Carlos Henriquez returns to State House, meets with Ethics Committee

Representative Carlos Henriquez, convicted and jailed on two misdemeanor assault counts, returned to the State House on Tuesday for the second time in five days, facing more questions from the Ethics Committee as House leaders prod him to resign.

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Appearing again in handcuffs and a collared shirt with no tie, Henriquez declined to answer a question about whether he planned to relinquish his seat.

The state representative met with the disciplinary panel on Tuesday morning, exiting the first-floor hearing room roughly an hour after he entered. Henriquez last met with the committee on Friday, coming from and returning to the Middlesex County House of Corrections.

It is unclear what happened in the closed-door hearing. For Henriquez to be expelled from the Legislature, the measure would have to come to a vote by the full House.

The second-term Dorchester Democrat was convicted this month of holding down a woman and punching her in the chest when she refused to have sex with him. He is appealing and his attorney has questioned the fairness of his trial, asserting that he was tried by an “all white” jury.

Henriquez, 37, continues to serve as a state representative while serving his jail sentence. Henriquez has refused calls from the governor, the House speaker, and the mayor to resign. He had been ordered by the House to appear before the Ethics Committee as the first step in the process of expelling him.

No lawmaker had entered the State House in handcuffs in decades, if ever, though other convicted lawmakers have returned to face colleagues.

In 1977, Senate majority leader Joseph DiCarlo bucked a Senate effort to remove him from office. Convicted of extorting $40,000 from a consulting firm overseeing construction of the University of Massachusetts Boston campus, DiCarlo and another senator were sentenced to a year in jail.

But their sentences were deferred pending appeals, allowing DiCarlo to take to the floor of the Senate and deliver an angry, 17-minute speech in which he proclaimed his innocence.

According to the House clerk’s office, the House last expelled one of its members in 1906, when Frank J. Gethro , a Boston Democrat, was pushed out amid bribery charges.