Prominent doctor allegedly drugged, raped women; officials fear ‘many’ more victims
Authorities say there could be many more alleged victims.
An orthopedic surgeon who has appeared on a reality-TV dating show and his purported girlfriend have been accused of drugging and raping at least two women, and prosecutors fear there may be “many” more victims.
The pair allegedly used their “good looks and charm” to disarm the victims, Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said.
"We've all heard of a wolf dressed up in sheep's clothing but a wolf can wear scrubs or doctors clothing or a wolf can be a beautiful woman," he added.
Dr. Grant William Robicheaux, who has appeared on the Bravo series "Online Dating Rituals of the American Male," and Cerissa Laura Riley were arrested last week and are facing multiple felony charges in California.
Investigators have been in touch with two alleged victims, Rackauckas said, but at a news conference today he said that they believe there are others out there.
Beyond that, prosecutors have found "thousands" of videos on Robicheaux's phone that are now being examined in which "women in the videos appear to be highly intoxicated beyond the ability to consent or resist," Rackauckas said.
"Based on this evidence, we believe there might be many unidentified victims out there," he added.
Riley is "purported to be" Robicheaux's girlfriend and the pair used "their good looks and charm" to disarm victims, Rackauckas said.
The pair traveled to festivals like Burning Man in Nevada and events in Palm Springs, California, the District Attorney's office said Tuesday, calling for any possible victims to contact investigators.
"We don't know how many victims there might be out there," Rackauckas said, adding that the Medical Board of California has opened an investigation.
Both Robicheaux, 38, and Riley, 31, are facing felony charges of rape by use of drugs, oral sex using a controlled substance, assault with intent to commit a sexual offense and possession of controlled substances.
Robicheaux is also facing charges relating to possession of an assault weapon and a sentencing enhancement related to that weapon possession, while Riley faces a sentencing enhancement for being knowingly vicariously armed with a firearm.
The attorneys for Robicheaux and Riley released a statement Tuesday night "unequivocally" denying "all allegations of non-consensual 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. 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," according to the statement from the attorneys. "It must be noted that none of the allegations in this matter relate to or concern Dr. Robicheaux’s medical practice or patients in any way. They both thank their families and friends for their continued support."
In one of the two known cases, the pair allegedly met with a woman at a bar in April 2016 and invited her to a boat party in Newport Beach. The pair then took her to Robicheaux's apartment where she was raped, authorities allege.
That victim, identified only as Jane Doe 1, contacted police the next day and tested positive for multiple controlled substances, authorities said.
In October 2016, Jane Doe 2 drank alcohol with the pair until she was "no longer conscious" and then they took her to Robicheaux's apartment where she was sexually assaulted with intent to commit rape, Rackauckas said.
When she allegedly awoke in the apartment, he added, she screamed for help until a neighbor called police.
They were arrested at Robicheaux's residence Sept. 12 and both posted bail for $100,000 each. Robicheaux stands to spend 40 years in prison and Riley faces 30 years and eight months in prison, if convicted. They are slated to appear in court next month.
"People often assume that rapists are creepy, scary men who lunge out from hiding amongst bushes and attack unsuspecting women,” Rackauckas said. “The reality is that rapists come in all socioeconomic groups, of any background.”