Prosecutors ask to drop most charges in doctor rape case

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — State prosecutors on Friday asked a judge to dismiss most sex crime charges filed against a reality TV doctor and his girlfriend, who are accused of drugging and raping several women at their Southern California home.

The attorney general’s office, which took over the case from the Orange County district attorney’s office last year, filed a motion asking for dismissal of 10 charges involving six of the seven alleged victims.

”We have no reason to believe that any of these victims are being untruthful,” but a review found that some allegations couldn’t be proved beyond a reasonable doubt, the prosecutor said.

The motion said a review found that some allegations couldn’t be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

However, Orange County Superior Court Judge Steven D. Bromberg asked the state to file a brief with more information before he rules on the motion, which could happen next month.

Noting twists and turns in the case, Bromberg said it is “becoming the never-ending story.”

Dr. Grant Robicheaux, a surgeon who previously appeared on a Bravo TV show called “Online Dating Rituals of the American Male,” was charged in 2018 with in connection with seven victims, and Cerissa Riley was charged in connection with five. At the time, authorities said the pair plied their victims with drugs and sexually assaulted them when they were incapable of resisting.

Robicheaux, 40, and Riley, 33, have pleaded not guilty, saying the sex was consensual.

If the charges are dropped, the case would be pared down to allegations that Robicheaux and Riley assaulted a woman in 2017 at their Newport Beach home with intent to commit sexual offense. The state is asking for dismissal of a charge that they kidnapped the woman.

At the same time, state prosecutors want to file four additional charges alleging that the couple gave the woman drugs in an effort to have sex with her while she was unable to resist.

If convicted of assaulting one woman, Robicheaux and Riley could face 10 years in prison. If the judge won’t dismiss the other charges, a conviction could carry a potential life sentence.

”We have no reason to believe that any of these victims are being untruthful,” but a review found that some allegations couldn’t be proved beyond a reasonable doubt, Deputy Attorney General Yvette Martinez said in court.

“Obviously, the victims are not in favor of this” and want the chance to testify, said Mike Fell, an attorney for one alleged victim who could be removed from the case.

Last August, another judge ordered that the case be turned over to the attorney general’s office after the Orange County district attorney’s office tried to have the case dismissed, saying it believed there was insufficient evidence to proceed.

District Attorney Todd Spitzer had accused his predecessor, Tony Rackauckas, of manufacturing the case to bolster his reelection campaign.

Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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