The Wednesday sentencing of a former Los Banos teacher who pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography was continued after his attorney announced he moved out of Merced County.
Ernesto Cortez, a 52-year-old former first grade teacher for Los Banos Elementary School, appeared in court Wednesday for a sentencing hearing after he pleaded guilty to a felony charge Aug. 30. Cortez was out on bail Wednesday.
Cortez was arrested Aug. 16 after police found numerous pornographic images and 47 videos of underage children on Cortez's personal devices, according to police reports.
The Los Banos Unified School District placed Cortez on administrative leave the day after he was arrested. The school board officially terminated Cortez's contract during it's next closed session meeting Sept. 14.
Cortez's attorney, Mark Coleman, said Cortez sold his Los Banos home, moved out of Merced County and is living with a relative.
Coleman also contested one of Cortez's proposed probation conditions that requires Cortez to not live within 2,000 feet of a school. Coleman said Cortez's new home is within blocks of a school. Coleman said appellate courts have ruled the blanket residency restriction, originally a provision of Jessica's Law, is unconstitutional.
Jessica's Law is a California voter-approved law enacted in 2006 that required registered sex offenders to not live within 2,000 feet of a school, park or any other place children gather.
Deputy District Attorney Katie Gates said the terms of Cortez's probation as he registers as a sex offender may need more time considering Cortez's move out of the county.
Court Commissioner Jeanne Schechter continued the hearing to Tuesday, Oct. 3.