[UPDATED with Insanity Plea:] Anthony Nicholas Orban, Ex-Westminster PD Detective, Blames Rape of Waitress on Meds for Stress From Iraq War
Last week, Orban pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to the felony counts that could draw him a sentence of life in prison if convicted.
Wait . . . what? The strapping fellow on the opener page is insane? Let's take a closer look:
|What, me crazy?|
The stakes are high. If Blatt's client, a 32-year-old Irvine resident, is found not guilty by reason of insanity, he would likely receive an indefinite sentence in a state mental hospital as opposed to a life term in the joint. That conceivably means he could later be released from the hospital following treatment.
The Inland Valley Daily Bulletin reports that the plea Orban entered Friday at West Valley Superior Court in Rancho Cucamonga means his trial will consist of two phases: one to determine if he is guilty of the crimes, and a second to rule on whether he's nuts.
Blatt last year tipped his hand to an insanity-plea defense spurred by the anti-depression cocktail of medications his client was prescribed to deal with Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome allegedly suffered after serving with the Marines in Iraq.
A 25-year-old waitress at the Dave & Buster's at the Ontario Mills shopping mall endured much suffering of her own on April 3, 2010. As she reached her SUV after her shift, she was abducted by a stranger who forced her into her vehicle, drove her to the lot of a Fontana business and choked her, repeatedly slapped her, punched her, rubbed her face with a handgun, gagged her with the gun barrel, twice threatened to kill her, ordered her at gunpoint to give him oral sex and photographed her with a cell phone while raping her.
A text message the attacker sent with the photo read, "Look what I'm doing." But that was followed by a call to his cell that seemed to snap him out of the old ultraviolence and produce an appy-polly-loggies for what he had done.
After he got dressed and left the vehicle, she bolted out and asked an employee at a nearby business to call the police. When cops arrived at the scene, they did not find the attacker but they did find Orban's police service revolver in the SUV. His arrest swiftly followed.
It turned out Orban had been drinking in Ontario that day with Jeffrey Thomas Jelinek and--like his pal--the Chino state prison guard was originally charged with sexual assault and kidnapping and facing a life sentence under the theory he aided and abetted the crimes, even though he was not present for the rape.
Jelinek pleaded guilty to reduced charges in April in exchange for agreeing to testify against Orban. Jelinek was sentenced to five years and four months at a correctional facility run by his former employer.
Blatt tells the Daily Bulletin the defense does not dispute Orban abducted and raped the waitress. But he reportedly said his client suffered a "psychotic break from reality" brought on by being over-prescribed the anti-depressant Zoloft and the anti-seizure medication Neurontin. (Would that not make whoever over-prescribed the drugs as much of an accessory as Jelinek? Just sayin' . . .)
The paper also quotes Orban's prosecutor, San Bernardino County Deputy District Attorney Debbie Ploghaus, as saying the ex-cop's plea does not change her case one bit, that she believes Orban was sane at the time of the crimes he's now apparently admitted to, drugs or no drug, and that he's guilty as charged.