By JOSH FRIEDMAN
A Santa Maria judge ruled a Hollywood producer accused of rapes in Santa Barbara and Los Angeles County must stand trial for a total of eight sexual assault charges, while dismissing other counts the defendant faced. [Rolling Stone]
David Guillod, 55, will stand trial over alleged sex crimes against two women, one of whom is Hollywood actress Jessica Barth. The judge ruled, though, there is not enough evidence for Guillod to stand trial for sex charges related to alleged assaults on four other women, a decision that surprised legal observers.
Guillod, a resident of Sherman Oaks, was the executive producer of Hollywood films including “Extraction” and “Atomic Blonde.” Guillod was accused of sexually assaulting women in Santa Barbara County and Los Angeles over a period of nearly a decade.
In June 2020, Guillod turned himself in at the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s headquarters. Detectives then arrested Guillod on an outstanding warrant for 11 sex crimes, and deputies booked him into the Santa Barbara County Jail.
At the time, Guillod faced charges stemming from incidents involving four different women, three of whom he allegedly assaulted in Santa Barbara County. One of the Santa Barbara incidents allegedly consisted of a kidnap and rape during a business retreat in wine country.
Santa Barbara County detectives’ investigation into Guillod’s alleged sex crimes began in 2017, after actress Jessica Barth, who also produced “Atomic Blonde,” went public with an allegation that Guillod drugged and sexually assaulted her in 2012. Santa Barbara detectives conducted the investigation in cooperation with the Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office and the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office.
Detectives arrested Guillod on charges including kidnap for rape; rape of a person prevented from resisting due to an intoxicating, anesthetic or controlled substance; rape of an unconscious person; sexual penetration of an intoxicated person by a foreign object; oral copulation with a person prevented from resisting due to an intoxicating; anesthetic or controlled substance and oral copulation with an unconscious person.
During a preliminary hearing in the case that concluded Monday, Judge James Voysey read text messages Barth sent to fellow actress Felicia Terrell and Guillod shortly after the alleged assault on May 23, 2012. Barth visited the UCLA Rape Center the same day for a four-hour sexual assault exam.
“I remember zero from last night and I feel like he took advantage of me, “ Voysey said, reading one of Barth’s texts to Terrell in the courtroom.
Barth’s texts are very consistent with what she has stated about being so intoxicated she did not remember what happened, Voysey said.
Jane Doe 5 alleges Guillod raped and sodomized her in late 2018 after meeting her at the Los Angeles restaurant where she worked as a waitress. The woman told investigators Guillod lured her back to his nearby Sherman Oaks home by claiming his daughter would be present as they continued a conversation that started over two glasses of wine at her workplace.
The woman alleges Guillod served her a third glass of wine at his home, and shortly later, she started to black out. Jane Doe 5 could remember bits and pieces of what happened next, which included Guillod kissing her, having vaginal sex with her and flipping her over and sodomizing her aggressively, a prosecutor said in court.
Voysey ruled the charges against Guillod related to Barth and Jane Doe 5 would stand.
In the case of Jane Doe 1, Voysey said he simply could not believe a young assistant working for Intellectual Artist Management was raped by Guillod in Dec. 2014, following a night of heavy drinking, because the woman remained at the work retreat at the Buellton Marriott for the remainder of the weekend, rather than fleeing Guillod and going back to Los Angeles. At the time, Guillod was a high-ranking boss at Intellectual Artist Management.
An executive at Intellectual Artist Management gave a statement saying he witnessed Jane Doe 1 cuddling with Guillod the day after the alleged assault. But, a different executive with the company recalled Jane Doe 1 acting quiet and withdrawn the day after the alleged assault, looking out of character in a hoodie with no makeup, Deputy District Attorney Alexander Harrison told the court.
Jane Doe 1 visited the UCLA Rape Center two days after the alleged assault.
Two other Jane Does claimed Guillod raped them on the same night in Jan. 2015 after allegedly giving them wine laced with an unknown substance. Voysey rejected the women’s rape allegations, citing their messages with Guillod after the incident, which were pleasant and did not accuse him of any wrongdoing.
Jane Doe 6, an unidentified Russian woman, met Guillod on the dating app Luxy in 2020, while he was out of custody on $1 million bail after pleading not guilty to the alleged attacks on the first four Jane Does. The woman, 28 at the time, while Guillod was 53, told investigators she blacked out after drinking wine at the producer’s house on a second date and woke up to find him having sex with her.
Philip Cohen, Guillod’s defense lawyer, argued the woman recalled telling his client that she did not consent to anal penetration, and Guillod complied. Cohen also highlighted a text exchange from later in the morning of the alleged assault in which Guillod wrote, “had a great time, hope you did too,” and the woman purportedly responded, “me too, goodnight.”
None of the Jane Does testified during the preliminary hearing, which ended Monday. Voysey claimed that precluded him from assessing their credibility.
After dismissing the charges related to the four accusers, Voysey reduced Guillod’s bail from $2 million to $100,000 and ordered him to return to court on June 14 for an arraignment on the eight counts related to Barth and Jane Doe 5. Likewise, Guillod no longer faces a possible life sentence in the case.
“It’s unusual to have a case like this dismissed at prelim because the standard of proof is much lower than the ‘proof beyond a reasonable doubt’ required at trial,” lawyer Leonard Levine, a high-powered defense attorney not associated with this case, told Rolling Stone. “It’s very unusual to dismiss a rape case like this — where the allegation is, ‘He raped me’ — based on how [an alleged victim] acted afterwards,” Levine says. “If this case were to go to trial, prosecutors would put on a rape trauma expert who would testify that this it is not uncommon, that women don’t know what happened, they’re embarrassed or afraid, some women even go out with the rapist again for a variety of reasons. So, there are a lot of psychological reasons why, in the opinion of some experts, this would occur. As a defense attorney, I would argue, there’s another reasonable interpretation: It didn’t happen. But those things usually are argued before a jury.”