Friday, April 22, 2011

Nurse guilty of sexually assaulting women and girls at medical offices in suburban Atlanta

A nurse who sexually assaulted women and girls under anesthesia was found guilty as charged in a Cobb County, GA courtroom on Monday April 11 and is expected to be sentenced to a lengthy prison term by Superior Court Judge Reuben Green during sentencing which is scheduled to take place within the next month or so.

48 year old Paul Serdula, a nurse anesthesiologist who practiced in metro Atlanta, was found guilty by Judge Green in a "stipulated facts" bench trial in which 20 pages of still sealed facts were agreed to and entered into evidence. Judge Green reviewed multiple images, presumably of women and girls being victimized. According to Cobb County investigators, this evidence shows victims from around the county and not just the victim Serdula was convicted of videotaping.

Serdula's defense attorney Jimmy Berry said that the images were the reason his client did not plead guilty, citing police misconduct in obtaining the evidence. "The pictures are what they are, they show what they show...We didn’t have a lot to fight about. Just the procedure of how they got them, and whether they got a valid search warrant.”

Serdula, who appeared in court Monday shackled at the waist, was charged in two separate indictments of assaulting 19 victims, including two girls under the age of 16, at a local hospital, surgery center, and a dentist’s office.

He was first arrested in November 2009, after a woman found the camera hidden beneath a bathroom sink at the Goldstein Garber & Salama dental office at 600 Galleria Parkway and called 911. He was later released on $50,000 bond, but was re-arrested about a week later on child molestation charges, after one victim was identified as a child
[The 15 year old victim was victimized at the same dental office Serdula was arrested before].

In July 2010, he was again released, this time on $250,000 bond, before being arrested a third time, in December 2010 on additional charges of unlawful surveillance, aggravated sodomy and sexual assault. He has been held without bond at Cobb County Jail since that time.

A lawsuit filed by five female patients against WellStar Cobb Hospital was setteld out of court for an undisclosed amount.

According to the original lawsuit, four of the women were at the hospital to deliver babies via cesarean section, and a minor was undergoing an emergency appendectomy. The suit claimed that Serdula administered some drugs without medical need, and gave excessive doses, leaving the new mothers unable to recall their babies’ births. Other operating room staff were in the room at the time of the assaults but unaware of what was happening.

Serdula faces a mandatory minimum of 25 years in prison when he is sentenced.

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