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San Francisco sheriff sentenced in domestic violence case

San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi is seen in this undated file photo.
March 19, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
The sheriff of the city and county of San Francisco was sentenced Monday in a domestic violence case in which he pleaded guilty.

Ross Mirkarimi was accused of battery, domestic violence and false imprisonment of his wife. He bruised the bicep of his wife, Eliana Lopez, a former telenovela star in her native Venezuela.

A judge sentenced Mirkarimi to three years of probation and ordered him to attend an anti-domestic violence program.

Mirkarimi reached a plea agreement last week, admitting to a misdemeanor charge of false imprisonment. The other two charges were dropped.

"There are no excuses and I accept full responsibility," Mirkarimi said outside court Monday. He read a prepared statement and appeared to choke up several times when he mentioned his longing to reunite with his wife and 3-year-old son.

"He assumed full responsibility," San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon said.

Under the plea agreement, Mirkarimi must pay $590 in fines, serve probation, spend a year in a domestic violence intervention program, take parenting classes and do community service.

The district attorney said Mirkarimi will be barred from carrying a gun until a judge lifts a stay-away order still in place that prevents the sheriff from seeing his wife without court permission. Gascon said that order could stay in place for the entire three years of probation.

Mirkarimi must meet with a probation officer and return to court April 6 to assure the judge he is complying with terms of his sentence.

Now that the sheriff has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of false imprisonment and been sentenced, the question is whether Mirkarimi can keep the job he won in the November election and took over in January.

Anti-domestic violence advocates are calling for Mayor Ed Lee and the Board of Supervisors to remove Mirkarimi, a former supervisor, from office.

While Lee can start the proceedings to remove Mirkarimi, it will take the votes of nine of 11 supervisors to accomplish that task.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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