The Orange County district attorney has announced plans to drop all charges against orthopedic surgeon Grant Robicheaux and Cerissa Riley, the couple who were charged in 2018 with allegedly drugging and sexually assaulting several women, the Los Angeles Times reports. Orange County district attorney Todd Spitzer announced the news on Tuesday, citing that after a three-month review of the case, they did not find sufficient evidence of the pair committing any assaults.
The D.A.’s new review runs counter to the initial findings cited by then Orange County district attorney Tony Rackauckas, who said the investigation into the couple began in 2016 after a woman said she had attended a party with Robicheaux and Riley, and claimed they took her back to their apartment and proceeded to drug and rape her.
Six months later, a second victim alleged she drank with the couple at a bar and once she was intoxicated later went to the couple’s apartment where they allegedly sexually assaulted her. A subsequent raid of the couple’s apartment in January 2018 allegedly turned up thousands of videos of women recorded by the couple, many depicting sex acts.
However, a prosecutor from Spitzer’s office found there were “several proof problems” in the case and in October 2019 Spitzer assigned two deputy district attorneys to further examine the evidence. The review team poured through thousands of videos, photographs and documents, along with thousands of text messages and hundreds of hours of audio recordings between the couple covering a four-year period.
“There is not a single piece of evidence or video or photo that shows an unconscious or incapacitated woman being sexually assaulted,” Spitzer said. “Not one.”
Spitzer defeated Rackauckas in the November 2018 election for the Orange County District Attorney seat. On Tuesday, Spitzer alleged that Rackauckas and his team “manufactured details about the case and repeatedly misstated evidence to garner headlines and further Rackauckus’ reelection campaign,” the Los Angeles Times reported.
Spitzer added that prosecutors would request the court to dismiss the charges against Robicheaux and Riley this week.
“I didn’t create this situation, but it’s my responsibility to fix it,” Spitzer said. “Doing justice is not always pretty, and it’s not pleasant many times. This is not pleasant at all, but these are important decisions that affect people’s lives.”