civil suit, but a “tortious” offense is one that allows a party to sue in civil court.
Mayer has reportedly not worked since his sister’s first company, Google, went public in 2004. Despite this, Mayer appears to live a life of ease, with a condo in the Four Seasons at his disposal, and enough cash on hand to make generous $35,000-plus contributions to Democratic political causes.
Through a spokesman, the District Attorney’s Office declined to comment to The Appeal.
In comments to the Chronicle, however, DA spokeswoman Stephanie Ong Stillman said that the plea paragain will “allow Trent to move forward with her life and avoid the stress of a trial.”
Domestic violence victim’s advocates did not respond to requests for comment on Friday.
Politically-minded observers will note that the deal is similar to the one offered by the District Attorney to suspended Sheriff Mirkarimi. Mirkarimi also pleaded out to misdemeanor false imprisonment (though he was never charged with felonies, and he was never alleged to have threatened to kill anyone, either). Look for this case to be referenced more than once as the Board of Supervisors prepares to vote on the sheriff’s fate.
“Anyone who has doubted that the case against the Sheriff is politically-motivated need only look at the Mayer case to put that matter to rest once and for all,” attorney David Waggoner, one of Mirkarimi’s two counsels, told The Appeal.
“If this isn’t fucked up beyond belief, I don’t know what is.”