California Surgeon and His Girlfriend Used Their Good Looks to Rape Women
An Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Grant William Robicheaux from Orange County, California, and his girlfriend Cerissa Laura Riley, from nearby Brea, have both been charged with more than a half-dozen felonies, including rape by use of drugs, assault with intent to commit a sexual offense and possession of a controlled substance for sale. Prosecutors said, “thousands and thousands” of videos of potential victims were on the defendants' phones.
Grant William Robicheaux, 38, and Cerissa Laura Riley, 31, Robicheaux and Riley were arrested last week for attacking two women they met at a bar and a restaurant in 2016. Investigators found hundreds of videos of apparently intoxicated women they believe were taped by Robicheaux and Riley, said Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas at a Tuesday press conference. He also said videos showed women who “appear to be highly intoxicated beyond the ability to consent or resist, and they’re barely responsive to the defendant’s sexual advances.”
Investigators say the pair worked “in tandem” to meet women at bars, drug them or coerce them to drink large amounts of alcohol, and then bring them back to Mr. Robicheaux’s apartment to be assaulted.
“A woman purporting to be his girlfriend clearly paid a significant role in disarming the victims and making them feel comfortable and safe,” Rackauckas added. “We believe the defendants used their good looks and charm to lower the inhibitions of their potential prey.”
Officials said the couple have attended expensive music and art festivals such as Burning Man in Nevada, the Dirtybird Campout festival in Silverado and the Splash House Festival in Palm Springs, California.
According to investigators, the first incident occurred in April 2016, when Robicheaux and Riley allegedly met a 32-year-old woman at a Newport Beach restaurant and invited her to a party. When she became intoxicated, the couple took her to their apartment, then raped and orally copulated her, the district attorney’s office said in a press release. The woman was tested positive for “multiple controlled substances,” at Newport Beach Police Department the next day, prosecutors said.
The second alleged victim met the couple six months later in a Newport Beach bar. The scheme was the same – they drank until the woman lost her consciousness, then took her home. Robicheaux and Riley are accused of “sexually assaulting her with the intent to commit rape,” the prosecutor said. The woman woke up and screamed until a neighbor called police, “who responded and investigated the case,” according to Rackauckas.
During a search of the surgeon’s home in January 2018, there were found the illegal substances, including GHB (considered a date-rape drug), psychedelic mushrooms, ecstasy and cocaine, the police said. Mr. Robicheaux is further accused of possessing two unregistered semi-automatic rifles, four other firearms and magazines capable of carrying large amounts of ammunition, according to a press release.
At a news conference on Tuesday, Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said the pair were suspected of using their “clean-cut” looks to lure targets into a false sense of security.
“We believe the defendants used their good looks and charms to lower the inhibitions of their potential prey,” he said, reports KTLA-TV.
“People often assume rapists are creepy, scary men who lunge out from hiding amongst bushes and attack unsuspecting women. The reality is that rapists come in all socioeconomic groups, any background,” Rackauckas said.
“It’s important to understand that rapists can look like anyone. They can be anyone. They can be either gender.”
In addition to his work as a surgeon, Robicheaux appeared on an episode of “Online Dating Rituals of the American Male,” a short-lived 2014 reality TV show on Bravo. He was described as a physician with a plan “to find the perfect woman, have a fantasy wedding, and raise the all-American family. With guidance from his roommate, Grant turns to online dating to find the woman of his dreams,” according to IMDb.
yes, I'm still single and looking for the girl that is perfect for me...— Grant Robicheaux, MD (@Ortho_MD) April 12, 2014
“We’ve all heard of a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” said the district attorney. “Well, a wolf can wear scrubs or doctor's clothing. Or a wolf can be a beautiful woman.”
The pair were released Monday on $100,000 (£76,000) bail bonds, authorities said. They are due to be formally charged in court on 24 October. If convicted, Mr. Robicheaux and Ms. Riley could spend 40 years and 30 years in prison respectively, said the prosecutor.
Investigators are trying to identify the other women in the clips and asked anyone who has encountered the couple to come forward. Rackauckas stressed that victims need not feel ashamed or afraid to speak with detectives.