Predatory

Surgeon who appeared on TV reality show accused of preying on and sexually assaulting women with help from his girlfriend

Grant William Robicheaux and Cerissa Laura Riley. (Orange County Sheriff Department)

By all outward appearances, California orthopedic surgeon Grant William Robicheaux would seem to be a near perfect man. Doctor. Handsome. “Bachelor of the Year” in 2013, according to Orange Coast Magazine. Increased popularity following his appearance on a reality TV dating show in 2014. Authorities, however, say people shouldn’t be fooled by appearances. According to Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, the 38-year-old Robicheaux is a sexual predator who drugged and raped women with the help of the woman believed to be his girlfriend, Cerissa Laura Riley, a 31-year-old school teacher.

The two were arrested by police last week and face a slew of felony charges. “We’ve all heard of a wolf dressed up in sheep’s clothing, but a wolf can wear scrubs or doctor’s clothing or a wolf can be a beautiful woman,” Rackauckas told reporters, according to ABC News. “We believe the defendants used their good looks and charm to lower the inhibitions of their potential prey,” the DA said.

Authorities allege that the two would stake out local bars around the Los Angeles area to lure women into their clutches. In one case, the couple is accused of using a date rape drug to incapacitate one victim. Investigators know of two alleged victims, but they say Robicheaux and Riley visited music festivals like Burning Man in search of women to target and they fear there could be many more victims — possibly hundreds. As it stands now, Robicheaux is charged with felonies including rape by use of drugs, oral copulation by anesthesia or controlled substance and two counts of possession of an assault weapon, among others.

Lawyers for Robicheaux and Riley say their clients are innocent and that the two “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.”

Grant William Robicheaux during an appearance on the Bravo reality show Online Dating Rituals of the American Male. (Twitter / ABC News)

Prosecutors say the couple were in possession of GHB, MDMA, better known as ecstasy, cocaine and psilocybin, or psychedelic mushrooms. In one 2016 incident, investigators say Robicheaux and Riley began chatting up a woman at a local restaurant, then invited her to a party on a boat. Once there, the woman had a couple of drinks but reported becoming far more intoxicated than she’d expected. The couple took her back to Robicheaux’s apartment where she says she was raped. The next day, she reported the attack to authorities and tested positive for multiple drugs. Police say that assault was captured on video and is just one of many videos of women found on Robicheaux’s and Riley’s phones that show women in various cities under similar circumstances.

In another scary incident that also allegedly occurred in 2016, Riley is accused of meeting a woman at a bar and drinking with her until she was severely intoxicated. Riley then allegedly brought the incapacitated woman back to Robicheaux’s apartment, where police say he assaulted her with the intent to rape her. When the victim regained consciousness, she screamed for help and a neighbor called police.

Robicheaux gained national prominence in 2014 when he appeared on a Bravo reality show called Online Dating Rituals of the American Male. Drea Renee Newell, who dated Robicheaux on the show, told ABC News that the show’s producers asked her if she wanted to stay in contact with him after the show, a question that now haunts her given the allegations against him. “I didn’t,” she said, “but I think to myself, what if I did? Would he have done it to me? When I said that I really don’t drink that much, he was very taken aback.” She added that Robicheaux in a confessional interview for the show said he couldn’t date a woman who doesn’t drink.

Robicheaux and Riley are expected to make their first court appearance next month and are facing 40 years and 30 years in prison, respectively. On Wednesday, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office said another six possible victims came forward, CNN reported.  For more on the story, watch the video below.

Read the full story at The Los Angeles Times

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