West Hollywood, CA (PRWEB) April 26, 2012
Jury selection began today in People of the State of California v. Anthony Nicholas Orban (San Bernardino County, Case No. FWV1000794), where the former marine and Westminster Police detective is being prosecuted for multiple charges stemming from the April 3, 2010, alleged armed kidnap, rape, and sexual assault, of a woman at the Ontario Mills Mall. Orban, represented by criminal defense attorney James E. Blatt since his arrest, has plead not guilty by reason of insanity.
Anthony Orban, a decorated United States Marine Corps veteran and police officer, has no recollection of the crime or the hours that proceeded it. After serving honorably as his platoon leader in Iraq during the second Gulf war, Orban enrolled in the police academy and quickly became a detective with the Westminster Police Department. Orban was highly regarded within the department, and received numerous commendations for his work. Orban, however, was suffering from symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (P.T.S.D.). As he struggled to cope with the effects of P.T.S.D., Orban was prescribed a combination of the drugs Zoloft and Neurontin.
James E. Blatt, who is known for his creative defense strategies and creating new defenses in the area of criminal law, contends that Mr. Orban’s crime, was the result of a Zoloft-induced psychosis. “Due to his use of the prescription drug known as Zoloft, my client suffered a psychotic break from reality where he could not comprehend his actions and did not know right from wrong” stated Mr. Blatt, who then went on to say, “Had it not been for the use of Zoloft, this crime would not have occurred.”
Mr. Blatt stated that Orban had no prior criminal record before the sexual assault and suffered from P.T.S.D after returning from Iraq and that he had been "overprescribed" with the anti-depressant Zoloft and anti-seizure medication Neurontin. Blatt said Orban's wife and other relatives, colleagues, and friends are completely shocked at the charges filed against the former Marine and Iraq War veteran and will continue to stand by him during the trial.
Westminster Police Chief Mitch Waller also stated to the OC Register (Published: April 9, 2010) that Orban had always been a good officer with an exemplary record who was recently promoted to detective. "Since we found out about this, we have been compelled to go back to his employment record, background record and polygraph test results," Waller said. "We are checking to see if there were any red flags we missed, and we haven't seen any.”
Crimes of random violence by police officers are unusual, an expert said. "It's statistically bizarre to have an officer assault a woman in broad daylight and rape her like this case alleges," said Ronald Huff, a criminologist at UC Irvine. "This is really rare." (Published: OC Register April 9, 2010)
San Bernardino County Deputy District Attorney Deborah Ploghaus will be prosecuting this case and believes that Orban’s duty was to protect and serve, as she stated to the OC Register (Published: April 9, 2010). "The crime is a random act of violence that could have happened to anyone, which is scary enough, but the fact it was committed by an off-duty officer, whose job it is to protect the public from crimes, makes this case especially horrific."
Anthony Orban’s trial is expected to last six weeks, and is being heard in the Rancho Cucamonga Superior Court, Department 7, before the Honorable Judge Shahla S. Sabet.