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Accused Rapist Can Use 'Zoloft Defense'

Antidepressant made him do it, lawyers will now argue
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted May 18, 2012 12:02 AM CDT
Updated May 18, 2012 12:25 AM CDT
Accused Rapist Can Use 'Zoloft Defense'
Zoloft: On trial for kidnapping and rape.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – A former southern California police detective charged with kidnapping and raping a 25-year-old waitress at gunpoint will be allowed to use a "Zoloft defense," a judge has ruled. Lawyers for Anthony Nicholas Orban aim to prove he's not guilty because he was mentally "unconscious" and "totally unaware of his actions" during the attack due to the influence of the antidepressant, reports the Los Angeles Times.

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"But for the use of Zoloft, Mr. Orban would not have committed these acts," said his attorney. "Here you have a police officer and former Marine who for the last 10 years has been dedicated to protecting his country and protecting his community. This was totally out of character." The victim has testified that Orban punched her in the face, stuck the barrel of his gun in her mouth, and snapped photos of her with his iPhone, telling her to "smile for the camera." If his "not guilty by reason of unconsciousness" defense fails, Orban could be sentenced to life behind bars. (Read more rape stories.)

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