A Troubled Rape Case 

The high-profile rape charges against Deputy District Attorney Michael Gressett are tainted by questionable facts, unorthodox prosecutorial conduct, and the unmistakable whiff of politics.

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Last week, a 19-member grand jury indicted Gressett on thirteen felony counts after hearing from 33 witnesses. He was indicted on four counts of forced sodomy, four counts of forced sexual penetration, two counts of rape, and one count each of forced oral copulation, criminal threats, and false imprisonment. There also are criminal enhancements for use of weapons. If convicted, Gressett could spend the rest of his life in prison.

Gressett's defense investigator, Mark Harrison, a former police officer who has worked in Contra Costa County criminal justice system for the last 21 years, said he was not surprised that the grand jury indicted his client. "The grand jury only hears a one-sided narrative," Harrison said. "The DA comes in and tells the jury that they have enough evidence to convict and the grand jury usually believes them. There's an old saying that the first version of the story you hear is always very convincing until you hear the truth."

Jane Doe is now working as a deputy district attorney in another county. She was contacted for this story but declined to comment. Neither Kochly nor Sequeira returned calls to discuss their handling of the investigation. Nor did Flores from the attorney general's office respond to calls asking for comment. Supervising Deputy Attorney General Joyce Blair said she does not comment on any of her cases, but noted that prosecutors are confident in taking the case to trial.

As for Gressett, since he was fired he has apparently devoted himself to working on his case, friends say. He has attempted to maintain some normalcy in his life by attending college football games and spending time with his son, and he was recently re-elected as president of his condominium association. Asked to sit for an interview, Gressett declined. "It's just not my turn to talk yet."

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