More drug rape charges against California surgeon, girlfriend

Prosecutors added criminal charges involving five additional women Wednesday in the case of a California surgeon and his girlfriend already charged with drugging and sexually assaulting two other women.

The Orange County district attorney's office said the additional charges include kidnapping and rape by use of drugs.

The new charges accuse Dr. Grant Robicheaux of sexually assaulting five additional women. His girlfriend, Cerissa Laura Riley, is now charged in three additional assaults. Details were not immediately released.

Robicheaux, 38, and Riley, 31, appeared in court and pleaded not guilty to all counts. A judge ordered their bail to be raised to $ 1 million US each — up from $ 100,000 each.

Robicheaux once appeared in a reality TV show called Online Dating Rituals of the American Male.

Heaps of photo, video evidence

When the pair was originally charged last month, prosecutors said they received leads to more than a dozen possible additional possible victims and were going through thousands of videos and images on Robicheaux's phone.

Some videos show women who "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," Tony Rackauckas, the Orange County district attorney, said at a news conference last month when the first charges were laid.

Authorities said the two initial alleged victims met Robicheaux and Riley at social events in southern California, where they became intoxicated and ended up at Robicheaux's apartment.

"We believe the defendants used their good looks and charm to lower the inhibitions of their potential prey," Rackauckas said in September.

Robicheaux could now face a term of more than 82 years to life in prison if convicted. Riley could face 63 years to life in prison if convicted.

Both had friends and family who walked up and hugged them during a break in the courtroom proceedings. During a bail discussion, Riley turned to see them in the gallery and fought back tears. Afterward, she cried in the courtroom while being hugged by supporters.

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CBC | World News