The jury that today convicted a former Westminster police officer of kidnapping and raping a woman in the Inland Empire will now
try to determine if the defendant was legally sane at the time of the crimes.
Anthony Nicholas Orban, 32 — who pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity — was convicted of one count of kidnapping to commit rape, two counts of forcible rape, two counts of oral copulation, two counts of sexual penetration and a count of criminal threats.
Attorneys will make opening statements in the sanity phase of the trial on Tuesday, which is being held in Rancho Cucamonga.
If jurors find Orban was legally insane at the time of the April 3, 2010, attack, he could be committed to a mental health hospital indefinitely or be treated as an outpatient. If found sane, he faces a life sentence in prison.
Orban claimed he was under the influence of the anti-depressant Zoloft and the sleeping aid Neurontin at the time of the crimes, said his attorney, James Blatt.
Jurors started deliberating at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday and returned with a verdict at 10:30 a.m. today. One juror was excused before deliberations because he told a bailiff in the court a day after Memorial Day that he wanted to thank Orban, a Marine Corps veteran who served in Iraq, for his service.
Orban did not testify during the trial.During the sanity phase of the proceeding, one doctor is expected to testify for the defense and two doctors will testify for the prosecution.
Co-defendant Jeff Thomas Jelinek, a former state prison guard who testified against Orban, pleaded no contest to assault with a deadly weapon, accessory after the fact and false imprisonment in April.
Blatt, who did not immediately respond to a message today, has said in the past that Orban had a “psychotic break from reality and he did not know right from wrong” during the attack on the then-25-year-old woman.
Blatt said Orban “has absolutely no recollection of the events.”
Orban was under the normal stress of being a police officer, a strained marriage, financial troubles and also had issues with combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder, Blatt said.
Orban was in the Marines for five years and was a Westminster police officer for five years, Blatt said.
The victim told police she was leaving work at the Ontario Mills mall and getting into her car when she was confronted by two men, later identified as Orban and Jelinek, according to Ontario police.
Orban forced his way in through the passenger side, while Jelinek kept
watch. Jelinek stayed behind in the mall parking lot, while Orban ordered the woman at gunpoint to drive north on Interstate 15, police said.
Orban raped the woman in the car in Fontana and later called his wife and told her he had lost his gun, police said. His wife called police to report the missing weapon, police said.