Monserrate Gets a Misdemeanor

State Senator Hiram Monserrate was found guilty of a misdemeanor assault charge, Judge William Erlbaum just ruled.

It's an outcome which convicts him of a domestic assault but does not force him to resign his Senate seat, though there are mechanisms for his fellow senators to eject him. Until that time, he remains an elected official, and Democrats can count him to maintain a majority voting bloc in the chamber.

Erlbaum opted to sustain the misdemeanor charges but not the felony charges, which indicate a higher degree of injury on behalf of the victim, Monserrate's girlfriend.

Monserrate was arrested in December–when he was a senator-elect–and charged with assaulting his girlfriend with a glass. She was treated at a Long Island hospital for a cut to her face, and told an emergency room doctor that she had been attacked by Monserrate. Both he and the victim have denied this, and she testified at trial that what transpired was an accident. Prosecutors also showed a video of Monserrate forcing his girlfriend from an apartment building where the incident occurred. Monserrate's defense lawyer Joseph Tacopina said at trial that he was attempting to help his companion, who was drunk at the time.