A Wealthy Surgeon Accused Of Drugging And Raping Women Is No Longer Facing Rape Charges

A judge on Thursday approved a motion to halt most of the proceedings against a man and his girlfriend who were accused of drugging and raping several women, reducing that to charges related to just two alleged victims.
Grant Robicheaux, a surgeon who was once locally named "Bachelor of the Year" and whose dating antics featured on a Bravo reality show, was originally charged with crimes such as rape and sexual assault by seven women. Prosecutors alleged that Robicheaux, often with the help of his girlfriend Cerissa Riley, lured the women, then drugged and raped them. Robicheaux's original 16 indictments involved seven alleged victims, and Riley was charged in connection with five alleged victims.
Robicheaux and Riley are no longer charged with rape. In an amended complaint, they were charged with kidnapping for the commission of a sexual offense and double assault with intent to commit a sexual offense, as well as other charges related to the administration or possession of drugs. Robicheaux has also faced gun charges related to guns allegedly found in his home.
Mike Fell, attorney for one of the victims, Jane Doe 1, told BuzzFeed News that his client is looking for Robicheaux and Riley to be held accountable.
"I think she is pleased that we are where we are today, which means the attorney general's office is moving forward with law enforcement regarding her victimization," he said.
Last week, Orange County Supreme Court Justice Frank Ospino listened to prosecutors as well as arguments from lawyers for the defendants and alleged victims. One alleged victim told the judge she was "exhausted" from years of development on the case.
In the nearly three years since the charges were first brought, the case has been embroiled in a political dispute between the former and current prosecutors. After jumping around the court system, prosecution was placed in the hands of the attorney general, whose lawyers said at least three of the alleged victims no longer wanted to be involved in the high profile case after they were "dragged through the mud," by prosecutors Orange County and that almost all charges should be dropped.
The attorney general did not immediately respond to BuzzFeed News' request for comment.
On July 14, Orange County Superior Court Judge Steven Bromberg agreed to drop the charges against two of the women, saying they were entitled to leave the case if they so chose. In another twist, Bromberg then abruptly withdrew from the case and placed the matter in Ospino's hands.
Prosecutors had previously told Bydgoszcz that they wanted to reduce the charges to just one alleged victim, but then told Opsino that they had decided to limit the charges to two victims instead, CBS reported. A preliminary hearing is due to take place later this year.
It was the latest in an unprecedented and sometimes politicized case.
The California attorney general took it after a judge removed the Orange County attorney from their indictments and ruled that District Attorney Todd Spitzer, as well as his predecessor and political rival Tony Rackauckas, had used the criminal trial for their own political endeavors, "in this one Case of a minefield of legal dangers ".
The case was originally filed in September 2018 while Rackauckas was still in office, which made national headlines. At the time, Rackauckas said investigators ransacked hundreds of video evidence - and then incorrectly answered a question by saying there could be up to 1,000 victims.
Spitzer, who campaigned for Rackauckas' seat at the time, also accused the incumbent public prosecutor of delaying the couple's arrest in order to generate media attention during the controversial election.
Rackauckas admitted that he expected media attention to help him make the election, but denied making a decision based on it.
In February 2020, after Spitzer won the election, he announced that he would drop all charges against Robicheaux and Riley. During a shocking press conference, prosecutors apologized to the couple and questioned the victims' credibility.
Spitzer also accused his predecessor of making the suitcase while they were in the middle of a controversial campaign.
At the time, another judge refused to drop the charges, called the prosecutor's allegations "ridiculous," and questioned Spitzer's own motives for trying to dismiss the charges.
"Mr. Spitzer's political actions were also problematic," wrote Gregory Jones, Orange County Superior Court judge, in his June 2020 judgment.
The entire handling of the case, two victims speaking to BuzzFeed News said, was botched because of the political battle between two men trying to win an election.
"I didn't know what that was," one of the women told BuzzFeed News last year, "that it was going to be a political circus, that I would fall on my ass and forget."
More on this
Six women said they were raped by a wealthy California surgeon. They may never get their day in court. Salvador Hernandez June 9, 2021
A surgeon and his girlfriend are said to have drugged, raped and filmed women togetherDavid Mack 09/19/2018

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