The Colorado State Parole Board rejected Serra’s plea last week to be set free.
Serra, who will receive credit for time served, is scheduled for release in July.
Serra was first arrested on Sept. 30, 2010, following allegations that he had intimidated female employees to commit sex acts in his office. Three women came forward; other women were interviewed who either declined to testify or who were victims of civil sexual harassment, which is not a criminal offense, said Colorado First Assistant Attorney General Robert Shapiro, who prosecuted the case.
“We were only mandated to investigate criminal crimes,” Shapiro explained. Serra was charged with three counts of indecent exposure and two counts of misdemeanor unlawful sexual conduct, as well as felony extortion and official misconduct, according to the sentencing order; all but the sexual conduct and extortion charges were dismissed. In court, his three accusers, who had worked for Serra while he was the District Attorney, told of a longstanding pattern of sexual misconduct, during which Serra threatened them with losing their jobs, frequently exposed himself, and grabbed them and forced them to provide sexual favors (meeting the legal definition of sexual assault) over a three-year period.
Serra was convicted in August of violating a restraining order after he was accused of harassing one of his accusers.
Serra, 51, agreed last year that the prosecution could prove he had committed felony extortion and unlawful sexual contact, but entered a little-used plea, called the Alford Plea, which leads to a conviction, but does not require the defendant to admit his guilt.
With a guilty plea, Serra, now a registered sex offender who has been permanently disbarred as a lawyer, would have faced a possible sentence of up to 15 years.