Queens Assistant District Attorney Scott Kessler delivered closing arguments yesterday in state Sen. Hiram Monserrate's assault trial—and he's sure somebody is a liar. According to the Daily News, the prosecutor argued that the senator's girlfriend, Karla Giraldo, was telling a lie or two in hopes of keeping Monserrate a free man—and from losing his Senate seat.
Kessler said,"She's not being truthful with the court. Clearly she doesn't want the defendant to be held responsible for what he did to her. She loves him." Kessler reminded Supreme Court Justice William Erlbaum, who alone will determine Monserrate's fate, that Giraldo told emergency room doctors that the senator attacked her. The Jackson Heights senator was accused last winter of attacking Giraldo with a broken glass causing her to receive 40 stitches. Erlbaum was apparently taken aback by Kessler's charge.
In his closing statements, the politician's lawyer, Joseph Tacopina, insisted the hospital doctor "rushed to judgment" pressuring Giraldo into making statements that blamed Monserrate, saying, "This was not a medical intake. This was an inquisition." Tacopina, according to the NY Times, then noted the surveillance video showing Monserrate "dragging her away" from a neighbor's door, to emphasize his client's innocence: "He uses reasonable force to get his bleeding, irrational, panicked girlfriend to the hospital when she feared stitches from her cut. That is not the action of an abuser."
Monserrate faces two felony and two misdemeanor counts, and a felony conviction could land him in jail for up to seven years. Erlbaum is expected to announce his verdict at 3:30 p.m. Thursday.