O.C. surgeon, girlfriend charged with drugging, sexually assaulting women

- A Newport Beach orthopedic surgeon who appeared on a Bravo reality show four years ago was charged along with his girlfriend with drugging and sexually assaulting two women, and prosecutors are seeking additional victims, Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said Tuesday.

Grant William Robicheaux, 38, of Newport Beach, and Cerissa Laura Riley, 31, of Brea, were charged with rape by use of drugs, oral copulation by a controlled substance, assault with the intent to commit a sex offense and possession of a controlled substance for sale. Robicheaux was also charged with two counts of possession of an assault weapon. 

“I have not seen a case in my career that involved this many videos and sexual acts and possible crimes,” said District Attorney Tony Rackauckas.

He said the couple video taped hundreds if not thousands of sexual encounters with women. Some of those women, he pointed out, could be victims too.

The pair allegedly met one of their victims at a Newport Restaurant in April of 2016. After having some drinks, they are accused of taking the victim back to Robicheaux’s apartment where they drugged, and raped her.  D.A. Rackauckas said in October of 2016 another woman passed out after drinking with the couple and was sexually assaulted.

“It’s very disarming to have a lady going up to another lady and start having a conversation and socializing, then meet the boyfriend, have a couple drinks, and get invited back to their place,” Rackauckas said.

One woman who met the pair on April 10, 2016, said they took her to a party and then to his apartment once she got intoxicated, Rackauckas said. The other victim said she became intoxicated and passed out at a bar on Oct. 2, 2016, and was taken to Robicheaux's apartment, where she was assaulted, the district attorney said.

At this point, none of the victims are believed to be his patients, but the D.A.’s office carefully laid out the places Robicheaux has traveled over the past several years in hopes of jogging the memories of others who may have been victims too.

But investigators believe there may be a host of other victims. Rackauckas said investigators recovered more than 1,000 videos of the alleged assaults and some of the women seen in the videos have not been identified.

The two are free on $100,000 bond and are due to be arraigned Oct. 24.

Robicheaux appeared on a Bravo reality TV series called ``Online Dating Rituals of the American Male'' in 2014, in an episode titled ``Three's a Crowd.''

Robicheaux was a surgeon for the NewportCare Medical Group, but he has been removed from the company's website. The medical group previously described him as a board-certified orthopedic surgeon with ``advanced additional subspecialty training in treating the upper extremity.''

He specializes in ``traumatic and sports-related injuries'' as well as arthritis and aging issues, according to the medical group.

Robicheaux went to Louisiana State University as an undergraduate and for medical school, where he graduated in 2007, Rackauckas said.

"First attending medical school in New Orleans, the soon-to-be Dr. Robicheaux converted his southern gentlemanly upbringing naturally into a comfortable caring bedside manner,'' the medical group's website previously boasted about Robicheaux.

Robicheaux also studied at UC Irvine in Orange.

Newport Beach police submitted their investigation to prosecutors Sept. 6, and the two were arrested on charges Sept. 12, Rackauckas said.

The women in the videos, which were found on Robicheaux's phone, "appear to be highly intoxicated,'' Rackauckas said.

"We believe there may be many unidentified victims out there,'' Rackauckas said.

The two were known to attend festivals dating back to 2015, including Burning Man in Black Rock Desert, Nevada; Dirtybird Campout festival in Silverado; Splash House festival in Palm Springs; and Landmarks near Page, Arizona, Rackauckas said.

Anyone who believes they were victimized was encouraged to call investigator Eric Wiseman at (714) 347-8794.

Riley is an aspiring teacher who worked occasionally as a substitute teacher in Fullerton, Senior Deputy District Attorney Michael Carroll said.

The two alleged victims ``might have felt a false sense of security'' with the pair because they are ``clean cut and good looking,'' Rackauckas said.

"We believe they used their good looks and charm to lower the defenses of their prey,'' Rackauckas said.

The county's top prosecutor assured any other women who may have encountered the pair that just because they may have imbibed heavily it ``doesn't give (the suspects) a pass to rape or sexually assault when you're past the point of consent.''

It is ``not a viable defense to say they voluntarily ingested the drugs,'' Rackauckas said. ``We don't want this to happen to any more women.''

Riley introduced herself to the two alleged victims and then brought them over to meet Robicheaux, Rackauckas said.

The drugs they are accused of using include Ecstasy, date rape drugs and cocaine, Rackauckas said.

They are not believed to have used medical anesthetic-type of drugs, Rackauckas said.

Messages to Robicheaux's attorney, Philip Cohen, and Riley's attorney, Scott Borthwick, were not immediately returned.

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