Prosecutors ask to drop most charges in doctor rape case

California state prosecutors have asked a judge to dismiss most sex crime charges filed against a reality TV doctor and his girlfriend, who are accused of drugging and raping several women.

Prosecutors ask to drop most charges in doctor rape case

California state prosecutors have asked a judge to dismiss most sex crime charges filed against a reality TV doctor and his girlfriend, who are accused of drugging and raping several women at their Southern California home.

The attorney general's office, which took over the case from the Orange County district attorney's office last year, filed a motion asking for dismissal of 10 charges involving six of the seven alleged victims.

”We have no reason to believe that any of these victims are being untruthful,” but a review found that some allegations couldn’t be proved beyond a reasonable doubt, the prosecutor said.

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The motion said a review found that some allegations couldn't be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

However, Orange County Superior Court Judge Steven D. Bromberg asked the state to file a brief with more information before he rules on the motion, which could happen next month.

Noting twists and turns in the case, Bromberg said it is “becoming the never-ending story.”

Dr. Grant Robicheaux, a surgeon who previously appeared on a Bravo TV show called “Online Dating Rituals of the American Male,” was charged in 2018 with in connection with seven victims, and Cerissa Riley was charged in connection with five. At the time, authorities said the pair plied their victims with drugs and sexually assaulted them when they were incapable of resisting.

Dr. Grant Robicheaux and his girlfriend Cerissa Riley listen during a news conference by their lawyer Philip Kent Cohen in Newport Beach, California.

Robicheaux, 40, and Riley, 33, have pleaded not guilty, saying the sex was consensual.

If the charges are dropped, the case would be pared down to allegations that Robicheaux and Riley assaulted a woman in 2017 at their Newport Beach home with intent to commit sexual offense. The state is asking for dismissal of a charge that they kidnapped the woman.

At the same time, state prosecutors want to file four additional charges alleging that the couple gave the woman drugs in an effort to have sex with her while she was unable to resist.

If convicted of assaulting one woman, Robicheaux and Riley could face 10 years in prison. If the judge won't dismiss the other charges, a conviction could carry a potential life sentence.

Robicheaux appeared in a now-cancelled Bravo TV show called "Online Dating Rituals of the American Male".

”We have no reason to believe that any of these victims are being untruthful," but a review found that some allegations couldn't be proved beyond a reasonable doubt, Deputy Attorney General Yvette Martinez said in court.

“Obviously, the victims are not in favour of this” and want the chance to testify, said Mike Fell, an attorney for one alleged victim who could be removed from the case.

Last August, another judge ordered that the case be turned over to the attorney general’s office after the Orange County district attorney’s office tried to have the case dismissed, saying it believed there was insufficient evidence to proceed.

District Attorney Todd Spitzer had accused his predecessor, Tony Rackauckas, of manufacturing the case to bolster his reelection campaign.

Source : 9 News More   

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Treasurer defends decision to keep some sick Aussies in India

The Federal Government said it is working to bring more Australians home from India after the first repatriation flight out of the country touched down in Darwin.

Treasurer defends decision to keep some sick Aussies in India

The Federal Government said it is continuing to work to bring more Australians home from India after the first repatriation flight out of the country touched down in Darwin.

Flight QF112 landed in the Northern Territory today at 9.20am (9.50am AEST) where passengers will spend two weeks at quarantine facility in Howard Springs.

However, nearly half of the 150 passengers were not allowed on the plane due to testing positive to COVID-19 prior to departure, or being a close contact of an infected person.

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Of the planned passenger group, 72 were banned from the flight home to Australia. There were 48 people who tested positive for the virus and another 24 family members deemed close contacts.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said defended the decision and said there is still capacity for additional Australians to return home throughout the rest of this month.

"We're following the medical advice and ensuring that we protect Australians here and I'm pleased that first flight has arrived and, obviously, there'll be more flights to come," Mr Frydenberg said.

"We invoked the Biosecurity Act because of the need to protect Australians and to ensure that we were doing everything possible to prevent the spread of COVID."

He said the health standards were set high to protect Australians.

Australia India COVID

"A tragedy for them"

High Commissioner to India Barry O'Farrell said it was tragic for those who were set to be on Australian soil this weekend.

"This is a tragedy for them today, and equally for their families in Australia," Mr O'Farrell said.

"We're in the middle of a COVID crisis here in India and it takes 24 hours at least to get the results of a COVID test, so the likelihood of people quickly taking places on the plane is harder than it seems."

Akriti Gupta from Melbourne hoped to have her results cleared so she can board the plane.

"We are booked for the flight tonight and we are waiting for our COVID results," Ms Gupta told 9News.

"It's very heartbreaking because people here have already quarantined for three days in Delhi and have already said goodbye to their families."

It is not yet known if Ms Gupta was on board the flight.

A positive diagnosis means Aussies will be stuck in India until they recover.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade were working to fill the flight with more passengers but the 48-hour pre-flight testing proved an obstacle.

https://twitter.com/MarisePayne/status/1393073873575321601?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

Qantas flights heading to India to bring back Australian citizens have also been carrying vital supplies to the subcontinent, including ventilators and oxygen concentrators.

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Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne said today's flight will bring the total number of repatriation flights from India to 39.

"These government-facilitated flights will be focused on returning Australian citizens, residents and families who have registered with our high Commission and consular offices within India and will prioritise the most vulnerable people," Ms Payne said.

The next government repatriation flight from India is expected to arrive in Darwin on May 23.

Arrangements for further facilitated flights into Australia are underway.

Source : 9 News More   

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