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San Francisco sheriff Ross Mirkarimi pleads guilty to false imprisonment

Screen shot from a video that claims to show Eliana Lopez with a bruise allegedly from her husband, San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi. CBS San Francisco/San Francisco District Attorney

(CBS) SAN FRANCISCO - San Francisco sheriff Ross Mirkarimi pleaded guilty on Monday to a misdemeanor charge of false imprisonment in a domestic violence case that made international headlines.

Mirkarimi, 50, pleaded guilty in exchange for the dropping of three more serious charges, including misdemeanor domestic violence and child endangerment. 

According to CBS San Francisco, the domestic violence battery count would have permanently banned the sheriff from carrying a gun if he was convicted.

Mirkarimi will be sentenced on March 19, CBS San Francisco reports. The plea deal calls for him to be fined $400, given three years probation and undergo a year of domestic violence counseling. He will also be required to take parenting classes and perform 100 hours of community service, the station reports.

Although the plea doesn't automatically disqualify Mirkarimi from office, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said Monday he plans to consult with city attorneys and investigate what disciplinary actions he can take.

Lee could call for Mirkarimi's removal from office, which would require a trial before the city's 12-member Board of Supervisors. Nine votes are required to remove Mirkarimi from office.

On New Year's Eve, Mirkarimi allegedly grabbed his wife, former Venezuelan telenovela star Eliana Lopez, bruising her upper arm in their San Francisco home.

After the alleged domestic violence, Mirkarimi's wife turned to a neighbor, who contacted police. Authorities confiscated video the neighbor had taken of Lopez's arm and text messages between the two women.

Since then, Lopez has steadfastly maintained she was not a victim of domestic violence and told a Venezuelan radio station that Mirkarimi was the victim of dirty politics. She had refused to testify in the trial.

"Eliana Lopez is looking forward to the return of normalcy in her life," her lawyer, Paula Canny, told reporters outside the courthouse. "Also, Eliana Lopez wants everybody to know that she loves her husband Ross, she supports Ross, and that together they hope to raise the best child in the world, Theo."

Complete coverage of Ross Mirkarimi on Crimesider

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