Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Jurors Find “Zoloft Rapist” Sane, Guilty

Anthony Nicholas Orban. Police photo.

After three days of deliberations, a Rancho Cucamonga jury deemed Anthony Orban sane at the time he kidnapped and raped a 25-year-old woman. Now the former Westminster police detective faces 75 years to life in prison.

As the jury’s decision was read Tuesday, Orban could only shake his head as his only hope of avoiding prison evaporated. Both the young female victim and the defendant’s wife Tracy were visibly sobbing in court.

Last week, Orban was convicted of eight felonies including rape, oral copulation, and forced sodomy with an object. Orban took the stand to plead his insanity defense to the jury, claiming that his Zoloft medication caused a psychic break that made him unable to distinguish right from wrong.

Orban described how he had been suffering from depression over a dissolving marriage and money woes since returning from active duty in Iraq. He said he resumed taking Zoloft a few days before the attack, and had begun hearing voices and having fantasies of killing his wife and dog. Orban said he has no memories of the rape at all: “I’m not denying her testimony,” he told the jury. “I don’t remember.”

The prosecution implied that Orban concocted his story from magazine accounts of PTSD and the book “Medication Madness”, written by the defense medical expert Peter Breggin. Orban admitted having read those publications, but would not concede they had any part in his testimony. When Prosecutor Debbie Ploghaus asked if he deserved punishment for the attack, Orlan replied “That’s up to the jury to decide.”

Jurors refused to comment publicly after trial, but they clearly sided with the prosecution’s contention that Orban’s alcohol use — he and a friend had split eight margaritas and a couple pitchers of beer in the hours before the assault — was more to blame than the Zoloft.

More: Did Zoloft Cause a Rape?

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