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Sex charges dismissed against reality TV doctor and girlfriend

NEWPORT BEACH, California (AP) – A California judge has dismissed sex charges against a reality TV show doctor and his girlfriend who had been accused of drugging and raping women in a case that drew international attention.

Court records show that charges of assault with the intent to commit a sexual offense were dismissed Friday against Dr Grant Robicheaux, a surgeon who previously appeared on a Bravo TV show called “Online Dating Rituals of the American Male,” and girlfriend Cerissa Riley.

The decision came after a preliminary hearing before Superior Court Judge Michael Leversen, who determined there was not sufficient evidence on the sex charges to proceed to trial, the Orange County Register reported.

The pair also faces drug charges and is due to appear in court July 19. Robicheaux is also charged with possession of an assault weapon. They previously pleaded not guilty.

The State Attorney General’s office, which has been prosecuting the case, said the agency is reviewing the decision.

The couple’s attorneys did not immediately comment on the decision, a spokesperson said.

This file photo shows Dr Grant Robicheaux (centre) and Cerissa Riley arrive at Orange County Superior Court Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach, California on February 7, 2020. PHOTO: AP

The case drew international attention in 2018 when Robicheaux and Riley were charged in connection with up to seven victims who authorities said were plied with drugs and sexually assaulted at the pair’s home in the upscale community of Newport Beach when they were incapable of resisting.

The case was also tied up in a contentious political battle between Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer and his predecessor Tony Rackauckas, who Spitzer accused of improperly handling the case and using it to draw publicity.

After winning election and taking office, Spitzer sought to dismiss the charges against the couple, saying there was insufficient evidence. The case was turned over to the State Attorney General’s office, which later pared down the charges for prosecution.

This file photo shows Robicheaux and Riley listen during a news conference in Newport Beach, California on October 17, 2018. PHOTO: AP
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