A former police detective who was convicted of raping and kidnapping a waitress last year committed suicide in his jail cell before he could be sentenced. Now a judge in Rancho Cucamonga says legal issues in the case still need to be addressed before it is closed.
Anthony Orban, 33, was a Westminster police officer when he kidnapped a waitress at gunpoint from a Dave and Buster’s on April 2, 2010.
The defense said Orban was under the influence of prescription drugs, including Zoloft, which they blamed for his behavior. He was convicted in June 2012, but on Oct. 26 he was found dead in his cell, just hours before he was sentenced.
"Our system needs to close this case either through dismissal or sentencing," said Judge Shahla S. Shabet of West Valley Superior Court.
"I can't comprehend how you can go ahead and sentence someone who is dead," said defense attorney James Blatt, who insists the suicide of the defendant ends the case.
"The only reason he is not here is because he volunteered to take his own life," Shabet said. "The court does have jurisdiction to complete the sentencing. "
After the hearing, Blatt said the court will be putting on a charade if they meet on July 2 and pretend that the accused is actually present.
"This is not in the best interest of the dignity of the court system," Blatt said.
Orban’s victim does not agree. She said the sentencing means a great deal to her.
"I'm a little disappointed that it got postponed again," she said after the hearing. "I really just want it to be over. "