Criminal Justice

Deputy Calif. DA is Charged in Alleged Rape of Colleague

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Michael Gressett, 51, who is a 20-year prosecutor assigned to the sex crimes unit of the Contra Costa County, Calif., district attorney’s office, has been charged and arraigned in the alleged May 8 daytime rape at Gressett’s home of a fellow deputy district attorney, according to news accounts.

Gressett pleaded not guilty this morning in Contra Costa County Superior Court to 12 charges that included rape, sodomy and oral copulation, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

If he is convicted on all counts, he could be sentenced to as much as life in prison, according to Peter Flores, a deputy state attorney general. The state AG’s office is prosecuting the case because the defendant and his accuser both work for the county prosecutor’s office.

Gressett, who is now on paid administrative leave, was arrested on Oct. 2 by Martinez police, a week after the department says it learned of the alleged May 8 crimes. He was released on $1 million bail at that time.

Although Flores wouldn’t discuss why police apparently only then learned of the situation months earlier, according to the Chronicle, another newspaper reports that “according to police, officials with the district attorney’s office learned of the allegation much earlier. The reason for the delay remains unclear,” writes the Contra Costa Times.

Attorney Michael Cardoza, who represents Gressett, “called the accusation ‘bogus’ and said this week that Gressett and his accuser were in a romantic relationship,” the Contra Costa newspaper writes. “He declined to describe the extent of the relationship, or how it led to a rape allegation.”

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Calif. Prosecutor Arrested on Suspicion of Rape, Makes $1M Bail”

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