San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi pleads guilty to false imprisonment, plans to stay as sheriff

SF Sheriff Domestic Violence

Jeff Chiu/AP

San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, right, and his wife Eliana Lopez speak to reporters at City Hall in San Francisco, Friday, Jan. 13, 2012.

San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi tearfully told reporters outside court that he intends to remain as sheriff after reaching a plea deal in a domestic violence case against his wife Eliana Lopez, a former Venezuelan telenovela star.

Mirkarimi entered the plea to a false imprisonment charge after an appeals court said a video of his wife shot by a neighbor could be shown to the jury.

The video shows his wife displaying a bruised bicep and tearfully describing Mirkarimi grabbing her in front of their 2-year-old son Theo in the couple's San Francisco home on New Year's Eve. The video was shot by the couple's neighbor when Lopez went over and told the story of what happened.

They'd been going out for lunch, but en route to the restaurant, Lopez asked if she could visit her family in Venezuela after Mirkarimi was inaugurated Jan. 8, according to the Los Angeles Times. Mirkarimi began screaming obscenities at her and accused her of trying to take their son away from him. He then turned the car around and told Lopez she "didn't deserve to eat" before driving home, according to court documents.

Under the plea agreement, Mirkarimi was fined $590 and sentenced to three years of probation and a year of counseling. He will also be required to take parenting classes.

If he'd been convicted of the three misdemeanors he faced, he could have been sentenced to a year in jail, according to the L.A. Times.

Mirkarimi said he would address the case in more detail after he is formally sentenced on March 19.

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