DeKalb County

Teen arrested on Gwinnett Co. rape charge let out on bond, charged for Brookhaven rape, police say

BROOKHAVEN, Ga. — The Brookhaven police chief tells Channel 2 Action News that his department is dealing with a rape that wouldn’t have happened if the suspect had not gotten out on bond for sex offenses in Gwinnett County.

Channel 2 investigative reporter Mark Winne was at Brookhaven Police Headquarters, where he spoke to the chief about the case. He also spoke to the suspect’s attorney in Gwinnett County, who gave another perspective.

The story involves suspect Fredy Serna, and sex offenses allegedly committed in two separate counties.

One of them was a rape charge in Brookhaven, which Serna’s attorney acknowledges happened while Serna was out on bond from charges of rape, aggravated child molestation and two counts of child molestation from Gwinnett County.

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Brookhaven Police Chief Brandon Gurley said it was frustrating to police to have somebody get out on a $5,000 consent bond for sex offenses in one county, then allegedly commit a rape in another jurisdiction.

“I believe this is absolutely avoidable. We have a suspect that has a pattern of this type of sexual behavior that had been arrested and charged with a similar offense in another jurisdiction, who [was] ultimately released on bond, pending court,” Gurley said.

Attorney Steve Adkins, who is representing Serna, told Channel 2 Action News that the Gwinnett County District Attorney’s Office consented to a $5,000 bond last year, with conditions including a psychosexual examination.

When asked by Winne if his client was innocent or guilty, Adkins said “Innocent.”

A statement provided by the Gwinnett County DA’s Office to Channel 2 Action News said that “because of the age of the defendant at the time and the fact that this is an open case, we cannot comment.”


The attorney said the Gwinnett County charges involve two girls, one of them 12 or 13 years old, the other slightly older, and that the incidents allegedly happened in 2021, though the charges weren’t brought until 2023.

Adkins said Serna is 18 now, but would’ve been 15 at the time of the incidents and that he believes it was a major factor in the DA’s office and judge agreeing to give Serna bond.

The attorney said getting bond for Serna in Gwinnett County “was the right result.”

However, Adkins said it was kind of a lawyer’s nightmare when his client was arrested for rape in Brookhaven.

“Yeah, I mean, obviously, yes sir,” Adkins said.

Gurley said the victim in the Brookhaven case had been hanging out with Serna and woke up with him having sex with her without her consent. She reported that she tried to pull away and pull her pants up multiple times but he pulled her pants down and continued the act.

“We met with an 18-year-old female who was distraught, crying, extremely upset at the hospital. In our first meeting with her, she disclosed very little information about what had taken place,” Gurley said. “However, when our investigator followed up the next day [and] was able to establish a rapport with her, ultimately we were able to get a full statement that we were able to corroborate.”

Documents indicate the prosecutors in Gwinnett County have filed a motion to revoke bond and a hearing has been set for April 9.

A document in the DeKalb County case, for Brookhaven, shows bond was denied.

A spokesman for the state’s public defender system said in the Brookhaven case, the DeKalb Public Defender’s Office represents Serna. Attorneys and investigators are reviewing the allegations and preparing a strong, effective defense.

Adkins, the lawyer for Serna in the Gwinnett case, says the DA’s office there did the right thing because of his age at the time of the alleged incidents, and if he was even two or three years older, he would not have gotten a consent bond and certainly not a $5,000 bond.

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