Formerly convicted child molester released from prison

Source: WGCL

Paul Serdula was a Cobb County nurse who was convicted of molesting and sodomizing dozens of young girls after he sedated them for medical procedures. He was supposed to be serving a life sentence in prison.

Tuesday, CBS46 learned Serdula is a free man.

The Georgia Department of Corrections' communications department could not explain when Serdula was released or to whom on Tuesday afternoon. The Cobb County Sheriff's Office said he was not in their custody either.

Former Cobb County District Attorney Patrick Head told CBS46 it should happen this way.

"If he's not in custody, then I'd say it's very concerning," Head said. "If he is not in the custody of some law enforcement agency, does anybody know where he is?"

Serdula was released at some point after the Georgia Court of Appeals issued a ruling vacating his convictions on February 15.

In his appeal, Serdula argued that his trial judge Rueben M. Green had a "close relationship" with then District Attorney Patrick Head and that Green needed to recuse himself. Head says he'd briefly served as campaign treasurer for Green when he ran for a state court position. The campaign was dissolved after the race turned into an appointment position. Head maintains he has no personal relationship with Green and that there was no conflict of interest.

"That's much to do about nothing," Head said. "Judge Green and I never had what I would call a close relationship. I never socialized with him. I've never been to his house for dinner. He's never been to mine," he continued.

Green never recused himself and a bench trial against Serdula went on.

Now, several years later, the appeals court says Green should've removed himself from the case, and that a new judge should rule on the recusal request. In that process, Serdula's molestation convictions were vacated.

Sources tell CBS46 that despite the vacated convictions, Serdula, who did not have bond, should have been released into the custody of Cobb County sheriff's deputies, not completely set free.

"It is highly unusual for an individual to have a conviction overturned and by an appellate court and then be released," Head said. "They should be sent back to the county where the original case was."

CBS46 reached out to Serdula's attorneys to ask where he is. No one responded Tuesday night.

Former detectives who spent countless hours on the case, as well as sources in the district attorney's office, say Serdula's release is concerning.

"If you were Mr. Serdula and you were looking at spending the rest of your life in prison and you were released and free again, would you still be here in Georgia?" Head questioned.

He says in order for a recusal hearing to take place, Serdula must be located and taken back into custody to appear in court.

Copyright 2018 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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