Less than a day after a Massachusetts House ethics panel recommended his expulsion from the chamber, state Representative Carlos Henriquez released a statement Wednesday maintaining his innocence, questioning the fairness of his trial and his sentence, and offering veiled criticism of those who have called on him to resign.
Henriquez was convicted on Jan. 15 of holding down a woman and punching her in the chest when she refused to have sex with him. A jury found him guilty of two misdemeanor counts of assault and battery, while acquitting him of other charges. A Cambridge District Court judge sentenced him to 2½ years in the House of Correction and ordered him to serve six months of the sentence. He is appealing.
In his three-page statement Wednesday, which was filled with bullet points followed by declarative statements, Henriquez said he was wrongly convicted.
“It is a fact that I have proclaimed my innocence since July 7, 2012, because any and all contact was always consensual. I never touched my accuser in any way that would cause harm or injury,” Henriquez said.
The Dorchester Democrat, who faces a vote on expulsion from his colleagues on Thursday, makes a point-by-point case about his trial, saying the state “withheld evidence” and “a verdict slip was changed by the judge after deliberations had already begun.”
“It is a fact that the jury was composed of all white men and women. It is my opinion that an all-white jury can raise doubts about fairness,” Henriquez said.
Henriquez said he has been active in supporting legislation and funding to help victims of domestic violence. He called the domestic violence “cowardly and shameful.”
After Henriquez’s conviction, top elected officials — from Mayor Martin J. Walsh of Boston to Governor Deval Patrick — called on him to resign.
In the statement, he said of the people who have called for him to step down, “not one...has spoken to me personally, but have commented in the press instead.” Henriquez said the majority of those people have not taken the time to research the facts.
If the House votes to expel Henriquez on Thursday, he will immediately be stripped of his office and have no right of reconsideration or appeal.