SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) At prosecutors' request, a judge on Monday dismissed the case against a man who was accused of slipping a date-rape drug into the drink of former Olympic ice dancer Oksana "Pasha" Grishuk.
Investigators in the Orange County District Attorney's Office concluded that they could not prove the case against James R. Halstead beyond a reasonable doubt, spokeswoman Susan Schroeder said.
Halstead's attorney, Michael Molfetta, called the case a "piece of junk" and said Grishuk wrongly denied that she and his client had had a romantic relationship.
Halstead said Monday he thinks the partially dissolved pills Grishuk reported finding in two drinks were put there by the skater herself.
The pills tested positive for Nimetazepam, which is similar to the date-rape drug GHB, but Schroeder said toxicology tests on Grishuk's blood showed no trace of the drugs.
"There was no corroborating evidence that would indicate who actually ... put the substance in the drink and we just couldn't prove who did it," Schroeder said. "There are many, many elements that we looked at."
Halstead was charged last month with a felony count of administering a drug, but Molfetta and the DA agreed last week to dismiss it. The charge was formally voided Monday at what was to have been an arraignment hearing in Orange County Superior Court, Molfetta said.
"They originally made a mistake in filing it and I think they corrected that mistake," Molfetta said of prosecutors. "I approached them. I said, 'This is not the way it looks, this woman is on a media tour.' It just struck me as being very, very odd and very, very suspicious."
A spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff's Department, which investigated the case, did not return a call.
Grishuk's attorney, Gloria Allred, said in an e-mail to The Associated Press that she had left a message for her client and could not comment until she heard back.
Grishuk, 36, said last month that she had not been romantically involved with Halstead, 61. She told investigators she knew him because they had discussed starting a clothing and vitamin line.
Molfetta, however, said that Halstead and Grishuk had had a lengthy romantic relationship and he had provided text messages, e-mails, telephone records and personal notes to the district attorney's office to prove it.
Schroeder said she was aware of Halstead's claims but that "it's unclear as to whether they had a relationship or not and frankly, that's just one part of this case." She said no charges would be filed against Grishuk.
Halstead said Grishuk wanted to marry him, but he was going through a divorce and told her no. He also said she wanted him to travel to Europe with her as her agent, but he refused.
"She got really upset with me because she said, 'Can't you find me a man with money who could take care of me?"' Halstead told The Associated Press by telephone. "She kept saying, 'Jim, I'm in love with you."'
Halstead said Grishuk initiated their April 12 meeting at the posh St. Regis Monarch hotel because she accused him of missing Valentine's Day. He said he believes she slipped the pill in her own drink when he left to use the restroom for about 15 minutes.
"We seemed to be having a nice time. Next thing you know, she reaches into the glass and pulls out this pill and says, 'What is this?"' Halstead said. "I don't why she did this, whether she was mad at me or crazy. It doesn't make any sense."
Grishuk, who won gold medals for Russia in ice dancing in 1994 and 1998, told reporters last month that she has been busy recently filming several seasons of a Russian television show called "Dance on Ice" that's similar to America's "Dancing With the Stars." She said she's also done solo skating shows in Asia and toured Russia with ice shows. She lives part-time in Orange County.