A Newport Beach orthopedic surgeon who appeared on a reality TV show and his girlfriend have been charged with drugging and sexually assaulting at least two women. Authorities are reviewing videos and photos found on the surgeon’s phone, indicating there may be many other possible victims out there, Orange County District Attorney’s Office officials announced Tuesday.
Grant William Robicheaux, 38, and Cerissa Laura Riley, 31, were each charged earlier this month with rape by use of drugs, oral copulation by anesthesia or a controlled substance, assault with intent to commit sexual offense and four counts of possession of a controlled substance for sale.
Robicheaux, who appeared on the Bravo reality TV show “Online Dating Rituals of the American Male,” was also charged with possession of an assault weapon, and faces a special enhancement of being armed with a firearm during a health and safety code violation.
Riley faces the special enhancement of being knowingly vicariously armed with a firearm, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
The defendants allegedly met one of their victims, a 32-year-old woman, at a restaurant in Newport Beach in April 2016. They invited the victim to a boat party in the city on April 10, 2016, and allegedly took her to Robicheaux’s apartment once she was intoxicated.
They’re then accused of giving the victim more drugs, orally copulating with and raping her.
The victim contacted Newport Beach police and tested positive for multiple controlled substances.
A woman who lives near the couple said she saw a distressed woman running from their apartment that month.
“A girl came running, screaming out of there, half-dressed, came around here to the corner telling us,” said the neighbor, who wished to remain unidentified. “We were going to call the police, but then she said, ‘He has my friends up there and my stuff’s up there.’ And then I guess someone else called the police because of the screaming.”
On Oct. 2, 2016, the defendants met the second victim at a bar in Newport Beach and drank with her until she was unconscious.
They allegedly took her to Robicheaux’s apartment and sexually assaulted her with intention of raping her, officials said. The victim woke up and screamed for help until a neighbor called police, who responded and investigated.
Neither of the victims were patients of Robicheaux, but authorities are investigating whether or not he assaulted patients. In addition, the Newport Beach Police Department has notified the California Medical Board of Robicheaux’s arrest.
O.C. District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said investigators believe the defendants acted together to make their victims comfortable and offered a false sense of security.
“We believe the defendants used their good looks and charms to lower the inhibitions of their potential prey,” Rackauckas said during a news conference Tuesday. “We’ve all heard of a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Well, a wolf can wear scrubs or doctor’s clothing. Or a wolf can be a beautiful woman.”
During searches tied to the investigation, authorities found “hundreds” of videos and images on Robicheaux’s phone of other women who may be victims of the pair, Rackauckas said. The women in the videos appear to be “highly intoxicated beyond the ability to consent or resist, and they’re barely responsive to the defendant’s sexual advances.”
“Based on this evidence, we believe that there might be many unidentified victims out there,” Rackauckas said.
On Jan. 9, 2018, the defendants were found in possession of large quantities of illegal drugs, and Robicheaux was found with two illegal and unregistered assault rifles, four other guns and several large capacity magazines.
According to the O.C. Register, the narcotics consisted of ecstasy, cocaine and date-rape drugs.
Robicheaux and Riley have traveled to various festivals since 2015, including Burning Man, Dirty Bird Campout Festival and Splash House Festival, authorities said.
The defendants were arrested on Sept. 12, but both are out on $100,000 bail.
The pair was previously set to appear in court for arraignment Oct. 24, but the date was rescheduled to Oct. 25.
Robicheaux faces 40 years in prison if convicted as charged, while Riley would face 30 years and eight months, officials said.
Authorities encourage possible victims to come forward and call investigator Eric Wiseman at 714-347-8794.
Rackauckas said victims should not be ashamed.
“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,” the district attorney said.