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GSU professor to stand trial Monday for battery, sodomy charges

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Posted: January 23, 2008 9:35 p.m.
Updated: February 7, 2008 5:00 a.m.
GSU professor to stand trial Monday for battery, sodomy charges

Juan Antonio Serna


    A Georgia Southern University professor accused of sexually assaulting a male student last fall will stand trial Monday.
    Juan Antonio Serna, 44, an instructor of foreign languages and a private tutor,was charged with sexual battery and aggravated sodomy after a 19-year-old man accused him of forcing himself on him.
    Statesboro Police Det. Tommy Brown said Serna was a guest at a gathering at the victim’s apartment when the alleged incident took place. The victim reported the assault the next day, he said.
    Serna was suspended without pay and banned from campus after his arrest, according to Georgia Southern University spokesman Stephen Ward.
    Brown said the victim and his roommate told investigators Serna made unwelcome advances last September, but the victim continued working for Serna in the Center for Latino Outreach Program at Georgia Southern and often accompanied Serna in social situations.
    Serna taught the victim Spanish, he said.
    Ogeechee Judicial Circuit Assistant District Attorney Daphne Jarriel said Serna’s trial begins Monday when he appears before Judge William Woodrum. The trial is expected to last through Tuesday, she said.

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