Dating show star and his lover ‘drugged and raped women’
Pair used their good looks to lure victims to their home from bars and restaurants before drugging and raping them, prosecutors allege
A Californian surgeon who once appeared on a reality TV show about dating has been charged, along with his girlfriend, with drugging and sexually assaulting women.
Grant William Robicheaux, 38, and Cerissa Laura Riley, 31, are accused of using their good looks to lure victims to their home from bars and restaurants before drugging and raping them. Prosecutors said they feared there could be hundreds of victims after finding numerous videos on Robicheaux’s phone showing “highly intoxicated” women being assaulted.
The pair face charges relating to two alleged attacks. Dozens of further leads were said to have been generated after the authorities held a press conference on Tuesday urging other women to come forward.
Robicheaux, an orthopaedic surgeon, appeared on Online Dating Rituals of the American Male, a reality show that ran for six episodes on US satellite channel Bravo in 2014. With his girlfriend he attended various events, visiting festivals and landmarks, in Nevada, California and Arizona – trips that are now coming under scrutiny.
Tony Rackauckas, Orange County district attorney, said the pair were believed to have worked in tandem to target victims to make their prey feel comfortable. “We believe the defendants used their good looks and charm to lower the inhibitions of their potential prey,” Rackauckas said.
The two women whose allegations led to the two charges said they met the pair in 2016 in Newport Beach, Los Angeles, where Robicheaux lives. One met them in a restaurant on April 10 and was invited to a party before being escorted to their home when intoxicated, according to prosecutors. The pair allegedly drugged and raped her when she was incapable of resisting. She called the police the next day.
The second woman was drinking with the pair at a bar on October 2 before being taken back to Robicheaux’s flat where, once unconscious, she was allegedly sexually assaulted.
The district attorney’s office said the victim woke and screamed for help until a neighbour called police, who began an investigation.
The pair also face charges relating to a large amount of illegal drugs, two unregistered assault rifles and four other firearms allegedly found in Robicheaux’s flat.
Rackauckas said investigators were going through “thousands and thousands of videos and images on Robicheaux’s phone”. Some show women who “appear to be highly intoxicated and barely responsive to the defendant’s sexual advances”.
The district attorney urged potential victims to come forward: “Your conscious decisions to party with these defendants ... does not give them a pass to rape, assault or have sex with you once you’re past the point of consent.”
If convicted, Robicheaux faces up to 40 years in prison and Riley could face 30 years. They were released on $100,000 bail each.
Attorneys for Robicheaux and Riley have denied the charges. “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,” said Philip Cohen, Robicheaux’s lawyer, and Scott Borthwick, Riley’s lawyer.
“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.
“It must be noted that none of the allegations in this matter relates to or concerns Dr Robicheaux’s medical practice or patients in any way.”
– © The Daily Telegraph