Saturday, January 14, 2012

Sheriff arrested for wife-beating

The hottest story in San Francisco is that the new sheriff has been arrested. AP
Prosecutors on Friday charged San Francisco's newly sworn-in sheriff with three misdemeanors, including domestic violence, related to a New Year's Eve incident with his wife.

Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi faces one count each of domestic violence battery, child endangerment and dissuading a witness, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon said.

"While I do not relish having to bring charges against a San Francisco elected official, I have taken an oath to uphold the laws of the state of California, and as the chief law enforcement official for the city and county of San Francisco, it is my solemn duty to bring criminal charges when the evidence supports such action," Gascon said.

"Whether this was the elected sheriff or any other San Francisco resident, this type of behavior is inexcusable, criminal and will be prosecuted," the district attorney said.

Gascon said the basis for the child endangerment charge was that the couple's son saw the alleged incident occur. Gascon declined to explain the allegation that Mirkarimi influenced a witness.

Mirkarimi was booked at San Francisco County Jail, said San Francisco police Sgt. Michael Andraychak. He was released on $35,000 bail.

Gascon said prosecutors have also requested an emergency protective order prohibiting Mirkarimi from having contact with his wife and son. He is also ordered to stay away from his home while police investigate other possible domestic violence incidents involving Mirkarimi and Lopez, Gascon said.
The sheriff should not be above the law, of course, but this seems bogus to me. The wife is not even alleging a crime:
His wife spoke briefly, and much more emotionally.

"This is unbelievable," she said. "I don't have any complaint against my husband. This is unbelievable."

A neighbor reported that Mirkarimi grabbed and bruised Eliana Lopez's arm during a heated argument at their home, according to a police affidavit.

The injury was shown on a video recorded by the neighbor, and a text message conversation between Lopez and the neighbor included details of the incident, according to the affidavit requesting a search warrant to obtain the video camera and phone.

Lopez, a former Venezuelan telenovela star, defended her husband in a written statement, saying the episode was "completely taken out of context."

The couple was married after having their first child in 2009.
So the sheriff had a heated argument with his wife, and grabbed her arm, leaving a bruise. She did not complain. A neighbor saw the bruise and took a picture of it.

And he is not allowed to see his son because his son witnessed it?! This is crazy.

He probably asked his wife or son not to testify, and that is the basis for the third charge.

This is crazy. Why is this any of anybody's business? Some people bruise easily. Some regularly play sports where they get bruises. A picture of a bruise is nearly meaningless. This is a victimless crime in the sense that no one is claiming to be a victim.

The sheriff is fighting this. I hope he gets a jury trial, and demonstrates the absurdity of these sorts of charges.

In other news, a Louisiana county wants to ban wearing pajamas in public. Silly as this is, it makes more sense than the domestic violence law.

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