Anthony Orban is dead after committing suicide while awaiting sentencing for the rape and kidnapping of a waitress in California. However, the judicial system is not through with the case yet; Orban may still be sentenced posthumously.
"I can't comprehend how you can go ahead and sentence someone who is dead," defense attorney James Blatt said in court last week.
Judge Shahla S. Shabet said that the case would either be dismissed or that Orban would be formally sentenced.
"Our system needs to close this case either through dismissal or sentencing," she explained. "The only reason he is not here is because he volunteered to take his own life."
"There is no one to sentence, there is no one to order restitution to," Blatt said after the hearing. "This is not in the best interest of the dignity of the court system."
"I'm a little disappointed that it got postponed again," the anonymous victim said. "I really just want it to be over."
Orban was found guilty of kidnapping and raping the waitress in 2010; he was a California detective who decided to go out drinking with a friend, Jeff Thomas Jelinek. They followed the waitress after she left the restaurant, then pulled her into their car and violently beat and raped her for several hours.
Orban took photos of the ordeal and sent them to Jelinek, who is now serving five years in the prison where he once worked. Orban, meanwhile, was found guilty of the rape and kidnapping but hung himself just hours before he was to be sentenced.
Now, prosecutors are hoping that justice will be served and Orban will be formally sentenced for his crimes, which may bring a small bit of comfort to his victim. If Orban is sentenced for his crimes, it would allow the victim to sue for damages, should she so choose.
It would be one of the first times a defendant has been sentenced posthumously.