California orthopedic surgeon Grant William Robicheaux’s dating life was documented on Bravo’s “Online Dating Rituals of the American Male.” However, truth can be stranger than the contrived fiction presented by a reality television show, as investigators learned when two separate women came forward claiming that the 38-year-old doctor and his girlfriend accomplice, Cerissa Laura Riley, drugged and raped them in 2016.
Authorities are now asking any other potential victims to come forward after discovering images and videos on the suspects’ phones documenting their misdeeds; police now believe that the couple could have raped and sexually assaulted as many as 1,000 women.
Stranger than fiction
Speaking at a press conference in Santa Ana, Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas explained: “There are several videos where the women in the videos appear to be highly intoxicated beyond the ability to consent or resist and they’re barely responsive to the defendants’ sexual advances.”
The pair chose Newport Beach as their hunting grounds, and Rackauckas warned that their victims “might have felt a false sense of security” around the pair, due to their “clean-cut and good looking” appearance. “We have all heard of a wolf dressed up in sheep’s clothing,” the district attorney said.
“Well, a wolf can wear scrubs or doctors’ clothing. Or the wolf can be a beautiful woman,” he told reporters.
In addition to finding victims at local drinking establishments, Robicheaux and Riley, who was previously employed as a substitute teacher at the Fullerton School District as recently as 2015, were also frequent festival-goers, leading police to worry that they could have drugged and raped women at events like Nevada’s Burning Man, the Dirtybird Campout festival and the Splash House festival in Palm Springs.
Rape spree ended
Fortunately, the serial raping spree came to an end last Wednesday, when police arrested both suspects in response to a warrant sent to the DA on Sept. 6. In addition to each facing charges of “rape by use of drugs, assault with intent to commit a sexual offense, and possession of a controlled substance for sale,” Robicheaux was also charged with illegally possessing two unregistered rifles.
If two victims had failed to regain consciousness while being sexually assaulted, Robicheaux and Riley would likely still be at large.
On April 10, 2016, Robicheaux and Riley lured a 32-year-old woman from a party back to their apartment. The victim, who was already intoxicated, was slipped several drugs and subsequently raped. She reported the encounter to police the next day, and a drug test indicated that she tested positive for multiple substances.
Six months later, on Oct. 2, 2016, another woman was similarly lured to the defendant’s home and given a cocktail of drugs. Fortunately, this victim regained consciousness while she was being raped and began screaming, alerting neighbors who called the police. The couple met each of these victims at local Newport Beach bars, and at least one of the rapes was videotaped by Robicheaux and his accomplice.
Out on bail
If convicted of all of the charges he is facing, Robicheaux could face up to 40 years in a state corrections facility. Riley doesn’t fare much better — she is looking at as many as 30 years and eight months for her part in the crimes.
The couple have been released on $100,000 bail each and are currently due back in court on Oct. 24. Until then, Newport Beach locals would be wise to avoid any solicitations from a good-looking couple in their 30s.