A former California Highway Patrol officer faces up to a year in Napa County jail in connection with stalking the girlfriend of her former boyfriend.
Emily Seronello, 32, pleaded no contest in Napa County Superior Court on Thursday to two misdemeanors — disobeying a domestic relations restraining court order and making annoying telephone calls. She faces up to a year in jail, according to the Napa County District Attorney’s Office. A plea of no contest has the same effect as a guilty plea at sentencing.
In exchange for her plea, the District Attorney’s Office dropped the other charges, including felony stalking, illegal firearm possession and possession of ammunition, according to court records. Until Thursday’s hearing, Seronello had denied all the charges.
Napa County Superior Court Judge Francisca Tisher set sentencing for Aug. 22.
The District Attorney’s Office had filed its case against Seronello in July 2012 after a series of alleged incidents.
Seronello, who has since retired from the CHP for medical reasons, was accused of sending more than 100 phone text messages between November 2011 and March 2012 to a Fairfield woman who had been dating her former boyfriend, according to court records. Many of the messages were sent at night, according to court testimony at Seronello’s preliminary hearing in November.
In January 2012, Seronello’s former boyfriend, Kenneth McDonald of Napa, filed a restraining order against Seronello, accusing her of allegedly sending him, his family and girlfriend hundreds of phone text messages daily, day and night.
He also accused her of allegedly driving by his house and keying his van, according to court records. McDonald and Seronello had an on-and-off relationship for a decade.
In November, Judge Philip Champlin ordered Seronello to stand trial for the alleged crimes at the conclusion of a preliminary hearing. In that hearing, Seronello's attorney, Thomas Maas, said his client is on medical disability after she contracted Lyme disease while she was a CHP officer.
She remains out of custody on $50,000 bail, according to court records.
This story has been modified since its original posting to include information from the defense attorney about Ms. Seronello's health.