(CBS/AP) SAN FRANCISCO - San Francisco's new sheriff Ross Mirkarimi is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday on allegations he mistreated his wife in front of their toddler son and told her not to tell anybody about it.
Mirkarimi is expected to plead not guilty. Mirkarimi's lawyer, Robert Waggener, says he will likely ask for a speedy trial.
Prosecutors have charged the 50-year-old sheriff with domestic violence battery, child endangerment and dissuading a witness. The three misdemeanor charges come after a New Year's Eve incident with his wife, Eliana Lopez, at home.
Lopez insisted Wednesday that she is not the victim of domestic abuse.
The former TV star told Noticias24, a popular news source in her home country of Venezuela, that her husband's legal troubles are a "political persecution," reports CBS San Francisco.
"There has been no domestic violence," she maintained during the phone interview from San Francisco. "This is a political persecution and Venezuelans know what that is."
Waggener also believes Lopez's lawyer may ask the judge to lift a protective order so Mirkarimi can have contact with his family.
Mirkarimi says he has no intention of stepping down as sheriff.
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