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Henriquez should step aside – now

The trial of state Rep. Carlos Henriquez ended in his conviction on three assault charges and an unexpectedly tough punishment for a first-time offender – six months to be served in the Middlesex House of Correction out of a two-and-a-half year sentence.

The lawmaker continues to deny his guilt in the 2012 case involving a young woman who claimed Henriquez struck her during an early-morning car ride that ended with her left stranded on Huntington Avenue.

Henriquez has a right to appeal and his attorney has made it clear that he will. But in the meantime, he is incarcerated and unable to perform any of his duties.

Henriquez should heed the call of his Democratic leadership and tender his resignation as the state rep from the Fifth Suffolk district.

This will allow a new legislator to be selected within the next three months – in time to participate in late spring-early summer budget decisions. It will also allow this important Roxbury-Dorchester House seat to have an effective advocate at the table as the Walsh administration assembles a new cabinet and agenda.

Whether or not Henriquez’s conviction ultimately stands, he should step down immediately to give his constituents full representation as soon as possible.

– Bill Forry

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