SAN BERNARDINO (AP) – A former Westminster police detective who blamed an antidepressant in an unsuccessful defense against a rape charge was found dead in his jail cell Friday, authorities said.
Anthony Orban, 33, was found unresponsive at 2:49 a.m. in his single-man cell at the Central Detention Center, said San Bernardino County sheriff’s spokeswoman Cindy Bachman. Orban died on the day he was scheduled to be in court for a hearing.
“There is no foul play suspected, but they are going to wait until an autopsy has been completed to release any fur
ther details about the cause,’’ she said.
Orban’s attorney said his client hanged himself, it was reported.
Orban, an Iraq War veteran, pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity. The defense blamed his actions on use of prescription drugs, including the antidepressant Zoloft.
His sentencing had been delayed while the court looked into the possibility of misconduct involving a juror who allegedly talked loudly before the verdict about her experiences taking Zoloft. Orban faced up to life in prison.
The former Westminster detective was convicted earlier this year in an abduction and sexual assault of a woman. The victim was taken from an Ontario mall at gunpoint and raped in a car in Fontana in 2010.
She testified she escaped when Orban was distracted by a cellphone call.
Jurors found Orban guilty of kidnapping, rape and multiple counts of sexual assault and that he was sane at the time.