SF sheriff to appear on domestic violence charge

San Francisco's new sheriff is scheduled to appear in court on allegations he mistreated his wife in front of their toddler son and told her not to tell anybody about it.

Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi (meer-kah-REEM'-ee) is expected to plead not guilty at his arraignment Thursday afternoon in San Francisco Superior Court.

Mirkarimi's lawyer, Robert Waggener, says he will likely ask for a speedy trial.

Prosecutors have charged the 50-year-old sheriff with domestic violence battery, child endangerment and dissuading a witness. The three misdemeanor charges come after a New Year's Eve incident with his wife, Eliana Lopez, at their home.

Waggener also believes Lopez's lawyer may ask the judge to lift a protective order so Mirkarimi can have contact with his family.

Mirkarimi says he has no intention of stepping down as sheriff.