RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (AP) – A California jury on Tuesday found that a former police detective who blamed the antidepressant Zoloft for his behavior was sane when he abducted and raped a waitress at gunpoint.
Jurors delivered their findings in the case of 32-year-old former Westminster police detective Anthony Nicholas Orban after convicting him earlier this month of the brutal attack that began outside a mall in the suburbs east of Los Angeles in 2010.
Orban _ who served in the Marines in Iraq _ had pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity to eight counts, including kidnapping and rape, and claimed that his use of Zoloft had rendered him effectively unconscious at the time of the rape.
Deputy District Attorney Debbie Ploghaus said she didn’t believe the antidepressant had anything to do with Orban’s behavior and noted he had been drinking heavily with a friend before the attack.
“He had this whole other side of him that nobody saw,” she said, adding that Orban’s friend testified during the roughly two-month trial in San Bernardino County Superior Court that Orban had told him he would get turned on by reading rape reports.
Defense attorney James Blatt said cases involving temporary insanity are extremely difficult to win. He also said he believes this particular case highlights the dangers in taking the medication, noting that Orban had a successful career as a law enforcement officer.
“Juries are very reluctant to give an individual a pass when the mental disease is temporary and when there’s a significant amount of alcohol connected to the case,” he said.
Orban is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 9. He could face a life sentence.
Prosecutors said the off-duty officer used his service weapon on April 3, 2010, to abduct the woman and force her to drive to a self-storage lot, where he sexually assaulted her and shoved a gun in her mouth.
Prosecutors said the woman escaped when Orban was distracted by an incoming cellphone call.
Orban’s friend Jeff Jelinek _ who had been drinking with him at the mall _ testified during the trial. Prosecutors said the former prison guard picked up Orban after the attack.
In a plea deal with prosecutors, Jelinek pleaded no contest last year to being an accessory, false imprisonment and assault.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- Distracted walking injuries end up not so funny
- Scary situations: 5 quick tips before you let a contractor in your home
- Four ways telemedicine is changing the health care industry
- 5 mistakes homeowners make in the spring
- Three rivers run through it: Exploring Arizona's waterways
- Smart home basics: things you need to know to get started
- 5 Surprising things causing back pain
- Arizona agriculture is a $17.1B industry
- Timeline: Arizona's roots in brewing history
- 5 reasons to love the D-backs this season
- Tips for taking your home entertainment experience to the backyard
- Tech-related injuries your parents never experienced
- Workers comp: Signs your co-worker could be a fraud
- Who's the real founder of America's pastime?
- Epidemic rising? What you need to know about Alzheimer's in Arizona
- 5 unforgettable Wooden Award winners
- Family and hard work are keys to success of modern dairy farmers
- Genetic testing could hold answers for colon cancer survival
- Cold beers and baseball: A beer lover's guide to Spring Training
- Telecommuting: 5 tips to make it work for employers and employees
- See how top CFOs feel about economic growth in the Valley
- Migraine myths that keep patients from effective treatments
- Here’s why Gaydos went tankless with his water heater
- Bocce ball and basketball: How you can help Arizona's Special Olympics athletes
- Tips on building the best wine room in Arizona
- Avoid the nightmare: 6 tips to choose a great contractor
- Breast cancer: Improved testing and treatments means more survivors
- Failed back surgery: New hope for patients living in pain
- Ticking time bombs: Telltale signs your water heater is about to explode
- Reading glasses could be a thing of the past