San Francisco News

Judge says Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi can see son

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Embattled San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi got a break Wednesday when a judge decided to let him see his wife and child while he fights domestic violence charges.

Mirkarimi's trial is scheduled to begin on February 24 and as his case winds its way through the criminal justice system, he won a legal victory Wednesday that had been denied twice before. "I get to see my son, and I can't tell you how excited and grateful I am," he told reporters outside the courthouse.

Mirkarimi has not seen 2-year-old Theo since January 13 and a drawing by his son submitted to the court by his babysitter suggests he has missed his dad. The sheriff showed reporters one of the toys he bought for his little boy since they have been separated. "But I'm just so hungry to see my son I'm going to gobble him up. That's all I can tell you. That's all I can say," he said.

Mirkarimi was ordered to stay away from his family after he was arrested on three misdemeanor charges: domestic violence battery, child endangerment, and dissuading a witness. Those charges stem from an alleged altercation with his wife Eliana Lopez on New Year's Eve. On Wednesday, the couple worked out the visitation arrangement, approved by family court judge Ron Albers after separate mediation sessions that morning. "I am extremely happy that Theo is going to see his dad," Lopez said.

The couple must still stay away from each other. Family friends will be the liaisons. Mirkarimi can have unsupervised time with his son, two hours each weekday and up to six hours on a weekend day. The agreement takes effect immediately. When asked what the first thing he would say to his son was he replied, "I love you."

Attorneys for Lopez blasted the appearance in family court of the prosecutor in the criminal case against Mirkarimi. Elizabeth Aguillar Tarchi tried unsuccessfully to raise a point with the judge. Lopez's attorney called that shocking. "Trying to interfere and not thinking about what's in the best interest of Theo, but what is in the best interest of her case, and that's just wrong," Paula Canny said accusingly.

According to the district attorney's office, the prosecutor was there trying to ensure that the restraining order stays in place preventing Mirkarimi from contact with Lopez, but ABC7 legal analyst Dean Johnson calls her appearance in family court "startling."

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Tags:
ross mirkarimi, crime, children, san francisco news, carolyn tyler
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