A prominent California surgeon who appeared on a Bravo reality show has been charged, along with his girlfriend, with sexually assaulting at least two women, according to the Orange County District Attorney's office.
Grant Robicheaux, 38, and Cerissa Riley, 31, have each 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. Investigators found hundreds of videos of apparently intoxicated women they believe were taped by Robicheaux and Riley, said District Attorney Tony Rackauckas at a Tuesday press conference.
The couple attended several popular festivals across the country, including Burning Man, and the prosecutor said there may be "many more" victims.
Robicheaux, a prominent surgeon in wealthy Newport Beach, appeared in the short-lived 2014 Bravo series "Online Dating Rituals of the American Male," where 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 turned to online dating to find the woman of his dreams," according to IMDb.
Robicheaux and Riley were arrested last week and were released Monday on $100,000 bail each, authorities said. Their next court appearance is in October.
In a statement Wednesday, the pair's attorneys denied all allegations leveled against Robicheaux and Riley.
"All allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Grant Robicheaux and his girlfriend Cerissa Riley. 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."
Speaking Tuesday, Rackauckas urged that public to be vigilant.
“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.”
The prosecutor said there are thousands of videos on Robicheaux's phone, many featuring the surgeon.
"There are several videos where the women in the videos appear to be highly intoxicated beyond the ability to consent or resist and they’re barely responsive to the defendant’s sexual advances," said Rackauckas. "Based on this evidence, we believe there may be many unidentified victims out there.”
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, authorities said.
The couple gave her multiple drugs then raped and orally copulated her, the district attorney's office said in a press release. The woman went to Newport Beach Police Department the next day and tested positive for "multiple controlled substances," prosecutors said.
The second alleged victim met the couple six months later in a Newport Beach bar. They drank until the woman was "no longer conscious," Rackauckas said. Robicheaux and Riley took her home and 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.
The prosecutor said there is no evidence the alleged attacks took place in a medical setting. In one video, Rackauckas says, the couple is in a bar, Cerissa "introduces her[self] ... and then introduces her to Robicheaux and then they invite her to a party.”
The party was on a boat, Rackauckas said. “She’s having some drinks, she feels more intoxicated by the drinks than would ordinarily be expected, pretty soon she’s very intoxicated and hardly knows what’s going on. They take her to his apartment and perform all of these sex acts on her. So that’s the general way that we’ve seen it.”
Investigators are trying to identify the other women in the videos 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.
"A woman purporting to be his girlfriend clearly paid a significant role in disarming the victims and making them feel comfortable and safe," he said. "We believe the defendants used their good looks and charm to lower the inhibitions of their potential prey.”