Former Contra Costa sex crimes prosecutor Michael Gressett has turned the tables on the agencies and people who pursued him for the alleged rape of a junior colleague nearly four years ago. Read my full story here. Watch video of the press conference here.
The state recently dropped the criminal charges, clearing the way for Gressett to file today damage claims — the precursor to a lawsuit — against Contra Costa County and Martinez, where he says he was the target of politically motivated malicious prosecution.
Speaking publicly for the first time about the graphic case that has wracked the District Attorney’s Office, the gregarious 55-year-old Gressett displayed his legendary spunk to journalists gathered at his attorney’s Oakland office.
“What would satisfy me would be a trial where all the people listening to the cross-examination would see what I have been seeing for years,” said Gressett, impeccably dressed in a dark suit and red-checkered tie.
But in other moments, a visibly distressed Gressett choked back tears as he spoke about the devastating impact on him and his family in the years since accusations surfaced that he raped a deputy district attorney with an ice pick, ice cubes and a gun during their lunch hour.
“It has destroyed my life in every way possible,” Gressett said. “If you Google my name, you see pages and pages of me being a rapist. You can never rectify that.”
He said the ordeal was especially hard on his college-age son.
Gressett even contemplated killing himself, anticipating the sexual assaults he would suffer in prison at the hands of other inmates as a former prosecutor convicted of a sex crime.
“It would have been a death sentence for me,” he said.