Now that girlfriend Karla Giraldo is no longer "under any coercion or undue influence" of everyone's favorite slasher Hiram Monserrate, the same judge who acquitted Monserrate of felony charges has downgraded the order of protection that has kept the two apart. How romantic! Giraldo said today, "I love him and I want to be with him."

The former state Senator was found guilty of misdemeanor assault last year for allegedly cutting Giraldo's face with jagged glass and dragging her through the lobby of his Queens apartment building in 2008. But when asked at a hearing today if she was willing to take the risk of the judge issuing a modified, more lenient order of protection, Giraldo said, "Yes, I am sure of him. I know how he is." She even asked the judge to lift the order completely—this in spite of Monserrate hitting on a Post reporter a few months ago.

Monserrate thinks the modified protection order could be a fresh start, like his boxing career. His lawyer said now "they can do anything they want to do. They could be together, they could marry, go to dinner, do whatever they like to do." The two left the Queens State Supreme Court hand in hand today, and Giraldo said, "We want to give the relationship another time. We've been separated too long." Mazel tov, guys.