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(NECN: Josh Brogadir, Arlington, Mass.) - He faces legal trouble now, and if the allegations are true, Carlos Henriquez could face political trouble, as well.
Henriquez, the Massachusetts state representative appearing in district court in Roxbury, the neighborhood where he grew up and where he now serves, instead of appearing on the floor of the 187th General Court of the Commonwealth under the golden dome on Beacon Hill.
These are serious charges against the 35-year-old lawmaker who allegedly held the woman he recently started dating against her will early Sunday morning.
Late Monday night Henriquez issued the following statement through a spokesman, Frank Perullo:
"I want to thank all my family, friends, colleagues and particularly the community I am privileged to represent who have expressed their support, love, understanding and best wishes during this confusing and upsetting course of events.
"I have been accused of some serious charges, these allegations are completely untrue.
"I was raised by a strong mother and also raised with a younger sister both of whom I respect and love deeply. My father, Julio Henriquez, who recently passed was a track coach and mentor to hundreds of young women from this community and I have dedicated myself to protecting women, not abusing or assaulting them.
"Putting my hands on a woman is contradictory to my upbringing and my own morals.
"As both a community activist prior to getting elected and as an elected official I have spoken with hundreds of youth and adults about the problem of violence against women. I have worked tirelessly with multiple agencies and organizations who champion against the issue of domestic violence. It is a mission I am committed to in my personal and public life.
"Currently, this matter is in the hands of the court and I am confident that when this process has run its course I will be vindicated of all charges. This matter will be tried in the court and not in the media or in the court of public opinion.
"I can assure my supporters and critics alike that I am innocent of these charges. I will follow the advice of my attorney and not provide any details of this incident, other than to say and reaffirm I am innocent.
"I will continue to work and serve the people of my district as I was elected to do. This incident is unfortunate and embarrassing, but I will not shirk my duties or hide.
"I ask that you remain patient and keep me and my family in your prayers. I ask that you respect all parties involved and show supportive by helping to serve our community. I trust that this incident will soon be behind us all and we can continue to serve and deliver for the constituents, the residents of the 5th Suffolk District.
The Boston police report says it started at the woman's mother's home in Arlington.
Henriquez then allegedly drove her around for two hours and she said, "... had punched her with a closed fist repeatedly and strangled her while she was in his motor vehicle."
She said she had to force her way out of the moving car on Forsyth Street near Northeastern University.
Officers observed bruises on her arms and wrists.
Monday afternoon, detectives were investigating the allegations a bit further at the home of his alleged victim, 23 year old Katherine Gonzalves.
Through a friend she declined to comment.
Henriquez didn't speak outside court earlier in the day.
"At this point I've advised him not to say anything, and I think at this time his focus is on his community and his constituents and getting back to work," said his lawyer, Stephanie Soriano-Mills.
On his State House profile, the first term Democrat frequently mentions that work in the community.
Some of those community leaders stood by him in court.
"That's not the person that I know, but I'm always cautious about trying to jump to conclusions because I wasn't there, I wasn't in the car, in the heat of the moment, we don't know what happened," said Darnell Williams, CEO of the Urban League of Eastern Mass.
And in the Dorchester neighborhood where Henriquez now lives and where he serves, a plea for patience.
"Back up, give him a chance, don't judge him right now. Let the process happen, he's a good man, give him a chance," said supporter Steve Coplin.
Politically, he has a primary on Sept. 11.
Legally, he is out on $1000 bail.
He's to be in court again on Sept. 27.
He will likely face assault charges in Middlesex County.