Monserrate's Girlfriend: "He Doesn't Dominate Me"

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Karla Giraldo heads to court to testify in her boyfriend Hiram Monserrate's assault trial.

    In Hiram Monserrate’s sentencing Friday, Judge William Erlbaum got an opportunity to personally question  “victim” Karla Giraldo, the state senator’s girlfriend.

    It was supposed to be a “victim’s impact statement,” but Giraldo said she’s no victim in this case because her injuries were the result of accidentally being sliced with a glass that broke in her boyfriend’s hand.

    The incident occurred while Monserrate was in what prosecutors said was a jealous rage after finding another man's business card in Giraldo's purse. Both now want an order of protection lifted so they can resume their relationship and eventually get married. The judge was skeptical to say the least.

    Judge Erlbaum: “At the hospital, the medical people indicated you said this was not an accident and they had to call police. Do you think an order of protection is unnecessary--or you simply don't care about your own safety?”
     
    Karla Giraldo: “My boyfriend took me to the hospital for my own good.”
     
    Judge: “No judge should play God. People should be able to have informed consent and take risks. Sometimes deferential is healthy.  But there's such a thing as self-destructive. Which Karla Giraldo are you?”
     
    Giraldo: “First of all he does not dominate me—“
     
    Judge: “So it's OK with you if he just rifles through your bag and just throws your papers away?”
     
    Giraldo: “If it's going to cause problems, he can throw it away.”
     
    Judge:  “Any limits to what he can do?”
     
    Giraldo: “It's a relationship. I would like to go back to normal.  This is not about domestic violence. I only ask because it's been more than a year, that you remove the order of protection.”
     
    Judge:  “Would you be willing to accept counseling?”
     
    Giraldo: “Could we go together?”
     
    Judge:  “No.”
     
    Giraldo: “I don't think I need it, but if your honor thinks I need it, I'm willing.”
     
    Minutes later, Judge Erlbaum ordered  Monserrate into counseling for anger management as a condition of three years probation. His girlfriend's attorney said Giraldo, too, will get independent counseling in preparation for the couple to jointly request that the order of protection be lifted later this month, in time for them to celebrate Giraldo's birthday together.