FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Case # 18HF1291
Date: September 21, 2018
REMARKS BY DISTRICT ATTORNEY TONY RACKAUCKAS – PEOPLE V. GRANT ROBICHEAUX AND CERISSA RILEY NEWS CONFERENCE ON SEPTEMBER 18, 2018
SANTA ANA, Calif. – “Thank you for joining us today for this important announcement. People often assume rapists are creepy, scary men who hide in bushes and lunge out and attack unsuspecting women. The reality is that rapists can come from any socio-economic background as we have seen in the case of Greg Haidl and Max Factor heir Andrew Luster. Both of those cases involved men who sexually assaulted women after they were unable to resist due to intoxication and videotaped the assaults. Both cases involved vulnerable women who were ashamed to come forward or women who did not even realize they had been victimized. Both cases involved video tape. It’s important to understand that rapists can look like anyone and be anyone and any gender.
“This morning, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office is announcing the filing of charges and the arrest of a well-known Newport Beach orthopedic surgeon and reality star Grant Robicheaux and his female companion Cerissa Riley. The two were charged on Sept. 11, 2018, with the following felony counts: rape by use of drugs, oral copulation by anesthesia or controlled substance, assault with intent to commit sexual offense, four counts of possession of a controlled substance for sale, and two counts of possession of an assault weapon
“Robicheaux is additionally charged with two sentencing enhancements for being personally armed with firearm during health and safety code violations. Riley is additionally charged with a sentencing enhancement of being knowingly vicariously armed with firearm. Robicheaux faces 40 years in state prison and Riley faces 30 years and eight months in state prison.
“The OCDA discovered evidence that helped break the case and worked with the Newport Beach Police Department to gather the evidence to file the case. The Newport Beach Police Department notified the California Medical Board, which currently has an open investigation into Robicheaux.
“In April 2016, Robicheaux and Riley are accused of meeting 32-year-old Jane Doe 1 at a restaurant in Newport Beach. On April 10, 2016, Robicheaux and Riley are accused of inviting Jane Doe 1 to a boat party in Newport Beach and escorting her to Robicheaux’s apartment once Jane Doe 1 was intoxicated. The defendants are accused of raping and orally copulating Jane Doe 1 while she was under the influence of multiple drugs supplied to her and was prevented from resisting due to the intoxicating and controlled substances even though they reasonably knew they should stop. Jane Doe 1 contacted the Newport Beach Police Department the next day and underwent a forensic exam which tested positive for multiple controlled substances.
“On Oct. 2, 2016, Robicheaux and Riley are accused of drinking alcohol with Jane Doe 2 at a bar in Newport Beach until the victim was no longer conscious. The defendants are accused of bringing Jane Doe 2 to Robicheaux’s apartment and sexually assaulting her with intent to commit rape. Jane Doe 2 awoke and screamed for help until a neighbor called the Newport Beach Police Department, who responded to the scene and investigated this case.
“On Jan. 9, 2018, Robicheaux and Riley are accused of possessing large quantities of illegal drugs along with two illegal, unregistered assault rifles, four other firearms, and several large capacity magazines at Robicheaux’s residence. The Newport Beach Police Department submitted the case to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office for review on Sept. 6, 2018, and arrested the defendants at Robicheaux’s residence on Sept. 12, 2018.
“We will now play a short clip photos and video to give you a better idea of who the defendants are.
“Other than their DMV and booking photos, the pictures and video were gleaned from the Internet. Defendant Robicheaux appeared on a Bravo reality show called Online Dating Rituals of the American Male, in a segment called ‘Three’s a Crowd.’
“In the materials we have seized, there are thousands and thousands of videos and images on Robicheaux’s phone, many also including Riley, which we are meticulously going through. There are several videos where the women appear to be highly intoxicated, beyond the ability to consent or resist and are barely responsive to the defendants sexual advances. Based on this evidence, we believe there may be many unidentified victims out there.
“Let me give some relevant dates that may jog the public’s memory and possibly produce additional victims. We know Robicheaux went to school at Louisiana State University for both undergraduate and medical school. He graduated from LSU medical school in 2007. Post-graduate, he did a Hand/Micro/Upper Extremity Fellowship at New York University Hospital for Joint Disease, New York, New York, and an Orthopedic Surgery Residency at the University of California, Irvine Medical Center, in Orange, California. He was licensed by the Medical Board in California on May 30, 2009.
“We believe Robicheaux and Riley have traveled together to several festivals and large events since 2015 including Burning Man in Black Rock Desert, Nevada, the Dirtybird Campout festival in Silverado, Splash House festival in Palm Springs, and possibly others around the same time as the charged assaults. Many doctors travel to other states for conferences and continuing education, which potentially widens the possibility of additional victims.
“I want to explain the charge of Penal Code section 261 (a)(3), Rape by use of drugs.
(a) Rape is an act of sexual intercourse accomplished with a person not the spouse of the perpetrator, under any of the following circumstances:
(3) Where a person is prevented from resisting by any intoxicating or anesthetic substance, or any controlled substance, and this condition was known, or reasonably should have been known by the accused.
“And, penal code section 288a(i), Oral copulation of unconscious person:
(a) Oral copulation is the act of copulating the mouth of one person with the sexual organ or anus of another person.
(i) Any person who commits an act of oral copulation, where the victim is prevented from resisting by any intoxicating or anesthetic substance, or any controlled substance, and this condition was known, or reasonably should have been known by the accused, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for a period of three, six, or eight years.
“Women who have encountered these two may have felt a false sense of security due to the fact that both of the defendants are clean cut and good looking. We tend to trust doctors who take an oath to do no harm. The second defendant being female is key. A woman purporting to be his girlfriend played a significant role in disarming the victims and making them feel comfortable and safe. We believe the defendants used their good looks and charm to lower the inhibitions of their potential prey.
“I want women out there to know the Orange County District Attorney’s Office is taking this case very seriously. We know some victims may blame themselves. They may feel there is no crime to report because they knowingly drank alcohol or consumed illegal substances with the defendants – but you need to hear this: your conscious decisions to party with these two does not give anyone a pass to rape and assault you once you are past the point of consent. If you feel you have been victimized in this case, we ask that you contact Supervising Investigator of Sexual Assault Eric Wiseman from our office at 714-347-8794. We will listen to you and conduct a full investigation without judgment.
“It is a violation of the law to have sex with a person who is unable to consent or resist due to their intoxication. It is not a viable defense to claim the victim voluntarily ingested alcohol and / or drugs. We don’t know how many victims may be out there and we do not want this to happen to any other women. We’ve all heard of wolf dressed in sheep’s clothing … well a wolf can wear a lab coat or scrubs, or be an attractive woman posing as someone’s girlfriend as well.
“Thank you for being here. This concludes the formal portion of our press conference and we have time to take a few questions. Before opening the floor, I want to remind you we are recording the question and answer period, so before asking your question, wait for the mic, and identify yourself by name and the news agency you are with.
“That concludes the time we have available – thank you again for joining us today.”