Labor & Employment

Cleared in Claimed Rape, Prosecutor Plans to Sue re What He Calls a Politically Motivated Case


Cleared in a rape case concerning a junior colleague and reinstated to his $150,000-a-year job, a 55-year-old California sex crimes prosecutor today announced his intention to sue the county and city of Martinez over what he called a politically motivated case.

Michael Gressett said he had had kinky sex with his Contra Costa County colleague, with her consent, and she also had told officials she initially consented but then objected to what he initiated, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The then-33-year-old woman said the encounter took place during a 2008 lunch break and involved a gun, handcuffs and ice.

A judge last year dismissed the case filed against him by the state attorney general, saying that the grand jury should have been told both that the colleague at one point had said she was raped in a van by an armed stranger and that she was in the process of getting a $450,000 settlement from the county at the time she testified.

Gressett, who does not name the woman as a potential defendant in his planned suit, calls her a “pawn” in what he describes as a case mounted as political payback. He ran multiple times in an unsuccessful effort to win election as district attorney, then supported a different candidate who ran successfully for the DA’s job against those who sought to prosecute him, the newspaper says.

“What would you do for half a million dollars?” Gressett asked. “Raw power and money is what it came down to.”

He describes his experience as a “death sentence,” saying that he will never escape the vast amount of material on the Internet detailing the original case against him.

Gressett is now on paid leave from his job.

The article doesn’t include any comment from the county.

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Citing Withheld Evidence, Judge Tosses Rape Case Against Sex Crimes Prosecutor”

ABAJournal.com: “Sex-Crimes Unit Portrayed as ‘Freewheeling Fraternity’ in Rape Case Against Prosecutor”

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