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Judge allows Monserrate, girlfriend limited contact

A judge has revised an order of protection to allow former State Sen. Hiram Monserrate limited contact with the girlfriend he was convicted of assaulting.

The pair kissed in the courtroom after the order was issued Tuesday and walked out hand in hand.

Judge William Erlbaum overruled objections by the Queens district attorney's office, which asked that the two continue to be separated.

Karla Giraldo said in court she wanted the order lifted.

"I love him. I want to continue to be with him," she said, adding that she wanted to give the relationship time to grow again.

The two had been separated since his Dec. 19, 2008, arrest.

Monserrate was convicted of reckless assault, a misdemeanor, and was sentenced to 3 years of probation for dragging a bleeding Giraldo through a hallway of his apartment building.

He was acquitted of intentionally smashing Giraldo's face with a glass. The wound near her eye required about 40 stitches. Both said it was accidental.

Erlbaum said it wasn't right to oversupervise their relationship. If Monserrate hurts or menaces Giraldo, he faces additional charges under the limited order of protection.

Monserrate, a Democrat, was ousted from the Senate in February on a 53-8 vote, about two months after his sentencing. - AP

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