State Senator Hiram Monserrate (D-Queens), the once turncoat-then-turnaround again Democrat, will now have to stand trial for the assault he allegedly committing on his girlfriend last year. His lawyer tried to get the charges dismissed, but a judge said certain evidence could stand and that a trial would begin on September 14.
Monserrate's lawyer Joseph Tacopina wanted to have two pieces of evidence thrown out: A videotape that allegedly shows Monserrate "violently" jerking girlfriend Karla Giraldo in an apartment hallway and testimony from hospital workers who treated Giraldo for her black eye and lacerations on her faces—the hospital staff says Giraldo told them her boyfriend hit her. (Monserrate has maintained his innocence, claiming he tripped and a glass somehow hit Giraldo; Giraldo also backs his story.) The judge said Giraldo's statements to the hospital workers were "excited utterances" and may be presented, as well as the video.
The Daily News describes the video as showing "Monserrate dragging his screaming girlfriend from the building," while the Times says, per prosecutors, "Ms. Giraldo [is seen] ringing a neighbor’s doorbell and clinging to a banister as Mr. Monserrate pulls her away." However the judge refused to release the tape to the media.
The NY Times reports that Tacopina later told reporters that Giraldo would testify for the defense and called the judge's decision "the beginning of the process to exonerate Senator Monserrate... Fact finders who are going to listen to all the evidence of all the witnesses, will hear everything and will undoubtedly see what the truth is in this case. And the truth is that Senator Monserrate is wrongly accused."