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Man to be arraigned in skater's drugging

An arrest warrant against the Santa Ana insurance salesman is withdrawn after bond of $50,000 is posted.

May 28, 2008|Kim Christensen | Times Staff Writer

Santa Ana insurance salesman James R. Halstead is scheduled to be arraigned June 9 on charges that he drugged a former Olympic ice dancer in an attempt to sexually assault her.

An arrest warrant for Halstead was withdrawn Friday after a bail bonds company posted a $50,000 bond on his behalf, Orange County Superior Court records show. Halstead was not present.

He faces one felony count of giving a "narcotic, anesthetic and intoxicating agent" to Oksana Grishuk, 36, who won two gold medals for Russia in ice dancing in the 1990s.

Grishuk told investigators she was drugged April 12 during a business meeting with Halstead at a Dana Point resort. Tests on a pill she found in her wineglass identified it as nimetazepam, which Orange County sheriff's officials said is used as a date-rape drug.

In a brief telephone interview last week, Halstead called the allegation "ridiculous" but would not discuss it.

Halstead also is a defendant in a spate of civil lawsuits alleging that he and Irvine securities lawyer Jeanne M. Rowzee bilked investors out of more than $20 million in a sophisticated strategy known as private investment in public equities, or PIPEs.

After federal prosecutors charged Rowzee with wire fraud last week, a magistrate judge ordered her held without bond pending arraignment in June.

Halstead has not been charged in the alleged investment fraud and denies wrongdoing.

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kim.christensen@latimes.com

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