Accused Kidnapper in Court

A man accused of kidnapping a pregnant woman in Hazleton was in court Wednesday.

Carlos Cortes of Hazleton is accused of kidnapping a pregnant woman. Police said she managed to escape by jumping out of a moving vehicle.

Cortes heard about an hour of testimony against him in district magisterial  court in Hazleton.

Cortes did not want to talk publicly about the  kidnapping charge, but his mother, Catherine Artega, said she  had plenty to say. “I know he is saying the truth. He’s my son and I know he is saying the truth. He’s not a kidnapper, he’s not,” Artega said.

According to the testimony of the 22-year-old victim, Cortes was driving down an alley in Hazleton and pulled up along side her as she was walking. He said to her, “I know you.” She leaned over into the passenger side window. He then applied a cloth with apparently some kind of chemical to it to her face,  and she passed out.

The woman said when she awoke Cortes touched her breast and leg. She told Cortes, “Don’t touch me. Who are you and where are you taking me?” The victim also testified it  was in the Ebervale area where she was able to roll down the car window and through herself out of the moving car, rolled and was injured. She is pregnant but said the baby was not hurt  .

A prosecutor told the magistrate that more charges are planned against Cortes for stalking at least one other woman. Hazleton Detective Joe LaBert said the investigation is active.

“If anyone else has had similar incidents of this nature possibly involving this individual or any individual obviously if they would contact the Hazleton city police and let us know,” Detective LaBert said.

The current charges against Cortes were forwarded to trial in Luzerne County Court.  Police said the pregnant victim is shaken over her ordeal.

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