A New York Democratic state senator turned himself in to police on Monday amid allegations that he choked his wife during an argument.
NEW: NYC Democrat Luis Sepulveda, a close ally of @NYCMayor who is still featured on @BernieSanders campaign website, turned himself in today for strangling his wife. https://t.co/F2zO64yffh pic.twitter.com/QfcBzkkX3S
— Brent Scher (@BrentScher) January 12, 2021
Luis Sepúlveda was accused of choking his wife in a January 9 fight and was charged with criminal obstruction of breathing, according to The Washington Free Beacon.
Sepúlveda was featured on Senator Bernie Sanders’ 2020 presidential campaign website as a candidate to support and was the first member of the New York State Assembly to endorse future New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio in the 2013 mayoral primary.
“Sepulveda’s close relationship with de Blasio has continued since the first endorsement — the pair have fundraised together, and de Blasio was a featured speaker at the 2018 election night party for Sepúlveda when he was voted into the senate.”
“Sepúlveda, 56, and his estranged wife, Elizabeth Sepúlveda, 40, filed separate reports accusing each other of assault during a domestic dispute on Saturday,” the New York Post reported. The Post wrote, “The lawmaker allegedly strangled his wife after she punched him during an argument inside their Daly Avenue apartment in West Farms, police sources said, adding the injuries were minor and cops observed no bruising on either spouse when they arrived.”
Following Sepúlveda turning himself in, GOP minority leader Rob Ortt stated, “As chair of the Crime Victims, Crime, and Correction Committee, Senator Sepúlveda has an obligation to protect vulnerable individuals, As an alleged abuser himself, he has no right leading that committee, and these allegations must be promptly investigated. If these allegations are true, he should resign immediately.”
New York Democratic State Assembly Member Nathalia Fernandez tweeted, “Unfortunately, this is not the first time allegations of domestic violence have been brought against Senator Sepulveda. We need leadership that empowers women — I’m calling for the Senator to submit his resignation.”
Unfortunately, this is not the first time allegations of domestic violence have been brought against Senator Sepulveda. We need leadership that empowers women — I’m calling for the Senator to submit his resignation https://t.co/nDH14CddjP
— Nathalia Fernández (@Fernandez4NY) January 12, 2021
In September 2015, the New York Daily News reported, “The estranged wife of Bronx Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda sought an order of protection from him after a heated argument earlier this summer, the Daily News has learned. Elizabeth Sepulveda, who has separated from her husband, called 911 during the July 11 argument and told officers from the 48th Precinct that she wanted an order of protection, records show.”
Sepúlveda told the Daily News, “It was a temporary order of protection, done in a moment of emotional distress and based on one person’s allegation, pending a full hearing on the facts. It was soon withdrawn by my wife, and no permanent order of protection was ever issued. For all legal purposes, it never happened.”
His wife added, “Nor has Luis ever been abusive. I repeat — has never been abusive to me in any way, and has been an exemplary and loving father to our son. We remain two people who care for and respect each other, and hope to work together for the best interests of our son.”
New York state senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins asserted that she was removing Sepúlveda from chair of the state senate’s Committee on Crime Victims, Crime, and Corrections as well as his committee assignments.