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| Crime |

Myrl Serra, ex-Western Slope DA, pleads guilty to unlawful sexual contact

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Back in September, Myrl Serra, district attorney for the 7th Judicial District, was busted on suspicion of unlawful sexual contact and other charges.

Suspicion confirmed: Today, the Colorado Attorney' General's Office has announced that Serra has pleaded guilty to two counts, including criminal extortion.

Details of the allegations against Serra emerged in November, with the release of three documents: a search warrant, an affidavit to support the arrest warrant and an affidavit in support of an order for non-testimonial identification evidence. As we noted at the time, the combined documents tell a graphic story of inter-office sexual harassment against women who said they feared retribution.

In the first document, for example, a woman told investigators she had met Serra and other co-workers at a bar. Serra had reportedly had a few alcoholic beverages by then, and he subsequently followed the woman to her car, told her, "You have a nice ass," then placed his hand on her thigh.

At that time, the woman told him, "This is not going to happen," and it didn't -- but she provided investigators with names of other women who claimed not to have been so fortunate.

According to one woman, Serra suggestively asked her, "What will you do for me to get off work early?" She responded to this question by suggesting that she would bring donuts into the office, but he said he was on a diet. She then offered fruit, coffee and assorted consumables -- but Serra apparently had other things on his mind, reaching into his pants and taking out his penis. The woman said, "I do not want to do that," but according to the document, Serra didn't accept this answer. Instead, he placed her hand on his penis and asked how it felt. He added that if she would do him a favor, he'd do her a favor. She again said "no" as he touched her breast.

Investigators collected more such stories, including tales of marks left on wrists by Serra trying to force women to touch his penis. But one account is even more graphic. A woman said she was in Serra's office when he pulled the shades, told her, "You need to help a guy out," and removed his penis. He then placed her hand on his penis, and on this occasion, the terrified woman "followed through" and masturbated Serra. While doing so, she protested that the act was "wrong," to which he reportedly replied, "Oh, you know you like it. That's the kind of person you are." In the end, Serra finished himself off, ejaculating into a napkin that he tossed into a trash can when finished.

Presumably, Serra knew how tales like these would play with a jury. He's now entered guilty pleas in relation to charges of criminal extortion, a class-four felony, and unlawful sexual contact, a class-one misdemeanor that involved three victims.

Possible punishment: up to twelve years in prison and the requirement to register as a convicted sex offender. He'd previously been found guilty in Montrose of violating the conditions of his bond. This sentence will run consecutively with whatever punishment a judge dolls out this time around. He'll be sentenced January 19, 2012 in Montrose District Court.

Look below to read the complete search warrant, as well as to see a larger version of Serra's mug shot:

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