There’s a new twist in the case against former reality TV surgeon Grant Robicheaux and his girlfriend Cerissa Riley, who’ve been accused of drugging and luring multiple women back to their Newport Beach home to sexually assault them.
This week, the California Attorney General’s Office requested that most of the rape charges against the duo be dropped so prosecutors can concentrate the case on one accuser, Jane Doe Number 6. Robicheaux had been charged with assaulting seven women, while Riley was charged with five assaults (they’ve both pleaded not guilty).
The case was recently reassigned to state prosecutors from the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, where it got wrapped up in a political battle between former DA Tony Rackauckas and current DA Todd Spitzer. When Spitzer requested that all the charges against the couple be dismissed, a judge denied the request and ordered that the case be handled by the attorney general.
According to the L.A. Times, recently appointed Attorney General Rob Bonta filed a motion this week asking a judge to dismiss ten sex crime charges relating to six of Robicheaux and Riley’s accusers because his office reportedly decided that some of the women’s allegations couldn’t be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
That leaves the accusations leveled by Jane Doe Number 6, who says she met Robicheaux on a dating app and then agreed to an in-person meeting at a local restaurant (Riley apparently tagged along as a “friend”). According to prosecutors, the anonymous woman’s drink was drugged at a bar the three visited, and she later woke up while she was being sexually assaulted by the couple at their home.
The prosecution’s request also involves adding four drug charges to the case. In the motion, the state writes, “The defendants’ actions of facilitating the victim’s excessive consumption of alcohol and drugs to ultimately prevent her from possessing the ability to resist sexual intercourse was the underlying motivation for their behavior.”
As Los Angeles reported last year, the couple has been accused of sexual assault by as many as 18 women. At the time of their arrest in September 2018, then-district attorney Rackauckas claimed video evidence found in the couple’s home indicated they’d had encounters with as many as a thousand women, a contention that was disputed by his successor.
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