One of seven women who authorities allege were drugged and sexually assaulted by a Newport Beach doctor filed a motion with a judge Thursday requesting that Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer be found in contempt of court for distributing sealed documents about the case to the media last month.
According to her lawyer, Dan Gilleon, the woman, known as Jane Doe No. 5, submitted the papers in Orange County Superior Court against Spitzer, who is running for Orange County district attorney in next week’s election.
Spitzer handed out copies of a sealed search warrant and affidavit at an Oct. 17 news conference outside a Newport Beach courthouse following the arraignments of Grant Robicheaux, 38, and his girlfriend, Cerrisa Riley, 31, who are accused of multiple counts of rape by drugs, kidnapping, oral copulation by anesthesia, assault with intent to commit sexual offenses and other crimes. They have denied all accusations of nonconsensual sex.
Though Jane Doe No. 5 was not involved in the sealed search warrant, which pertained to three other women, she reported allegations of a sexual assault at the hands of Robicheaux and Riley to the Orange County district attorney’s office after Sept. 11, when law enforcement announced it was seeking additional potential victims, the district attorney’s office said.
“Jane Doe No. 5 was upset and was uncomfortable with the fact Spitzer might be in charge of the district attorney’s office if he won the election,” according to her court papers. “She believed he acted inappropriately and violated the rights of the victims in this case when he should be protecting the victim.”
Gilleon said in an email that his client “has been terrified from the moment she contacted the DA” and “she remains so.”
“Like any sexual-assault victim, it was not easy for my client to come forward in the first place,” Gilleon said.
He said she feels Spitzer’s conduct with the documents inappropriately interfered with the case.
Spitzer said Thursday evening that he’s a major advocate for victims’ rights and that his career track record proves it.
“The only person Jane Doe has to blame is the district attorney for his incompetence,” Spitzer said, adding that her alleged assault took place after the two initial incidents investigated by authorities in 2016. “He sat on this case so he could exploit this for his election purpose.”
Spitzer said he was just trying to help the victim.
“No one is more sensitive to victims than me,” Spitzer, who previously worked in the D.A.’s office, said.
The motion argues that Spitzer admitted he knew the documents were under seal at the time he distributed them and had the ability to comply with a court order barring their release.
The search warrant and corresponding affidavit, which details the police investigation into the couple beginning in 2016, was filed in court Jan. 3 and sealed Sept. 11, according to the district attorney’s office.
Spitzer told the Los Angeles Times last month that he obtained the search warrant as a public record before it was sealed.
“There was no dispute the record was public,” Spitzer said. “The case law is clear on this issue when it comes to public records.”
On Oct. 23, Superior Court Judge Greg Jones reversed his earlier order and unsealed the warrant.
Jane Doe No. 5 told authorities that she met Robicheaux and Riley through a mutual acquaintance at a Halloween party in Newport Beach on Oct. 29, 2016.