State Sen. Hiram Monserrate was convicted of misdemeanor assault Thursday for attacking his girlfriend - but cleared of felony counts that would have forced him from office.Has Gioia ever heard of Ted Kennedy?
"Yes!" a Monserrate supporter yelled in the crowded and tense Queens courtroom when Supreme Court Justice William Erlbaum said the ex-cop had skated on the most serious charges.
Monserrate didn't betray a smile. He continued to look grim as the early jubilation of his supporters gave way to somber silence.
Outside, Monserrate stuck by his claim that the nasty gash prosecutors charged he left on girlfriend Karla Giraldo's face with a broken glass was the result of "a terrible accident."
Monserrate called Giraldo, who was not in the courtroom, "a person who I love."
"I have to live with that forever," he said. "There are no winners here today."
Although Monserrate faces a year in jail when he is sentenced Dec. 4, his lawyer, Joe Tacopina, said he probably won't serve a day.
"On a reckless misdemeanor, first offense, he won't go to jail," the lawyer said.
Monserrate also may be able hang on to his Senate seat - a prospect that galled Councilman Eric Gioia, who was the first Democrat out of the gate demanding that Monserrate resign.
"There is no room in government or in the Democratic Party for people who commit such heinous crimes against women," he said. "Elected officials should rightfully be held to a higher standard."
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