A California couple is accused of drugging and raping women. Police suspect there are many more victims

A well-known surgeon from Newport Beach and his girlfriend are accused of drugging and sexually assaulting t...

Posted: Sep 20, 2018 3:48 PM
Updated: Sep 20, 2018 3:48 PM

A well-known surgeon from Newport Beach and his girlfriend are accused of drugging and sexually assaulting two women, and Southern California authorities said they believe there could be many more victims.

Grant William Robicheaux, 38, and Cerissa Laura Riley, 31, are charged with rape by use of drugs, oral copulation by anesthesia or controlled substance, assault with intent to commit sexual offense, and possession of a controlled substance for sale. Robicheaux is also accused of firearms violations.

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On Robicheaux's phone, investigators found hundreds of clips of women in various states of consciousness, Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas told reporters Tuesday. He said that many of the women in the videos appeared unable to consent to sexual contact. Many of the videos also included Riley, he said.

"Based on this evidence we believe that there might be many unidentified victims out there," he said.

Rackauckas estimated there were more than 1,000 videos. He did not say whether the same women were seen in multiple clips.

Attorneys Scott Borthwick and Philip Cohen issued a statement on behalf of Riley and Robicheaux denying the allegations of nonconsensual sex.

"They have been aware of these accusations for a number of months, and each of them will formally deny the truth of these allegations at their first opportunity in court," the attorneys said.

"Dr. Robicheaux and Ms. Riley believe that such allegations do a disservice to, and dangerously undermine, the true victims of sexual assault, and they are eager to have the proper spotlight shed on this case in a public trial."

Riley and Robicheaux each paid $100,000 bail last week when they were arrested. They will be arraigned October 25.

The district attorney says Riley and Robicheaux met a 32-year-old woman at a restaurant in Newport Beach in April 2016, and on another occasion invited her to a party, took her back to his apartment once she was intoxicated, gave her drugs and raped her. The incident was recorded on video, Rackauckas said. The victim contacted Newport Beach police the next day and tested positive for multiple controlled substances.

Six months later, prosecutors say, another woman alleges the couple sexually assaulted her at the apartment after she got drunk at a bar with them. The DA's office says she awoke and screamed for help until a neighbor called police to the scene. Authorities don't know if that incident was also recorded, Rackauckas said.

Authorities believe Riley approached the women first, then invited Robicheaux over, Rackauckas told reporters.

The district attorney's office asked that any women who think they may have been sexually assaulted by the couple contact the office's lead investigator, Eric Wiseman. Authorities said the couple traveled to festivals such as Burning Man in Black Rock Desert in Nevada, Dirtybird Campout festival in central California and the Splash House festival in Palm Springs, California.

"We believe the defendants used their good looks and charm to lower the inhibitions of their potential prey," Rackauckas said.

Robicheaux went to Louisiana State University for his undergraduate degree and his medical training, graduating in 2007. He was licensed in California on May 30, 2009.

He appeared on an episode of Bravo's "Online Dating Rituals of the American Male" in 2014. Rackauckas said no women from the Bravo show have been connected with the cellphone videos.

While the district attorney said investigators will want to talk to Robicheaux's patients, he said there is no evidence any incidents happened in a medical setting.

"None of the allegations in this matter relate to or concern Dr. Robicheaux's medical practice or patients in any way," the defense attorneys said.

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