(CBS/AP) SAN FRANCISCO - San Francisco's new sheriff Ross Mirkarimi pleaded not guilty to domestic violence and other charges Thursday as a judge ordered him to stay away from his wife and toddler.
Mirkarimi's lawyer, Robert Waggener, entered the pleas during an arraignment in San Francisco Superior Court, where the 50-year-old sheriff is also charged with child endangerment and dissuading a witness after a New Year's Eve incident with his wife, Eliana Lopez, at their home.
Judge Susan Breall issued a stay-away order requiring Mirkarimi not to have any contact with his wife or their 2-year-old son. Lopez protested the order.
"The violence against me is that I don't have my family together," Lopez, a 36-year-old former Venezuelan telenovela star, said repeatedly in court. "Let me have my family together. This is the only reason I am here is that I have my family with Ross."
The judge said that based on an arrest warrant affidavit that contains "physical and emotional abuse," a stay-away order was still necessary.
Waggener said he was disappointed with the judge's ruling.
"I don't think there was a basis for a stay-away order. I don't think the proper decision was made. We'll come back and we'll fight it," Waggener said. "Mr. Mirkarimi did not commit domestic violence, he did not endanger his child, and he did not try to dissuade his wife from talking to the police or anybody else. That's the bottom line."
Mirkarimi is due in court again Monday to set a trial date and again on Jan. 26 to request a modification of the stay-away order.
According to the arrest affidavit released Tuesday, Mirkarimi is alleged to have mistreated his wife on two separate occasions last year and to have told her he was a "very powerful" man who could take away their son.
Mirkarimi, who was sworn in as sheriff nearly two weeks ago after serving two terms as a San Francisco supervisor, said he has no intention of leaving his new post.
However, he could face up to a year in jail if he's convicted.
More on Crimesider