An ex-con millionaire who lost a leg during a dust-up with cops has been convicted of assaulting a Russian stripper. Thomas Hartmann, 42, was found guilty of smacking Sophia Kandelaki with his Rolex watch, leaving a deep gash on her head. It seems that the jury were given way more information than they needed to hear about Kandelaki, who described herself as a gunpoint kidnapping survivor, a reality star hopeful, a stripper, a private shopper, a vegan chef, a singer, a composer and an expert in "deep, inner tantric massage." One juror told the News, "A lot of the testimony wasn't relevant to the case—the victim wasn't on trial here."
Hartmann had claimed he only hit Kandelaki by accident, after she tried to rob him last April, hours after they had met at Baraonda restaurant near his E. 75th St. home, during a "dancing-on-the-table-party." Hartmann tried to portray her as a lying tax cheat looking for a big payout to no avail—jurors were swayed by pictures of her wounds. He now faces up to a year behind bars on the misdemeanor assault conviction.
Hartmann, a former Long Island construction worker, previously served two years in prison for stabbing a man in the face; he served another six years in prison after that on a separate charge. He lost his leg in 2004 after a Nassau County cop ran him over while attempting to arrest him for threatening and harassing his wife. Hartmann was awarded more than $19.6 million after a jury decided that the detective intentionally rammed into him.