MONTROSE – Montrose District Attorney Myrl Serra now faces additional misdemeanor charges in addition to a felony unlawful sexual conduct charge he was arrested for a month ago. Judge Steven Bottger in Grand Junction added three misdemeanor charges, including indecent exposure, unlawful sexual conduct and criminal extortion, to a felony charge of unlawful sexual contact without consent and with force or threat, a class-four felony that he was charged with a month ago, along with a misdemeanor charge of first-degree official misconduct.
Bottger denied a request by Robert Shapiro, First Assistant Attorney General, who is prosecuting for the state, to increase Serra’s bond to $50,000.
Bottger said Serra had not violated provisions of the original $5,000 bond set by Judge Steven Patrick of the Seventh Judicial District. Bottger is Chief Judge for the 21st Judicial District in Grand Junction, and was assigned the case by the state court administrator since all the judges in the Seventh Judicial District, where Serra is district attorney, recused themselves.
Shapiro also asked that three more victims’ names be added to the order of protection against Serra, in addition to the original victim. Those names were read aloud in court, but The Watch does not normally release names of victims of sexual allegations.
It became apparent, however, that Serra’s alleged offenses were work-related. When requesting the bond increase, Shapiro mentioned the “alleged victimization…when he was in a position of trust over them.”
Since Serra is not allowed in offices of the Seventh Judicial District except to appear in court, Bottger said it was unlikely he would repeat his actions.
“No one has given me a reason to believe he won’t come to court proceedings, and since (Patrick) set bond, the most serious charges are still the same,” he said. “There is no reason to be concerned Mr. Serra would commit (future) offenses since he is no longer in a position of trust to allow him to do that.”
Serra was ordered to appear for a preliminary hearing case on Feb. 11 at 9 a.m. at the Mesa County Justice Center.