SUFFERN, N.Y. — Former cable TV newsman Dominic Carter was sentenced Thursday to 30 days in jail for an attempted assault on his wife and was ordered to stay away from her for up to two years.
An angry suburban judge called Carter "a classic case of a domestic violence abuser" and ordered him to undergo psychiatric treatment for violent tendencies. He also imposed 52 weeks of domestic violence classes and told Carter's wife, Marilyn, "Mrs. Carter, your life is at stake."
Carter, who was an influential reporter at New York City's NY1 until the domestic violence charge was made public, was led away in handcuffs and appeared to be on the verge of tears.
As he headed for the Rockland County jail, Carter told his 21-year-old daughter, "It's on you, Courtney, to be a big girl."
Defense attorney Marvin Gotkin called the two-year order of protection "almost medieval."
"I have never heard a court tell a husband he has to stay away from his wife for two years," Gotkin told Ramapo Town Justice Arnold Etelson.
Marilyn Carter, 52, declined to comment. She had called police in October 2008 and said her husband hit her. He denied it and she recanted, but he was convicted of attempted assault.
Carter's appeals lawyer, Julia Kuan, said both the conviction and the sentence would be appealed.
Etelson said he might modify the order of protection order if he is satisfied that Carter is cooperating with psychiatric treatment and if it is in his wife's best interests. But he barred her from visiting Carter in jail.
Etelson pronounced the sentence after reciting a litany of domestic violence police calls involving the Carters that went back 13 years.
The judge also said that at a hearing last month, Carter claimed he was being railroaded because he is black.
"I'm a black man in America," the judge quoted Carter as saying. "I'm being railroaded." The judge denied any racial discrimination in the case.
On Thursday, before being sentenced, Carter told the judge he had been "humbled and humiliated." His voice breaking, he also apologized to his wife "for not being a better husband."
NY1 said Wednesday that Carter's contract was not renewed and the leave of absence he had taken was over.
Carter's nightly "Inside City Hall" program was must-see TV for city politics junkies. He had interviewed every major New York City and state politician and moderated many political debates, including one in October between the city mayoral candidates.
But the story of his wife's accusation broke just before Election Day, and Carter, who would have anchored NY1's vote-count coverage, found himself on the sidelines. He said earlier this month that he couldn't bear watching the returns.
Carter, 45, also said the loss of salary might force his family to give up their home in Pomona and move elsewhere. Besides their daughter, the Carters have a 17-year-old son.
At Carter's trial in October, Rockland County prosecutor Richard Moran played a recording of Marilyn Carter's 911 call and presented photos of her swollen lip, cut ear and bruised arm and leg.
Marilyn Carter acknowledged on the witness stand that she made the 911 call but said the real assailant was a day laborer whose name she couldn't remember. She said she told police her husband had beat her because she was angry about an argument involving their son's medical treatment.
But the judge said her revised story was "nothing short of preposterous" and found Dominic Carter guilty of attempted assault. He said Marilyn Carter's injuries were not serious enough to warrant an assault conviction.
The judge implied Thursday that he believes Dominic Carter was behind the day laborer story and said Carter could have been charged with suborning perjury. He said Marilyn Carter could have been charged with perjury, except her account typified "the victimization that she has endured."