A judge has delayed his decision on whether or not the rape case involving Grant Robicheaux and his girlfriend Cerissa Riley will be dismissed or go to trial.
Orange County Superior Court Judge Gregory Jones said on Friday that the case has become “infected” by politics, the LA Times reported, and that a decision will not be made until April 3.
Jones’ ruling comes just three days after Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer announced he was seeking a dismissal of the case because of a lack of evidence.
“Asking the Court to agree to a motion to dismiss on already filed serious criminal charges is a great and important burden,” Spitzer said in a statement after the ruling on Friday.
“Once filed, this is the Court’s decision based on our request,” his statement continued. “I am more than pleased to share the evaluation of the entire case so that Judge Jones can do justice in his decision. Judge Jones has been involved in this case from its inception and it is completely reasonable that he would want a thorough understanding of the facts.”
Robicheaux, 39, and Riley, 32, were first accused in September 2018 of drugging and sexually assaulting multiple women. They were hit with additional charges the following month, and if convicted both could face a maximum of life in prison.
Robicheaux — who is known for appearing on the Bravo reality series Online Dating Rituals of the American Male — and Riley have long maintained their innocence.
Former District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said at the time that “investigators had recovered videos depicting up to 1,000 incapacitated women being sexually assaulted by Robicheaux and Riley,” Spitzer said on Tuesday that there is no such evidence.
An “exhaustive review revealed there was not a single video or photograph depicting an incapacitated woman being sexually assaulted by Robicheaux or Riley,” Spitzer’s office said.
“In fact, the review revealed that there was not a single independent witness who came forward to say they saw the defendants sexually assault an unconscious woman,” the Tuesday statement continued, adding that Rackauckas “admitted in a sworn deposition on June 19, 2019 that he had used the case to garner media attention to help his re-election campaign.”
Nonetheless, several alleged victims sent in letters to the court on Friday, the Orange County Register reported.
“I know in my heart of hearts I was sexually assaulted that night, and I will never be the same,” wrote one alleged victim. “I will now have to pick up the pieces of my life and move on.”
“We unequivocally deny all allegations of non-consensual sex and absolutely deny any allegations that we have ever secretly drugged anyone for the purpose of having sex with them,” the couple said in a statement in October 2018, PEOPLE previously reported.
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On Friday before the ruling, the pair told ABC News that they were hopeful that the charges would be formally dropped — now, of course, they will have to wait two more months before knowing if their case will end up going to trial after all.
“I feel like I finally woke up from a bad nightmare,” Riley told the news outlet. “I feel like I can breathe again.”
“I’m just still in shock, and I can’t believe this happened to us,” Robicheaux, who had his medical license suspended after being charged in 2018, said, adding that he has received death threats. “I feared every time I walked my dog that someone was going to shoot or stab me.”
The couple told ABC that there was “never a question” about whether the women they were having sex with were too inebriated to consent.
“This is a huge disappointment for these victims,” Rackauckas told ABC News. “It’s not easy for these ladies to come forward to bear their soul about such humiliating things and make their statement to the authorities. And they’ve done that with the expectation that this case would be prosecuted.”
Rackauckas said in a statement Tuesday to the LA Times that Spitzer’s seeking a dismissal could be a “political motive.”
“Certainly, any prosecutor should think long and hard before dismissing such a case where multiple women have independently come forward and subjected themselves to the hard process of bearing their souls to the authorities,” the former DA said. “I just hope they’re not being sold down the river for some twisted political motive.”
Lawyers for Robicheaux, Riley and Rackauckas did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse, text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.