The estranged wife of New Orleans Municipal Court Judge Paul Sens has lost her bid for a special prosecutor to consider possible charges against the judge, instead of her, from a scrap last year at the former couple’s Uptown home.
Ann Sens, 56, continues to face two counts of domestic abuse battery and two counts of disturbing the peace. She is accused of gashing her husband of more than 30 years with a bite on his arm and threatening police officers who responded to her 911 call.
Retired Judge James Cannella, who was appointed to hear the case after all of the Orleans Parish judges recused themselves, set an Aug. 31 trial date.
Cannella on Thursday rejected Ann Sens’ bid for a special prosecutor, along with her motion to quash the bill of information filed against her in December.
Ann Sens admits biting Paul Sens, 59, who lost a race last year for a Criminal District Court judgeship. But she says she did so only after he socked her in the face during the May 2014 fight.
The dispute came a day after Ann Sens filed for divorce, accusing her husband of carrying on an affair.
She claims the judge, who has touted his work in developing a strong domestic violence program in Municipal Court, had a lengthy history of violent abuse in their marriage.
She filed a lawsuit this spring in Civil District Court seeking damages, as the couple’s divorce case proceeds separately.
In the divorce case, Paul Sens claims a lengthy history of physical abuse at his wife’s hands.
In legal filings, Ann Sens described the police response to her 911 call as “a sham” that was handled “solely to protect the reputation and ‘honor’ of a sitting New Orleans judge.”
Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office has recused itself in the case, leaving the prosecution to state Attorney General Buddy Caldwell’s office.