The Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog

'Zoloft Rapist Not Insane', Simply a Rapist

Almost two weeks ago, the 'Zoloft Rapist' was found guilty of raping a waitress that he abducted after she left work. Today, he was found "sane" and will face a lengthy prison sentence, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Former Detective Anthony Nicholas Orban abducted the victim from the parking lot of Dave and Buster's. He then sexually assaulted her in her car at gunpoint. She escaped when he was distracted by a phone call.

The actual guilt phase of the trial was pretty much a foregone conclusion. His co-conspirator and longtime friend Jeff Jelinek had received messages from Orban during the rape, describing the assault. He also helped Orban escape. When he realized how much time he'd be facing, he flipped on his friend.

Between the victim's testimony, Jelenik's testimony and the officer's service weapon and sunglasses, which were left in the victim's car, there wasn't much hope of fighting the case. Instead, the defendant's attorney basically punted on the guilt phase and maintained a novel defense: the Zoloft defense.

Zoloft is a widely popular prescription anti-depressant. The defense's hired expert, who testifies in a lot of cases about the dangers of psychotropic drugs, told jurors that Orban was not responsible for his actions that evening.

Orban had ceased to use his ordinary heavy dose of the medication for weeks, then suddenly restarted days before. The defense expert suggested that the sudden reintroduction of the drug provoked a psychotic break that rendered Orban unable to tell right from wrong at the time of the attack and caused a blackout spanning the entire evening.

The jury, prosecutors, and the prosecutor's expert all thought that was a bunch of "baloney". The prosecutor simply blamed it on a man looking for sex at any cost. Orban had allegedly just fought with his wife and had attempted, via extensive text messaging, to reconnect with a former mistress.

When that failed, Orban and Jelenik went on a drinking binge, consuming eight margaritas and two pitchers of beer between them. The prosecution's expert agreed, stating that any blackout was more about the liquor than the pills.

The jurors deliberated yesterday and part of today before dismissing the insanity claims. According to the Washington Post, Orban is scheduled to be sentenced on August 9th. He could face a life sentence.

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