NY Pol Acquitted of Brutal Assault

Democratic New York State Senator Hiram Monserrate was acquitted of felony assault charges on Thursday but found guilty of a misdemeanor for dragging his girlfriend down a hallway, in a verdict rendered by Queens Supreme Court Judge William Erlbaum. Monserrate, on trial for a December 2008 incident where he was alleged to have shoved broken glass into the face of his girlfriend, Karla Giraldo, would have lost his state Senate seat and created an even less stable balance of power in the body, where Democrats have a two-seat majority. Assistant DA Scott Kessler relied heavily on the testimony of the emergency-room doctor who claimed that Giraldo had told her that the injury was “no accident”; Monserrate’s lawyer, Joseph Tacopina, argued that Giraldo had been drunk and the whole incident was an accident.