Cruz Rivera, son of famed former talk show host Geraldo Rivera, escaped jail time after taking a plea deal in a Manhattan courtroom on Wednesday for assaulting his ex-girlfriend during two different altercations at his home.
Authorities arrested Rivera, 30, in early May for attacking Meghan Burke, 26, on April 28, after she announced she was breaking up with him following a tumultuous nine-year relationship, according to the New York Post.
Following the split, Burke visited Rivera’s apartment to gather back some of her belongings, New York Post reports, citing court documents. Rivera then reportedly threw his ex-girlfriend onto his bed before wrapping both of his hands around her throat and biting her.
A few days following the incident, the couple again got into a brawl at the apartment, with Rivera allegedly putting Burke into a chokehold while biting her hand and leg as she tried to escape, according to prosecutors.
Cruz’s roommate subsequently dialed 911, and a neighbor said she heard a woman’s screams following a loud argument, according to NY Daily News.
“He’s insane, he’s a sociopath, he’s a real manipulator,” Burke’s mother reportedly said following Rivera’s arrest. “Ever since she met him, we have tried too hard to counsel her against him. He’s not a good guy.”
On Wednesday Judge Phillis Chu asked Rivera in court, “Did you, with intent to cause physical injury to Meghan Burke, cause such physical injury to her by biting her and pushing her to the floor and also acting in a manner that was disorderly…did you attempt to do that?”
“Yes, Your Honor,” he replied, admitting to attempted assault and disorderly conduct.
If Rivera complies with the conditions enforced in the plea deal, including completing a court-assigned batterer’s program and staying away from Burke, the conviction will be taken away and no longer appear on his record, according to the newspaper.
[Feature Photo: Geraldo Rivera via AP/Richard Shotwell/Invision]