On Thursday, the Daily Beast published an article digging into the past of Cerissa Riley, 31, the woman arrested alongside Dr. Grant Robicheaux and charged with drugging and sexually assaulting multiple women. Riley is accused of helping reel in the women and participating in the alleged assaults.
What they found when they spoke with Riley’s friends and family was surprising.
The 31-year-old dance instructor was apparently “the sweetest girl in the world,” and a former Evangelical missionary, according to her former mother-in-law. As the shocking story roiled the news cycle, her mother-in-law couldn’t believe the accusations. “This is not Cerissa,” Sheryl Woodruff, who’d known Cerissa since she attended high school with her son, told the Daily Beast. “This is not the girl I know and have known since she and my son went high school together.”
She said that both had been deeply religious and performed Christian outreach in the community.
Riley participated in Hook, a performance outfit that put on short plays about religion designed to ‘hook’ people, Woodruff explained. Once they had an audience, they’d evangelize.
Police claim to have found close to 1,000 videos on Robinaux’s phone showing sexual encounters with women. Robicheaux was featured on a reality TV show called “Online Dating Rituals of the American Male.”
If convicted, Riley faces up to 30 years in prison, while Robicheaux faces 40, the Daily Beast reports.