Sunday 17 November 2019

Reality TV surgeon and girlfriend charged with further sex offences

Grant Robicheaux and Cerissa Riley face life sentences if they are convicted in California.

Dr Grant Robicheaux, sits with girlfriend Cerissa Riley (Paul Bersebach/AP)
Dr Grant Robicheaux, sits with girlfriend Cerissa Riley (Paul Bersebach/AP)

By Amy Taxin

A surgeon and his girlfriend have been charged in the US state of California with crimes against five additional victims in addition to two women they were previously charged with drugging and sexually assaulting.

Dr Grant Robicheaux, 38, and his girlfriend, Cerissa Riley, 31, were charged with rape by use of drugs, kidnapping with the intent to commit a sexual offence and other crimes.

The pair pleaded not guilty to all counts in court and a judge ordered their bail raised to one million US dollars each.

Reality show doctor Grant Robicheaux, second from right, and his girlfriend Cerissa Riley, right, listen as Robicheaux’s lawyer Philip Cohen, left, speaks (Amy Taxin/AP)

Authorities said Robicheaux, who once appeared in a reality TV show called Online Dating Rituals Of The American Male, and Riley met women at social events in and once the women were intoxicated, brought them back to Robicheaux’s Newport Beach home and sexually assaulted them, prosecutors said.

“Nobody has a pass to rape or have sexual contact with you once you are unable to give consent,” Orange County district attorney Tony Rackauckas said at a press conference.

The couple were initially charged last month in the alleged assault of two women.

Grant Robicheaux once appeared on a reality show (Newport Beach Police/AP)

Prosecutors held a press conference, and then said they received new information that led to the additional charges.

Authorities now believe there could be additional victims in Los Angeles or San Diego counties as well as Nevada, Colorado and Louisiana, said prosecutor Jennifer Walker.

Robicheaux and Riley face up to life in prison if convicted.

It is Grant and Cerissa's absolute position that no non-consensual sex ever took place Defence lawyer

During the court hearing, Riley turned back briefly to see her friends and family in the courtroom gallery and fought back tears.

Afterwards, they walked up and hugged her, and she cried, telling them, “thanks for coming”.

Philip Cohen, Robicheaux’s lawyer, said the couple had travelled internationally since a search warrant was served at Robicheaux’s home in January and electronics were seized that allegedly contain a trove of video evidence that he has not yet seen.

Cerissa Riley fought back tears during the hearing (Newport Beach Police/AP)

“It is Grant and Cerissa’s absolute position that no non-consensual sex ever took place,” Mr Cohen told reporters while standing with the defendants outside the courthouse in Newport Beach, California.

Both defendants, who are on bail, are due back in court on January 18.

In a statement, the couple said they had “great friends, great lives and great careers” before they were arrested last month and added: “We look forward to getting our lives back.”

The charges span from 2009 to 2018 and also include possession for sale of cocaine, ecstasy and the drug GHB.

Robicheaux also is charged with illegal possession of two assault weapons.

Prosecutors charged the couple with crimes against five of the alleged victims and Robicheaux with crimes against the other two.

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