EL PASO, Texas -- ABC-7 tried to get answers Monday from the El Paso judge who signed off on a personal recognizance bond for the man now accused of stabbing and seriously wounding a 5-year-old girl inside a McDonald's restaurant play area last week.
Judge Francisco Dominguez had granted the PR release to Isaac Dorfman, who was awaiting trial on an aggravated robbery charge involving a knife when he allegedly attacked the little girl at the fast food restaurant.
Under a personal recognizance bond, a judge allows a criminal defendant to be released from jail without having to post a cash bond to guarantee his appearance at trial.
Some members of the community - including the girl's mother - have questioned why Dorfman, who has a lengthy criminal history, was granted a PR release given that he was accused of a violent crime. District Attorney Jaime Esparaza told ABC-7 that prosecutors had opposed the release, but the judge used his discretion to grant it.
When ABC-7 spotted Dominguez leaving a meeting of the El Paso County Commissioners on Monday, reporter Saul Saenz attempted to question him in an elevator about his decision in the case.
"You're sensationalist," Dominguez proclaimed as he rebuffed an opportunity to explain his decision. "As a judge I am not able to speak on this issue."
The judge also appeared irate that ABC-7 had reported that his assistant, Aurora Molina-Estrada, said he would not be talking to anyone - including the media - about Dorfman's case.
ABC-7 had reached out to the judge through Molina-Estrada last week for comment and perspective on the use of personal recognizance bonds.
You can watch the entire exchange with the judge on Monday in the video player at the top of this article.
After last week's attack, the victim's mother Lesley De La Rosa expressed serious frustration with the judge's decision.
“If it wasn’t for that stupid decision he made, my daughter wouldn’t be going through all this,” De la Rosa told ABC-7.