Arrest and indictment
Monserrate was arrested on December 19, 2008 and accused of slashing Karla Giraldo in the face with a broken drinking glass during an argument in his Jackson Heights apartment.
He was arraigned
the same day and pled not guilty to the charges of second-degree assault
, a felony
that carries a maximum sentence of seven years in prison, and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon. If Monserrate is convicted, he will automatically be expelled from the Senate; the New York Constitution
does not allow convicted felons to hold office.
His companion initially made statements to hospital staff and the police which led to his arrest. She later changed her account to match that of Monserrate namely that the cuts on her face near her left eye from a broken glass were an accident and she is no longer cooperating with the investigation.
Sources have discussed with the media evidence including video surveillance that support the charges of assault and the attempt to cover it up.
On February 27, 2009, the order of protection which prevents Monserrate from having contact with Giraldo was extended over the objections of Monserrate's attorney.
On March 23, 2009, a Queens grand jury
indicted Monserrate on three counts of felony assault on Giraldo and three counts of misdemeanor assault.
If convicted, the maximum sentence would be seven years.
Monserrate denied the charges, saying "Listen, the reality is that from the very beginning I have said this was an accident. My girlfriend said it's an accident. This is an accident and we look forward to the dismissal of all these charges based on the truth."