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Prosecutors to drop rape case against surgeon, girlfriend citing lack of evidence

Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said Tuesday that he plans to dismiss rape charges against Newport Beach surgeon Grant Robicheaux and his girlfriend, Cerissa Riley, citing a lack of evidence. Photo courtesy of Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas
Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said Tuesday that he plans to dismiss rape charges against Newport Beach surgeon Grant Robicheaux and his girlfriend, Cerissa Riley, citing a lack of evidence. Photo courtesy of Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas

Feb. 4 (UPI) -- A California district attorney announced Tuesday that his office will seek to dismiss rape charges against a surgeon and his girlfriend citing a lack of evidence.

Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said a full review conducted after he took office last year showed that his predecessor, District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, mishandled the case against Newport Beach surgeon Grant Robicheaux and his girlfriend, Cerissa Riley.

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Rackauckas said investigators had thousands of videos that showed the pair lured, drugged and raped hundreds or more than a thousand victims.

"There is not a single piece of evidence or video or photo that shows an unconscious or incapacitated woman being sexually assaulted. Not one," Spitzer said.

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Spitzer apologized to Riley and Robicheaux, who had appeared on the Bravo reality show Online Dating Rituals of the American Male.

"What happened to their lives and how this case materialized is nothing short of a travesty," he said. "Based on the evidence and manner in which this case unfolded, this office could not ensure a fair trial for the defendants or meet its burden of proof."

Robicheaux faces seven charges and Riley faces six in the case that accuses them of meeting women at local bars and festivals, getting them intoxicated and taking them home to be raped.

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Both have pleaded not guilty.

Defense attorney Phillip Kent Cohen said Robicheaux has lost his livelihood as a result of the case.

"I don't want to be overly dramatic or hyperbolic, but the mere filing of this case has destroyed irreparably two lives," he said.

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Michael Fell, a lawyer for one of the accusers said she maintains that Robicheaux and Riley assaulted her.

"For somebody to report, for them to go through what she had to go through with the police, for the district attorney's office to file criminal charges, for her to have to be patient the last two years while the case is being prosecuted, only for it to be dropped -- she's going to be devastated," Fell said.

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