Monserrate Rejects Plea Bargain in Alleged Girlfriend Slash: Report

State Sen. Monserrate will fight misdemeanor reckless assault charges for slashing his girlfriend.

By Eric Luu
|  Friday, Sep 11, 2009  |  Updated 1:38 PM EDT
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Monserrate Rejects Plea Bargain in Alleged Girlfriend Slash: Report

AP

State Sen. Monserrate refused to accept a plea bargain in the case of his girlfriend's slashing.

State Sen. Hiram Monserrate will go to court Monday and fight charges stemming from an incident in which he allegedly slashed his girlfriend with broken glass after he rejected a plea bargain, the Daily News reported.

Sources told the paper that Queens prosecutors offered a guilty plea to a misdemeanor reckless assault charge that would have allowed Monserrate, 42, to stay in the Senate and avoid significant time behind bars.

The ex-police officer and freshman senator is guaranteed to lose his seat if the jury convicts him on any of the three charges of felony assault.

"Hiram is innocent and we're ready to go to trial," defense lawyer Joe Tacopina said yesterday.

Monserrate and his girlfriend Karla Giraldo, 29, have maintained the Dec.19 incident was an accident. They say while Giraldo was in bed, Monserrate tripped and fell on her. When he fell, he shattered a glass he was holding and resulting in a gash that required 20 stitches to close. She also suffered a black eye in the incident.

Giraldo will not participate in the prosecution's case against her boyfriend.

In the grand jury minutes the Daily News obtained, she said she told a nurse she had an accident when she arrived at Long Island Jewish Hospital.

"But when they realized he was a politician, that's when the nightmare began…they started gossiping and calling the police," the minutes revealed.

She claimed the hospital workers refused to clean the blood from her face. While she was under local anesthetic, she said the cops harassed her with questions.

Giraldo called a cosmetologist at 3 a.m. before heading to the hospital.

"She said: 'I'm very afraid, I don't want anyone to see my face. I don't know, I'm going to have a scar,'" the cosmetologist testified.

Prosecutors say they have strong evidence against the state senator. Security video from Monserrate's building showed him pulling Giraldo out the exit

"No one can look at the security video and think that this was an accident," a law enforcement source who saw the footage said, according to the Daily News. "The woman looks scared out of her mind and trying to get away from this."

His defense lawyer claims cops "spliced" the video, and footage that supports his client has vanished, Tacopina said. 

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