ESSEX COUNTY, NJ - Several news organizations have asked questions regarding how the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office handled an earlier domestic violence case involving Dominick Richards and Anishalee Cortes.
Below is a statement from the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office along with a brief chronology of the events that occurred in Essex County.
Acting First Assistant Prosecutor Robert Laurino said, “Our thoughts are with family of Anishalee Cortes in light of this tragedy. Working with our partners at the Newark Police Department, we did everything legally possible to protect Ms. Cortes, including filing for the detention of her abuser, assisting the victim to obtain a restraining order, and preparing her case for a grand jury hearing. We will continue to tirelessly advocate for all victims of crime that we serve.’
On April 8, Richards was arrested at his home in Roselle by Newark Police Officers after Ms. Cortes reported that he assaulted and threatened her with a gun at her Newark home.
The weapon used in the original incident was confiscated and is being held by the Newark Police Department.
On April 10, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office filed a motion with the court asking that Richards be detained.
On April 13, a detention hearing was held and on the same day the judge released Richards with conditions.
The conditions included that he not commit any new offenses, avoid contact with the victim, report to Pretrial Services every other week telephonically and in person once every other week, refrain from possessing a firearm or other dangerous weapons, refrain from excessive use of alcohol or narcotics, appear for court proceedings and notify Pretrial Services of any change in his contact information.
On April 17, Richards was served with a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) obtained by the victim.
On May 2, Richards was served with a Final Restraining Order (FRO) obtained by the victim.