In accordance with exclusive reporting by OC Weekly, new Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer concluded that the prior administration “shamelessly exploited” a criminal prosecution against a Newport Beach doctor and his girlfriend preposterously accused of drugging and then videotaping themselves raping a “thousand” victims.
Spitzer drew his conclusion after studying the depositions of defeated DA Tony Rackauckas and Susan Schroeder, his chief of staff, and didn’t mince words in a Sept. 19 letter to California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.
“The former DA and his chief of staff repeatedly engaged in prosecutorial misconduct by exploiting pre-trial publicity for re-election purposes,” Spitzer told Becerra in the letter that was unsealed on Nov. 6. “In doing so, they each further victimized the victims in this case and prohibited the OCDA’s office from exercising its sacrosanct duty to ensure a fair trail and its duty to seek justice.
By August 2018, private polling informed 20-year incumbent Rackauckas and Schroeder that voters were prepared to hand them their nightmare scenario: an election victory by hated Republican nemesis Spitzer, a former prosecutor, county supervisor and state Assemblyman.
About a month later, the duo began shamelessly parading Dr. Grant Robicheaux and Cerissa Riley as sexually-deviant monsters to reporters around the globe, winning invaluable free campaign publicity from thousands of positive news articles as well as appearances on all of the major television networks.
In his letter to Becerra, Spitzer, who’d trounced scandal-scarred Rackauckas, published portions of his predecessor’s deposition pertaining to the manipulation of the People v. Robicheaux:
Question by a Robicheaux/Riley attorney: Did you see this case of a thousand victims, a good-looking doctor, a good-looking girlfriend, as being a potential publicity vehicle for you?
Rackauckas: I certainly expected to get a lot of publicity, yes.
And did you think that that publicity might be helpful to your campaign?
And that was the thought—you wanted to help your campaign, I assume. You wanted to get re-elected?
And you saw this case, with the accouterments, as potentially being a very good vehicle; is that fair to say?
According to Spitzer, Rackauckas and Schroeder had “actively marketed the ‘1,000 victims’ story to the press behind the scenes [and] are now denying such a claim.”
He added, “This is not a close call. It is a blatant abuse of power and misuse of government resources for personal gain by the former administration of this office. This office cannot suffer any more credibility setbacks given its history of prosecutorial abuse.”
Nonetheless, the lie-loaded case against the couple remains active.
Here are prior Weekly articles on the topic:
CNN-featured investigative reporter R. Scott Moxley has won Journalist of the Year honors at the Los Angeles Press Club; been named Distinguished Journalist of the Year by the LA Society of Professional Journalists; obtained one of the last exclusive prison interviews with Charles Manson disciple Susan Atkins; won inclusion in Jeffrey Toobin’s The Best American Crime Reporting for his coverage of a white supremacist’s senseless murder of a beloved Vietnamese refugee; launched multi-year probes that resulted in the FBI arrests and convictions of the top three ranking members of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department; and gained praise from New York Times Magazine writers for his “herculean job” exposing entrenched Southern California law enforcement corruption.