East Bay News
Former county prosecutor to sue over rape charge
MARTINEZ, Calif. (KGO) -- Disgraced former Contra Costa prosecutor Michael Gressett spoke out Monday as he prepared to file a major lawsuit against the county related to a 2008 rape charge against him.
Gressett said until now, he could not speak out because he had to wait until the criminal case against him was resolved. Now, he'll be suing those he believes conspired against him for, among other things, malicious prosecution and defamation.
"I did not do anything unlawful, nonconsensual. I am absolutely 100 percent innocent of every allegation," Gressett said. Three and a half years after he was accused of raping a colleague, he says he was set up for political reasons. "Raw power and money is what it came down to," he said. He admits he had a sexual encounter with another assistant district attorney during a lunch break at his condominium in May of 2008, but he denies raping the woman who he says he was dating at the time.
In October of 2008, Gressett was arrested and charged with 13 counts including allegations he used a gun, an ice pick, and handcuffs during the assault. "I've never had any non-consensual contact with any woman ever at anytime, anywhere in my life," he said. A judge dismissed criminal charges against him last fall, saying prosecutors failed to turn over evidence to a grand jury that could have cleared him.
Gressett has now filed a claim against the district attorney's office, Martinez police, and several named individuals including former District Attorney Robert Kochly and Kochly's hand-picked successor judge and former district attorney candidate Dan O'Malley. Gressett claims he was maliciously prosecuted because he supported O'Malley's political rival, current District Attorney Mark Peterson.
"We believe that it was this political motivation that directly led to charges against him that had no place being brought in the first place," Gressett's attorney Gary William said. "You have the top law enforcement officer in the county preserving a job, for whatever reasons they find beneficial to them, and corruption is running amok," Gressett said.
The claim Gressett filed Wednesday is a precursor to a lawsuit. There is no dollar amount attached, but his lawyer said they will ask for damages in the millions. It names the county, Martinez police, the district attorney's office, Kochly, and O'Malley. None of those parties responded Wednesday to ABC7's request for comment.
contra costa county, martinez, corruption, east bay news, laura anthony
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