The TV surgeon and his model girlfriend accused of drugging and raping up to 1,000 women have spoken out to protest their innocence after having the charges against them dropped.
Grant Robicheaux, 39, and Cerissa Riley, 32, had been charged with allegedly sexually assaulting seven women when the women were drunk or incapacitated after meeting them for sex.
They were made an example out of in court, where former Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said they may have abused as many as 1,000 women and that he had video evidence which proved it.
This week, before the case went to trial, the charges against the pair were dropped by the new DA, Todd Spitzer. He said there was never any evidence to support the allegations and accused Rackauckas of using the case to try to bolster his re-election campaign.
Despite the criminal case being dropped, Robicheaux and Riley are still being sued in civil court by some of the women who alleged they were abused, and one has submitted a victim impact statement to be read aloud at a hearing later on Friday.
However, the pair insisted on their innocence in an interview with Good Morning America on Friday, saying there was ‘never’ an occasion where any of the women they had sex with did not consent.
They said their lives had been destroyed by the ‘disgusting’ rape claims and that they now fear for their safety.
[email protected] EXCLUSIVE: Surgeon and girlfriend accused of sexual assault speak out. “I feel like I finally woke up from a bad nightmare, and feel like I can breathe again.”@KaynaWhitworth https://t.co/GbRGN8e6Mj pic.twitter.com/VWMYYB8hmW
‘I still can’t believe this happened to us. I feared every time I’d walk my dog that someone was going to shoot or stab me, to follow through with these threats to me or my family,’ Robicheaux, who has been stripped of his medical license because of the allegations against him, said.
He briefly appeared on a reality show, Online Dating Rituals of the American Male.
‘The thing that stuck out in my mind and hurt the most is “unprecedented appetite for sex with unconscious women”,’ he continued, quoting Rackauckas’ pre-trial description of him.
‘I mean, I have sisters. I have a mom. It’s disgusting,’ he said.
Riley said she felt as though they were waking up ‘from a bad nightmare’.
She insists that there was ‘never a question’ that all the women they had sex with had consented to it or were in a fit state to consent to it.
‘We’ve maintained our innocence from day one. We never hurt anyone,’ she said.
Rackauckas, however, doubled down on the pair’s guilt. He called Spitzer’s decision to drop the charges against them a ‘disappointment’ for the alleged victims.
‘This is a huge disappointment for the victims.
‘It’s not easy for these ladies to come forward and to bare their soul about such humiliating things and to make their statement to the authorities and they’ve done that with the expectation that this case would be prosecuted,’ he said.
When he announced the charges, he said there was extensive video footage to support the allegations.
Spitzer, however, said no such evidence exists.
‘There is not a single piece of evidence or video or photo that shows an unconscious or incapacitated woman being sexually assaulted.
‘Not one,’ he said.
He said problems arose almost immediately in the case.
‘Another prosecutor brought the issues to his attention, and he assigned a pair of lawyers who specialized in sexual assault cases to examine the evidence.
They spent three months looking at it but then concluded there was no evidence.
‘It is a blatant abuse of power and misuse of government resources for personal gain by the former administration of this office.
‘This office cannot suffer any more credibility setbacks given its history of prosecutorial abuse,’ he said, in dropping the case.
An attorney for Robicheaux and Riley told Good Morning America on Friday morning that the life they had before has now evaporated.
‘Their life is done.
‘That life, as they know it and they had a successful life professionally and a fulfilling life and relationships and friends, and that’s gone,’ Phil Cohen said.
The pair have now been banned from using ride-sharing apps, they added.
The civil lawsuit that was filed before the charges were brought against the pair seeks $22.2million in damages.
That lawsuit echoes prosecutors claims that the couple used their good looks and charms to seduce women.
It specifically alleges that they met one woman at a Halloween party then drugged her with the date rape drug GHB and raped her in the bedroom of their home.
Rackauckas has admitted that the extensive ‘video and photo evidence’ his office had referred to did not always necessarily include incriminating footage.
Now, Riley and Robicheaux are considering legal action against the prosecutor’s office.