Newport Beach rape case: AG seeks to drop most charges against surgeon and girlfriend

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Saturday, May 15, 2021
AG seeks to drop most charges in Newport Beach rape case
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State prosecutors asked to drop most of the charges against Grant Robicheaux and Cerissa Riley, the O.C. couple accused of drugging and sexually assaulting several women.

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- The California Attorney General's Office on Friday asked to drop most of the charges against Grant Robicheaux and Cerissa Riley, the Newport Beach couple accused of drugging and sexually assaulting several women.

Prosecutors with the Attorney General's Office filed a motion Thursday to amend the complaint against former reality TV star Robicheaux and Riley.

Instead of multiple counts of sexual offenses involving seven different victims, attorneys with the A.G.'s Office say they only have sufficient evidence to move forward with the charges in relation to one victim, referred to as Jane Doe 6 in court records.

"We thoroughly reviewed the evidence. We conducted our own investigation," Deputy Attorney General Yvette Martinez said Friday during a hearing. "We spoke to all the victims that were willing to speak with us, and we received their input. Based on that, our trial team of four made a recommendation."

Rape case against Newport Beach surgeon, girlfriend referred to state attorney general's office

The attorney representing the victim known as Jane Doe 4 says his client is hopeful the judge will not approve the request.

"Our position is allow the victims to testify, allow the victims to be confronted by whatever the prosecuting agencies believe are the problems in the case, and let's determine whether the case can go forward from there," said Mike Fell, an attorney who represents one of the women.

It is not the first time prosecutors seek the dismissal of charges. In June 2020, when the Orange County District Attorney's Office was the prosecuting agency, a judge denied a motion to entirely dismiss the case.

Both defendants who once led a swinger lifestyle, have maintained their innocence, claiming the sexual encounters were consensual.

The hearing on the motion to amend the complaint is scheduled for June 11.

Robicheaux -- who previously appeared on a Bravo TV show called "Online Dating Rituals of the American Male" -- and Riley were initially charged in 2018 with rape by use of drugs, kidnapping and other crimes. At the time, authorities alleged that the pair plied their victims with drugs and sexually assaulted them when they were incapable of resisting.

But the high-profile case that grabbed international headlines was mired in controversy and steeped in a contentious political battle between Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer and his predecessor Tony Rackauckas. During his election campaign, Spitzer accused Rackauckas of improperly handling the case and using it to draw publicity.

On Feb. 4, 2020, Spitzer announced that after having attorneys in his office review extensive evidence including audio and video recordings, text messages and documents, he decided to ask the court to dismiss the case.

On Aug. 3, 2020, Orange County Superior Court Judge Gregory Jones decided to refer the case to the state attorney general's office.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.