Sentencing delayed for former nurse-anesthetist

MARIETTA — Sentencing for nurse-anesthetist Paul Serdula, who was convicted in April of sexually assaulting women and girls he had put under anesthesia and of recording the assaults on video, has been delayed until Oct. 26 and 27. Serdula had been scheduled to be sentenced this week.

On April 11, Cobb Superior Court Judge Reuben Green found Serdula, 48, guilty of assaulting 19 victims, including two girls under age 16, at a local hospital, surgery center and dentist’s office. Serdula admitted to the facts of the case to save the victims from a trial, but did not plead guilty in order to preserve a right to appeal, his lawyer said.

He is facing “multiple life sentences,” prosecutor Rusty Knox said previously.

Jimmy Berry, Serdula’s private defense attorney, said his schedule forced the postponement. He has two murder trials in August and a death penalty case in September.

“(State attorneys and I) had talked about and decided that it was best to continue the case,” Berry said. “If the death penalty case doesn’t turn out like it should (in September), we will have to continue once again.”

Knox, of the Cobb District Attorney’s office, was unable to comment about the continuance because the case remains open.

Both sides are expected to call several witnesses at the sentencing hearing. The exact number is unknown, but Berry said that the state plans to call most of the victims.

Serdula was first arrested in November 2009, after a woman found a camera hidden beneath a bathroom sink at the Goldstein Garber and 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.

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 the Cobb County Jail since then.

As for an appeal, Berry has mentioned two points: the process by which police obtained a search warrant for Serdula’s cellphone, on which multiple images of assaults were found; and the fact that Judge Green, a former prosecutor in the District Attorney’s Office, did not recuse himself.

Read more: The Marietta Daily Journal - Sentencing delayed for former nurse anesthetist