Ross Mirkarimi Granted Visitation Rights With Son (VIDEO)
At a Wednesday court hearing, San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, who has been battling recent domestic violence charges, was granted visitation rights with his two-year-old son Theo, according to KQED News.
Mirkarimi has been charged with misdemeanor domestic violence battery, child endangerment and dissuading a witness due to an alleged incident on New Year's Even involving his wife, Eliana Lopez. On January 19, Superior Court Judge Susan Breall issued a stay-away order, barring Mirkarimi from seeing his wife and son. The Sheriff has not seen his son in nearly a month.
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According to CBS, Superior Court Judge Ronald Albers approved an agreement between Mirkarimi and Lopez that will allow him to visit his son for two hours each weekday and up to six hours each weekend.
"I get to see my son. I can't tell you how excited and grateful I am," said an emotional Mirkarimi to CBS. "This has been a tortuous process. I'm so excited to see my son. I'm going to gobble him up." The stay-away order between Mirkarimi and Lopez still stands.
Mirkarimi has been accused of grabbing Lopez's arm, causing bruising, during a heated argument. (The young Theo allegedly told a neighbor that, "Daddy made a boo-boo on Mommy's arm.") Following the alleged argument, Lopez visited a neighbor and filmed a video confession, discussing the incident and another alleged incident in early 2011. In the video, Lopez pointed to a bruise on her arm. The neighbor turned the video over to the police, prompting an investigation and several troubling discoveries. Mirkarmi was charged on January 14 and pleaded not guilty.
Throughout the investigation, Lopez has denied the abuse, and has vocally defended Mirkarimi, claiming that the video was "taken out of context."
Mirkarimi's trial is set to being on February 24, and he could face up to a year in jail if convicted.
Watch an interview with Mirkarimi about the visitation rights in the CBS video below: