David Serbeck, a 42-year-old convicted of unlawful sex with a minor, is filing an appeal to have his 10-year sentence reduced.
Lawyers acting on behalf of Serbeck filed the appeal with the Utah Appeals Court Monday.
Serbeck was found guilty in 2012 of three counts of illegal sex with a minor, relating to an incident in 2007 involving a 17-year-old girl.
In an unrelated incident in 2009, Serbeck was shot by a man who believed the neighborhood watchman was stalking his teenage daughter. The incident left Serbeck paralyzed. Reginald Campos, the man who pulled the trigger, was put behind bars for attempted murder, but has since been released on parole.
Serbeck’s lawyers are now arguing that at his original trial, Serbeck was inadequately represented by his legal team. The impression was created that Serbeck had committed an offense in 2009, but in reality he was never found to have done anything wrong, they claim. However, because this was not pointed out at trial, the jury believed Serbeck had been stalking young girls again, leading them to hand down a harsh sentence.
Rejecting this, the prosecution is insisting that Serbeck’s lengthy sentence reflects his unwillingness to accept responsibility for the 2007 incident. The 17-year-old reportedly began visiting Serbeck’s home to see his collection of pet snakes. They ended up having sex on three separate occasions.
Utah Attorney General Jeffrey Gray told the Appeals Court Monday, “He has no remorse, he denies it and he considers himself the victim.” This echoed comments by the judge at Serbeck’s original trial in 2012, who noted that he had failed to “own up” to his actions.
Serbeck’s legal team is hoping to have the 10-year sentence reduced either by having one of the charges overturned or by persuading the judge to allow two of the sentences to run concurrently. Even if unsuccessful, Serbeck is due to appear before a parole board in September, which could set him free early.