DALLAS –– The protective order against state District Judge Carlos Cortez will remain in place, barring him from contacting or visiting the woman he’s been charged with assaulting.
Visiting Judge Richard Mays ruled to continue the hearing against Cortez in the 292nd District Court Tuesday morning. The judge took no testimony Tuesday and a future court date has not been set. Pete Schulte, an attorney representing Cortez, asked for the judge to reset the hearing date.
Cortez was charged with assault last week after his girlfriend alleged that he choked her, dragged her by her hair to the balcony of his Uptown apartment and held her against the railing by her neck.
Cortez filed a motion denying the accusations, saying he was attempting to prevent her from jumping off the balcony. In the motion, Cortez asked a judge to vanquish the protective order filed against him in the wake of the charges.
Judge Mays on Tuesday barred cameras and microphones from the courtroom and issued a gag order. Cortez arrived to the proceedings at about 11:15 a.m.
He has presided over the 44th Judicial District Court in Dallas County since 2006 and is seeking reelection. He has not returned to the bench since being arrested despite his attorney’s declaration that the accusations will not impede his duties.
Cortez was arrested and charged on assault, family violence and strangulation charges on Dec. 27. Police were called to his residence in the 3000 block of McKinney Ave. at 2:09 a.m. that night following reports of a disturbance.
They found a 26-year-old woman who had “clearly visible red marks” that “appeared to encompass the majority of her neck,” according to a police report. The woman told police the two had been drinking for hours and that they got into a fight regarding medication belonging to the woman’s daughter.
Cortez posted $15,000 bond and was released at 8:40 a.m. that morning.
In his motion, Cortez alleges the woman was mixing prescription drugs and alcohol and attempted to leap from his balcony. He says police did not include “key details of this situation” that would’ve negated the need for a protective order, which bars Cortez from going within 500 feet of the woman’s home or communicating with her or other family members.
News 8's Matt Goodman contributed to this report