DALLAS — A Dallas County judge was arrested early Saturday morning after he was accused of dragging his girlfriend by the hair, strangling her and holding her against the edge of a balcony.
Andy Korn, a lawyer for the judge who is seeking reelection, said Cortez is not guilty.
"The allegations made by the complainant are false," he said. "If necessary, it will be shown in the proper forum that Judge Cortez actually saved her life."
According to a police report, officers were called at about 2:09 a.m. to a residence in the 3000 block of McKinney Ave. in Dallas.
At the scene, a woman who identified herself as the girlfriend of Carlos Raul Cortez told police a disturbance at the residence began with a fight over medication belonging to a juvenile living at the home. However, she said the fight evolved into physical violence.
A police officer reported seeing red marks on the woman's neck.
"[The woman] ... pulled down the portion of her blouse which covered her neck and showed several red marks," the report read. "The red marks were clearly visible and appeared to encompass the majority of her neck."
The girlfriend, 26, said she and Cortez, 44, consumed alcohol for several hours before he approached her as she sat on a couch.
"[Cortez] walked up to her and grabbed her by her hair and throat with both hands, impeding the flow of oxygen and causing dizziness," the report read.
The woman said Cortez choked her several times and then dragged her by her hair to a balcony, which he leaned her against as he continued to choke her for about 15 seconds.
According to the police report, the juvenile at the residence witnessed the altercation and was sent over to a neighbor's place until police arrived.
Cortez was arrested on assault, family violence and strangulation charges. He was released on a $15,000 bond at about 8:40 a.m., according to the Dallas County Sheriff's Department.
Cortez serves as a judge for the 44th Judicial District Court in Dallas County.
Korn said the judge will not resign.
"Judge Cortez will continue to serve the state of Texas and Dallas County like he has for the last seven years," the lawyer said.
John Creuzot, a former state district judge, said it's important to remember Cortez is presumed innocent and deserves due process.
"[The public] expects you to exhibit wisdom and good judgment, so it just puts a cloud on your ability to make that decision," he said. "And I think most people would see it that way."
WFAA's Jobin Panicker contributed to this report