Mirkarimi's wife told neighbor about potential child-neglect episode in which son was left in the car and not fed. Mirkarimi has gone to three counseling sessions.
A Superior Court judge refused to lift a restraining order Thursday preventing Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi from seeing his wife, Eliana Lopez, and 2-year-old son until Mikarimi seeks batterer's treatment.
The decision comes despite a Child Protective Services investigation that indicated his son, Theo, had not suffered any abuse other than the ill effects of separation from his father, according to Mirkarimi's new attorney, Lidia Stiglich. The order was imposed in San Francisco Superior Court last week after Mirkarimi pleaded no guilty charges of domestic abuse, child endangerment, and dissuading a witness
Judge Susan Breall said that the sheriff could file an expedited petition for supervision of his child in family court.
"I know that Sheriff Mirkarimi would not want any special treatment because he's the sheriff," Breall said, drawing a smirk from the otherwise grim-faced Mirkarimi. "The practice of the court is to not modify a stay away order until [the defendant] seeks batterer's therapy -- not just private psychological counseling."
To help bolster her case
, prosecutor Liz
Aguilar-Tarchi read yet another text which Lopez allegedly wrote to her neighbor, Ivory Madison, on
Jan. 2: "I agree with everything. I realize how serious it is and
must be smart to protect Theo and myself ... I just want to run away."
said the District Attorney's Office had already requested that Child Protective
Services visit Theo based on the Dec. 31 argument as well as a previous message Lopez had allegedly written Madison on Oct. 19 describing a possible child-neglect
incident, when Theo was "not being fed, vomiting, being
left in a car," Aguilar-Tarchi said.
The prosecutor referenced an October e-mail from Lopez to Madison that stated Lopez
feared leaving Theo alone with Mirkarimi, because the previous week she
found Theo "all wet, shoes, socks, pants, diaper" after leaving him
alone with Mirkarimi for two hours.
Aguilar-Tarchi read the e-mail in court: "On Monday I travel to L.A. very worry about Theo because the last week when I was traveling just for a day and Ross spent just two hours with Theo was a nightmare. I found Theo all wet, shoes, socks, pants, diaper."
investigator visited the child on Jan. 21, and observed that Theo's needs were being met, according to Stiglich. She argued that the
CPS report -- a confidential five-page document reviewed by the judge -- found that any allegations of emotional abuse were "unfounded," and the
only trauma Theo is suffering is from being separated from his father.
Yet Aguilar-Tarchi fought back, saying that the order was important given the fact that Mirkirimi has been
charged with dissuading a witness -- his wife. Aguilar-Tarchi referenced quotes
from Lopez that were in the police affidavit
, which stated Mikarimi became scared when
Lopez threatened to tell people about the New Year's Eve argument. She also
mentioned the existence of evidence that Lopez believed Mirkarimi had taken her and Theo on a trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium to
isolate Lopez from people, and hinder her from telling anyone about the argument.
After the hearing, Lopez left the
courtroom, crying, with an entourage of supporters and sheriff's deputies
shepherding her down the hall away from the pack of media cameras. Mikarimi left the courtroom next, stopping outside to give a short statement to the
"It's enormously crushing, the fact I
haven't been able to see my family, be with my wife, or be with my son,"
the sheriff said. "This is disproportionately cruel, and I'll continue to
fight this. But like I've said since moment one, the only way I can is
to let this process unfold, and to do so, I think it's important."
Mirkarimi made his way down the hall hounded by cameras, local blogger
Michael Petrelis called out: "Resign, Ross!" while a District 5 supporter
yelled, "No, Ross, stay here!" Follow us on Twitter at @TheSnitchSF and @SFWeekly