D.A. accused of rape pleads not guilty

November 21, 2008 12:17:29 PM PST
A veteran prosecutor in Contra Costa County appeared in court on Friday and pleaded not guilty to rape charges. He's accused of assaulting a fellow deputy district attorney.

The state attorney general's office is prosecuting the case involving 20 year veteran, Michael Gressett; his job in the D.A.'s office was prosecuting sex crimes. His lawyer is promising that this trial will get ugly.

It's already off to an aggressive start. On Friday the defense called these charges 'bogus.' Michael Gressett was charged with some very serious crimes including multiple counts of rape, false imprisonment and criminal threats. He spoke out for the first time on Friday, the prosecutor said he is now disillusioned with the system.

"As I stand in the shadows of fear, that false accusation can be made and come this far. As just shaken to my core as that is, I know that the accuser knows - that these allegations are not true," said Gressett.

When Michael Gressett's attorney entered the plea for his client, he said in court "as firmly and categorically as anyone has ever entered a not guilty plea - we enter a not guilty plea."

Gressett and the woman who is accusing him of rape worked together at the D.A.'s office. The defense said they were in a consensual relationship. The woman said that she was raped in May and the accusation was made in October. The defense said that time lapse wipes out any physical evidence they could have. "This has been a good county, a good district attorney office. There are wonderful people that work here. There are some very professional people that work here. But unfortunately some have chosen to make this very political - and we will move forward. To put it in a word - it will be a blood bath," said Michael Cardoza, defense attorney.

"That's always difficult for any victim, so we will do whatever we can to protect her. Mr. Cardoza has his ethical duties from the bar to act appropriately - so we will just deal with that as it comes up," said Peter Flores, attorney general office.

Prosecutors said they searched Gressett's home and found evidence to back up their case - they won't discuss what they found. But the defense is happy to talk about it, they say Gressett is a gun owner, but they want it known that just because a gun was found in someone's home, it doesn't mean it is linked to the crime.

Both sides are due back in court in January.


Load Comments