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San Francisco sheriff sentenced to three years' probation

March 19, 2012 | 12:08 pm

San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi was sentenced Monday to three years of probation in a domestic-violence case involving his wife, a former Venezuelan telenovela star
San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi was sentenced Monday to three years of probation in a domestic-violence case involving his wife, a former Venezuelan telenovela star.

Mirkarimi was also sentenced to one day in jail, for which he was given credit for time served. He will be required to complete 100 hours of community service and 52 weeks of domestic violence counseling. In addition, he has to pay fines and fees of nearly $600.

After the hearing in a San Francisco courtroom, Mirkarimi expressed remorse for his actions.

"I deeply and humbly apologize for my behavior and the pain it caused my wife and son," a tearful Mirkarimi said outside Department 23. He also apologized to his colleagues, to the Sheriff's Department and to the people of San Francisco.

Mirkarimi pleaded guilty last week to false imprisonment in the case. The plea came after a higher court ruled that jurors could see a video of Mirkarimi's wife, Eliana Lopez, made shortly after the incident.

Mirkarimi earlier was charged with three misdemeanors and could have been sentenced to a year in jail if convicted. Those charges were dropped as part of a plea deal.

The saga began New Year's Eve, when Mirkarimi, his wife and their 2-year-old son, Theo, went out for lunch, court documents said. En route to the restaurant, according to Mirkarimi's arrest warrant, Lopez asked if she could visit her family in Venezuela after her husband's Jan. 8 inauguration.

In response, Mirkarimi began screaming obscenities, accusing Lopez of "trying to take Theo away from me." He turned the car around, told his wife she "didn't deserve to eat" and drove home, court documents said.

"The fight continued and became louder, and Ross Mirkarimi continued to be verbally abusive and physically abusive," the arrest warrant said. The incident was reported to involve "pushing, pulling and grabbing."

On New Year's Day, court documents said, Lopez knocked on her neighbor's door, went inside and burst into tears. According to the neighbor, Lopez pushed up her sleeve to reveal a large bruise on her right arm and said it happened when Mirkarimi grabbed her. The neighbor pulled out a video camera and shot about 55 seconds of footage showing a distraught Lopez.

ALSO:

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San Francisco sheriff takes plea deal in domestic violence case

S.F. sheriff pleads guilty to misdemeanor count in domestic violence case

-- Maria L. LaGanga

Photo: Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi leaves court after pleading guilty last week to a charge of false imprisonment. Credit: Noah Berger / Associated Press

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