Mass drug rape charges to be dropped against US couple

(BBC) – Charges against a California couple accused of sexually assaulting “hundreds” of women will be dropped due to lack of evidence, officials said.

Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer accused his predecessor of mishandling the case and using it to aid his re-election bid.

In 2018, prosecutors said they found proof that Grant Robicheaux and Cerissa Riley drugged and raped victims.

Mr Spitzer said the case was “manufactured”.

He accused his predecessor of misleading the public, as a review of the case found “not a single video or photograph” depicting assault, as Tony Rackauckas, the former district attorney, had claimed.

The couple had denied the charges against them.

Mr Rackauckas, alleged the couple “used their good looks and charm” to lure and drug victims. He brought charges on behalf of seven unnamed women who said they were assaulted by Dr Robicheaux, 39, and Ms Riley, 32.

He said investigators had found “thousands” of videos and images on their mobile phones that showed vulnerable women “barely responsive to the defendants’ sexual advances”, and stated that hundreds more women could have been assaulted.

However, Mr Rackauckas admitted in a deposition last summer that he used the case to garner media attention and help his re-election effort, according to the statement from the district attorney’s office. He lost his re-election bid in November 2018.