Ross Mirkarimi Update: Court Papers Detail "Damage" to Son from Judge's Stay-Away Order

Categories: Crime, Law & Order
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Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi
Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi's wife, whom he has been charged with physically abusing, appeared in San Francisco Family Court today asking a judge to allow her husband supervised visits with the couple's son, asserting that a court order barring Mirkarimi from seeing his family is doing "damage" to the child.

"My son, Theo, is asking for his father every day," Eliana Lopez said in a signed declaration filed with the court today. "He waits for Ross on the stairs in the morning, hoping Ross will be there to take him to school; he runs to the window in the evenings looking for Ross; and the last few days he has been imagining he sees Ross's car outside. He is constantly asking me when daddy is coming home."

Mirkarimi and Lopez appeared at family court with their respective lawyers to request a modification of Superior Court Judge Susan Breall's stay-away order, which was issued in the criminal case stemming from Mirkarimi's alleged abuse of Lopez. After filing paperwork requesting supervised visits for two hours every day, attorneys said that a hearing on the matter would take place next Wednesday.

Lidia Stiglich, Mirkarimi's lawyer, said that her client would be flexible in accepting conditions the court imposes on his visitation rights. "If they tell him he has to stand on one leg and Skype, he'll do it," she said.

READ A COPY OF LOPEZ'S FAMILY COURT DECLARATION HERE.

Mirkarimi has been charged with three misdemeanor counts of battery, child endangerment, and dissuading a witness after he allegedly grabbed his wife and left a bruise on her arm during an argument on New Year's Eve. Prosecutors say they have a video in which Lopez shows the bruise to a neighbor and expresses fear of Mirkarimi, a former city supervisor who was sworn in as sheriff last month.

Prosecutors have also revealed text messages obtained by police that show Lopez was considering contacting police about the alleged abuse, and planned to "open a record" with her doctor about her injuries.

Last week, a former girlfriend of Mirkarimi's also came forward to tell police she had been abused in similar fashion by Mirkarimi when they dated several years ago. The woman, Christina Flores, is scheduled to testify in Mirkarimi's trial at the end of February.

Despite these allegations, both Lopez and Mirkarimi have maintained that no abuse took place and that they wish to be reunited. The issuance of a stay-away order is common in pending cases of domestic violence.

"All I can say is I'm going in there with the greatest amount of hope," Mirkarimi said today when he arrived at family court. "I'm dying to see my family and be with my son."

He later departed the courthouse in tears.

In between, Mirkarimi chatted amiably with reporters in the courtroom before attorneys filed their motions. He discussed the effects of statewide prison realignment on San Francisco's jails, and -- in a move that elicited sympathetic cooing from several journalists present -- said he had just bought Curious George books for his son, Theo Aureliano Mirkarimi Lopez, who is 2 years old.

"It's kind of cathartic to talk to you guys, because I haven't been able to talk to you guys," he told reporters.

However, when SF Weekly asked him about the accusations from Flores that came to light last week, and the damaging contents of his wife's text messages, his lawyers told him to stop speaking to the press.

Lopez declined to comment as she left the courtroom. In her declaration, she said she has been telling Theo that "daddy is traveling and cannot come home yet."

"My son's child care provider has told me that she has noticed a real change in Theo since he has not been able to see Ross," Lopez said in the declaration. "He cries more at day care and is far less social than he used to be.... I keep assuring Theo that I love and miss Ross as well, but as Theo's mother I am very concerned about the damage it is doing my son for him to be separated from his father so long under such difficult circumstances."

Lopez' declaration asks that the two-hour daily visits between Mirkarimi and Theo be supervised by Patricia Forsyth. It is unclear whether Forsyth is an employee or officer of the family-court system, but a woman by that name helped organize Mirkarimi's inaugural celebration on Jan. 8. She is listed on an invitation to that event as the executive director of Safe Communities SF, a "not for profit agency."

Lopez's family-law attorney, Deborah Wald, said her client has obtained a new attorney, Paula Canny of Burlingame, to represent her in the ongoing criminal case. Lopez was previously represented in the criminal proceedings at 850 Bryant St. by Cheryl Wallace.

Mirkarimi himself got rid of his previous lawyer, Robert Waggener, after Waggener described him as a "tyrant" while speaking to reporters.

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ChildSafetyFirstPlease
ChildSafetyFirstPlease

What state is Safe COmmunities registered to do business in? I can't find it in the Secretary of State's office or the AG's registry of charities.

Are there other children attending Safe Communities? Does Sheryl have experience physically subduing offenders who get out of line? Wouldn't they be better off hiring a body guard if the true purpose is to make sure THE CHILD is safe?

IsMahoneySerious
IsMahoneySerious

Erin Sherbert, shameless repeat offender and promoter of pedophiles and abusers? Never!

The facts are that here we have a good judge who made the right decision to protect the child's safety. Eliana is not protecting her child because articles like THIS make her a villian if she does.  I could care less about Ross's property interest in accessing his son until he puts some serious effort into rehabilitation, which is what a responsible father would do.

The CPS worker should be fired for covering up evidence of abuse and attempting to use the media to discredit judges who protect children. I mean, economic times are tough, but a County agency that is on commission to place children in dangerous homes with a 70% error rate should be put out of business. Didn't we just see an article showing that there are 4,400 foster homes with sex offenders in them?  Since when is CPS a beacon of child safety? 

 I applaud Judge Beall and urge the family court to continue the trend of following the law when it comes to protecting kids. However, I do not hold out much hope given that Judge Ron Albers, Mirkarimi, and the DA all sit on the director's board of a nonprofit called the "SF Pretrial Diversion Project, Inc."

Then let's travel on over to the SF Reentry Council, where CPS and DCSS Director Karen Roye makes it her personal mission to reduce consequences for offenders by promoting programs for "Responsible Fathers" that erase their criminal records, forever concealing their crimes from judges who might feel concerned about child safety.  Because Roye's office gets big $$$ to place offenders in her programs-and keep them there involuntarily and endlessly.  Course Roye doesn't disclose openly that she sat on the State's accreditation board for behavioral health professionals, a clear conflict of interest given that DCSS's mission is to start profitable family court battles.

This case needs to be moved out of the county to preserve the appearance of justice and save the county money.

Guest
Guest

I am not surprised by your post. No proof but just the fact he is a man is sufficient to convict him. Do you even imagine a father may love his child? I doubt it. Some people do not see beyond their dislike of men. 

IsMahoneySerious
IsMahoneySerious

How do you know I am not a man? No proof? A judge already held an evidentiary hearing and decided that there was credible evidence to move forward with the prosecution, and again upheld the restraining order based on more evidence.  You must be feeding from the Title IV-D troth to say something that ignorant and hateful without any factual basis.

Glory
Glory

Ross is a disgusting bully. His dad acted this way. Now Ross is acting this way. Thankfully, the court stepped in effort to stop this nasty mirkarimi family tradition from continuing. This unfortunately, involves dealing with 2 selfish and very clueless parents.

TheReal
TheReal

Eliana's court declaration document shows her son is deeply missing his daddy. It's pretty obvious father and son are very close. Ross is crying real tears and feeling real pain. I can't understand why the courts are making it so difficult ( now) when they know they will grant visitation soon. He has gone through hell to prove his love for Theo.

As for the happily married couple? Remember their meeting was a one- nighter that produced a baby while in Brazil. Ross being the man he is was not thinking. Ross kept Eliana a secret until she was 5 months pregnant and still living in Venezuela. He was seeing Christina Flores and had a pregnant crazy woman in another country. He wanted this child badly, badly enough to bring her here so his son would be born an US citizen and eventually married her. He did not love Eliana or know her for that matter, which is why he continued to have affairs outside the marriage. Honestly, who saw Ross out there with his wife? He was always solo and always in the company of attractive women.

Shing
Shing

Eliana is putting her husband's career before her own child's safety. Yes, ALL abusers become tearful OR angry when their objects of control aren't accessible. Since the cameras are on him, he opts for tears. When the cameras are off, out comes the anger. How stupid tying to get a 2 year old's emotions to sway a court.  2 yr olds DON'T know what's best for themselves, and surely can't protect themselves an abusive parent. I'm glad the judge saw right through all this. 

DBalmy
DBalmy

This is harmful to the boy.  Period.  Innocent until proven guility?  Have we forgotten that? Even convicts get to see their kids.  This has become a freaking 3-ring circus.  What harm could come from a supervised visit.  The harm here is that this child is feeling a tremendous loss.  I'm angry.  As a mother, who doesn't condone DV before you all jump all over me, I'm talking about the child.  Only the child.  This boy is hurting.  What a mess.

Guest
Guest

Pretty obvious California puts the child last. I will never support DA advocates or feminists again. 

Nattydread
Nattydread

Can't see the harm to the child?  How about the fact that allowing Daddy to abuse Mommy in front of the child creates another abuser?  Just what we need!

We have enough haters and abusers in this country already.  This is not a "feminist" issue - it is about not warping kids.  Ross is a nasty, angry guy.  The child needs to be protected from him.

Purepatty
Purepatty

You're a neanderthal. People who think for themselves don't swallow the D.A.'s theories hook line and sinker. 

island6
island6

He didn't abuse his wife and he didn't abuse his child.  He did yell; why don't we put everyone in jail that yells.  Re: the bruise --1,000 people saw Eliana's arms at the inauguration -- there was no bruise!

Guest
Guest

 That should have been DV advocates who care more about their "cause" than people. How is it possible for a supervised visits to hurt the child. Judge ignores Child Services report! I would *never* take a child to California. The state is gone to space.

Hillary2000
Hillary2000

SFWeekly first out with the story.  The sheriff left the court house in tears.  Cue hyena laughter.

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