Ross Mirkarimi to Face Misdeamanor Charges for Domestic Violence Allegations

For Immediate Release
Friday, January 13, 2012

CONTACT: Stephanie Ong Stillman, DA Gascón’s Office, (415) 553-1167 or (415) 740-5134
Omid Talai, DA Gascón’s Office, (415) 553-9272

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – District Attorney George Gascón announced today that charges have been brought against Ross Mirkarimi, Sheriff of the City and County of San Francisco for allegations of domestic violence surrounding an incident with his wife on December 31, 2011.

The District Attorney’s Office has thoroughly reviewed the evidence presented by the San Francisco Police Department and is charging Mr. Mirkarimi with three misdemeanors: one count of domestic violence battery, one count of child endangerment and one count of dissuading a witness. An arrest warrant for Mr. Mirkarimi has been issued.

“While I do not relish having to bring charges against a San Francisco elected official, I have taken an oath to uphold the laws of the State of California and as the Chief Law Enforcement Official for the City and County of San Francisco,” said District Attorney Gascón. “While this case involves a high profile elected official, we are treating this case as we would any of the hundreds of domestic violence cases we review and charge each year.”

The District Attorney went on to say that allegations of domestic violence are a serious matter affecting people from all races, ethnicities and income levels. He acknowledged that while a case may be stronger if the victim is willing to testify, it is not uncommon for victims to be reluctant to step forward in cases of domestic abuse.

“Our decision here, just like in all domestic violence cases, was based on availability of sufficient evidence to prove the case,” District Attorney Gascón said. “Regardless of whether the victim supports a prosecution, it is the State’s and my office’s obligation to ensure the safety of the victim.”

The District Attorney’s Office receives an average of at least two domestic violence cases a day. Last year, 771 domestic violence cases were charged and reviewed by the office.