Colo. DA allegations involve suggestive text

Recent allegations against a western Colorado district attorney suspected of unlawful sexual contact include a claim that he sent a sexually suggestive text message to an ex-girlfriend.

The 40-year-old woman requested restraining orders in October 2008 and on Sept. 20 against Myrl Serra, a western Colorado district attorney who was arrested Thursday. Both requests were denied by magistrates in the district where Serra is the top prosecutor.

In both cases, the magistrates ruled that the woman was not in danger.

In the latter request, the woman said she received a sexually suggestive text on Sept. 17 from Serra and she reported it to the sheriff's department.

"If you want good sex, come to Breck cause I'm good at sex," the woman quoted the text as saying.

In her request, the woman said she had filed three other reports of harassment with the Montrose Sheriff's Department but it was unclear whether the sheriff's department opened an investigation in any of the cases. Montrose County Sheriff Rick Dunlap, Serra's Grand Junction-based attorney Stephan Schweissing, and Serra, did not immediately return messages.

Lt. Gov. Gail O'Brien earlier this week appointed the attorney general's office as special prosecutor and authorized the AG to take over Serra's duties.

It is not clear if the restraining orders are related to the charges against Serra. Other documents have been filed under seal because the investigation is ongoing. The AP does not typically name people who say they are victims of a sexual crime.

Serra was arrested on suspicion of unlawful sexual contact, indecent exposure and official misconduct. He was later released on bond.

In her 2008 request for a restraining order, the woman said she and Serra had dated but he showed up at her house the day after their breakup as if nothing happened. She said Serra then showed up at her mother's house in Olathe shortly after their breakup, picked up her 6-year-old daughter, and drove the girl nearly 50 miles to Telluride, where the woman worked, as a "surprise Mother's Day gift."

A birthday card sent to the woman's daughter in September 2008 prompted her to file for a restraining order, alleging she was being stalked, according to a court document.

"He has been told 9 times via 3 written corrspondences (sic) to leave me & my daugher (sic) alone," she wrote.

The woman told The Denver Post said she spoke with a prosecutor on Thursday. She didn't immediately return messages left by The Associated Press.

All judges in Serra's district have recused themselves and the case has been assigned to District Judge Daniel Bottger in Grand Junction, 50 miles north of Montrose.

As district attorney, Serra oversees felony and misdemeanor prosecutions in the sprawling 8,300-square mile state judicial district that covers the counties of Delta, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Montrose and Ouray.

He was appointed in 2007, and ran for election unopposed in 2008.