In a case that has seen multiple twists and turns, state prosecutors Friday asked a judge to drop most of the charges against a Newport Beach surgeon and his girlfriend who have been accused of drugging and raping several women.
MICHELE GILE: You said it. Another twist in a case that has seen so many twists and turns. It has been 2 and 1/2 years since charges were originally filed against Robichaud and Riley, yet there hasn't even been a preliminary hearing yet. The DA was off the case last year. The attorney general is on it now. And today, another development.
- It is based on the law.
MICHELE GILE: Cerissa Riley wiped away tears as she sat in a Santa Ana courtroom next to her codefendant former surgeon Grant Robichaud. The deputy attorney general is asking a judge to amend the criminal complaint against the pair, which would eliminate sex and drug charges for six of the seven women. Prosecutor Yvette Martinez explained it this way to judge Steven Bromberg.
YVETTE MARTINEZ: We have no reason to believe that any of these victims are being untruthful. In general, that doesn't necessarily mean that that is a provable case.
MICHELE GILE: The prosecutor now seeks charges that involve one alleged victim, who claims she was drugged with the intent to commit rape. It's a case that could get Robichaud and Riley at least 10 years in prison if the judge allows the criminal charges to be amended. Otherwise, if the case continues as it's presently alleged, the couple could face life in prison if they are convicted.
MIKE FELL: Obviously, the victims are not in favor of this. The victims object to this. The attorney general's position is that they've reviewed everything. They do not feel that they can prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt as it relates to six of the seven victims.
MICHELE GILE: If the judge grants the attorney general's request, the case involving Mike Fell's client would be one of those to disappear.
MIKE FELL: Our position is allow the victims to testify. Allow the victims to be confronted by whatever the prosecuting agencies believe are the problems in the case, and let's determine whether the case can go forward from there. That's our position. That's the victims' position.
MICHELE GILE: Robichaud and Riley are out of custody. They asked for permission today to leave the state. The judge granted that but reminded them that they must be back here in Santa Ana on June 11 when the judge could make a decision on charges against them. We're live in Santa Ana. I'm Michele Gile. Back to you.
- There's a new option emerging so young--