More than 12 'credible potential victims' in sex assault case against Newport Beach surgeon, girlfriend, DA says staff KABC logo
Saturday, September 22, 2018
More than 12 alleged victims step forward in OC sex assault case
More women have stepped forward and accused a Newport Beach surgeon and his girlfriend of sexual assault.

SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) -- More women have stepped forward and accused a Newport Beach surgeon and his girlfriend of sexual assault, the Orange County District Attorney said Friday.

Authorities have identified more than 12 "credible potential victims" who claim they were preyed upon by Dr. Grant Robicheaux and his girlfriend Cerissa Riley, according to DA Tony Rackauckas.

Speaking at a morning news conference, Rackauckas said investigators have received more than 50 phone calls about the case after the suspects were arrested and charged earlier this week.

"We're expanding our inquiries to several states and as well as other parts of California," he said. "We now believe that Robicheaux and Riley not only met their prey in person at bars and restaurants, but Robicheaux may have targeted victims through dating apps such as Tinder and Bumble."

Rackauckas also announced that there's a new allegation that Robiccheaux assaulted a woman 20 years ago, when Robicheaux was only 18.

One woman described the couple as a "Bonnie and Clyde" team who drugged and forced her into sexual acts.

Prosecutors said they are investigating more than six possible victims who have come forward in the case of an Orange County surgeon and his girlfriend who have been arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting women.

Asked in a previous interview if the suspects' M.O. was to send Riley out first to meet the alleged victims, Rackauckas replied: "That's what we've seen, yes."

Robicheaux, 38, was once named "Bachelor of the Year" by Orange Coast magazine and appeared on a Bravo reality show about online dating.

Lauren Hayden said she met Robicheaux on the dating app Tinder in 2017 and broke down when she saw his face in a recent news report.

"I just started screaming," she said. "I just started sobbing."

Hayden recalled red flags before she escaped their encounter.

"I was in the pool with him, or Jacuzzi, and he started trying to tear my top off," she said. "When I was saying 'no,' it was like he wasn't even hearing me."

The suspects were charged with sexual assault against two women and one count of rape. But after finding more than 1,000 videos of victims whom the couple allegedly recorded in many cities, authorities are concerned they may have widespread victims.

Robicheaux and Riley have been released on bail. The DA said it is possible that the couple could be re-arrested if there is substantial evidence of additional charges.

Lawyers for the pair said they unequivocally deny all allegations of nonconsensual sex. At a brief press conference Friday afternoon, the legal team said they are prepared to defend against the allegations.

"There has been much to say about thousands of victims and hundreds of counts. We cannot speak to any of those, all we can do is tell you that after the lengthy investigation that has taken place, after the many months of review of video and media and digital information, we are prepared to defend against the charges that have been filed," said attorney Philip Cohen.

The DA's re-election opponent Todd Spitzer also spoke on Friday asking about the time it took for the DA to warn women about the alleged predators -- and why the pair is out on bail.

"This call for additional victims is almost a year late, and this has nothing to do with protecting the victims. This call is nothing more than a political rouse for Mr. Rackauckas to get free press," Spitzer said.

Rackauckas said that his hands were tied until there was sufficient evidence to charge the couple, and that happened this month.

Through their attorneys, the suspects said they are not a flight risk. They said Robicheaux took trips out of the country three times in the last nine months and each time he's returned voluntarily. The pair is scheduled to be arraigned in October.

Anyone who believes they were victimized by the couple is encouraged to call Supervising Investigator Eric Wiseman at (714) 347-8794.

ABC News contributed to this report.