More than a dozen possible victims in Newport doctor’s sexual-assault case, prosecutors say
More than a dozen women may have been sexually assaulted by a Newport Beach surgeon and his teacher girlfriend, who prosecutors allege worked as a team to target victims at bars and restaurants and drug and assault them.
Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said Friday that since he announced charges Tuesday against Dr. Grant Robicheaux and Cerissa Riley involving two women, his office has received more than 50 calls and established more than 12 credible potential victims. One of the accusers is a man, and at least one allegation dates back two decades, prosecutors said.
Robicheaux, 38, and Riley, 31, of Brea, are free on $100,000 bail after being charged with one count each of rape by use of drugs, oral copulation by controlled substance and assault with intent to commit a sexual offense, plus four charges each of possession of a controlled substance for sale. Robicheaux also faces two charges of possession of an assault weapon.
Rackauckas said he didn’t want to speculate on whether they be would rearrested but said they could see additional charges.
Rackauckas said investigators are reviewing voluminous evidence. He said previously that Robicheaux had thousands of videos and photos on his cellphone showing potential crimes and victims.
“We have terabytes of digital evidence, much of it video and pictures and other kinds of things,” Rackauckas said.
Lawyers for Robicheaux and Riley have “unequivocally” denied the accusations.
At a news conference Friday afternoon, attorneys for the couple disputed the district attorney’s suggestion that there were many victims and videos.
“The investigation began many, many months before that, when information was received. Despite that time, there is no allegation, there has been no information released, regarding thousands of victims or hundreds of rapes,” said attorney Philip Cohen. “The fact is, after nine months … Grant and Cerissa have been charged with two counts of sexual assault.”
He said the couple were aware of the investigation but never tried to flee.
“Grant even left the country on two occasions prior to his arrest,” Cohen said.
Rackauckas suggested that Robicheaux, an orthopedic surgeon, may have preyed on women his whole adult life. Investigators are considering whether victims were found through dating apps.
The two women in the cases in which Robicheaux and Riley are charged met the couple in Newport Beach in 2016 — one at a restaurant, the other at a bar, authorities say. Prosecutors allege Robicheaux and Riley took them to Robicheaux’s home and assaulted them after they were too intoxicated to resist.
One woman tested positive for multiple drugs. A search of Robicheaux’s home turned up the drugs GHB, cocaine, MDMA, or ecstasy, and psilocybin, or psychedelic mushrooms, authorities said.
Prosecutors said investigators found videos and photos of other potential victims on the couple’s phones, some of which were taken at festivals and landmarks in Silverado, Palm Springs, Nevada and Arizona.
Robicheaux’s lawyers said the accusations do not involve his medical practice. He has been licensed to practice medicine in California since 2009.
Robicheaux appeared on an episode of “Online Dating Rituals of the American Male,” a short-lived 2014 reality TV show on Bravo on which he wanted “to find the perfect woman, have a fantasy wedding and raise the all-American family,” according to Bravo’s website.
Riley has been a substitute teacher in Fullerton. The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing database shows she had a substitute teaching credential from 2014 through March this year. She received a teaching credential in 2017, but the commission suspended it Thursday for “misconduct,” according the agency’s website.
Los Angeles Times staff writers Hannah Fry and Richard Winton contributed to this report.
4:35 p.m.: This article was updated with additional details and new comments from Philip Cohen.
This article was originally published at 1:15 p.m.
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