A former NCAA champion wrestler convicted of beating up one woman and sexually assaulting another at his Coachella Valley ranch and facing up to nearly five years in prison lost a bid for a new trial Tuesday.
Wayne Eric Boyd, 74, of Sky Valley was convicted in August 2019 of criminal threats and assault with the intent to commit mayhem, rape, sodomy or oral copulation — both felonies — and three misdemeanor battery, assault and sexual battery counts for crimes committed between May and September 2016.
In seeking a retrial, Boyd’s lawyer alleged that the prosecutor made inappropriate statements during closing arguments, and accused witnesses who testified in his client’s defense of delivering “scripted” statements.
“The implication from that is that the evidence was doctored or manipulated in some way,” Boyd’s attorney alleged.
Riverside County Superior Court Judge Otis Sterling denied the defendant’s request, and set sentencing for April 7 at the Larson Justice Center in Indio. The defendant, who remains out of custody on $65,000 bail, faces a maximum sentence of four years and eight months in state prison, according to prosecutors.
The case dates back to Sept. 11, 2016, when sheriff’s deputies went to Eisenhower Health in Rancho Mirage on a report of a 25-year-old female assault victim, according to court papers prepared by Deputy District Attorney Gypsy Yeager. Court records show Boyd was arrested and made bail a day later.
The woman, identified only as “Bree Doe,” told deputies Boyd slammed her to the ground when she and her friend were about to leave his ranch to go to a concert. He then punched her in the face and delivered repeated elbows to her head, she said.
Bree said that her friend — identified only as “Vivienne Doe” — worked for Boyd and lived at his home, and that she was visiting her friend when she was attacked.
She also alleged that he also mistreated Vivienne, who subsequently “described her time at the defendant’s property as five to five and one half months of slavery, psychological, physical and emotional torture,” according to the prosecution’s court papers. “She said that he would subject her to many angry `speeches’ in where he tells her, `Nobody (expletive) with Wayne Boyd.”’
She alleged being frequently sexually assaulted and subjected to other forms of abuse by Boyd. One time, he repeatedly kicked her and fractured seven of her ribs, according to the prosecution.
Vivienne told deputies they met in Los Angeles where Boyd promised her a job that paid $500 per week, but that he never paid her. He told her he was a movie producer and wanted her to play a role in his films, originally pitching the idea of starring in a show he produced called “About Town,” the papers say.
Boyd’s LinkedIn page says he produces, directs and writes feature and documentary films, including “One More Shot,” “Champion of Champions” and “Blood, Guts, Glory, Wrestling.”
Boyd won three Virginia state wrestling championships in the 1960s while in high school before enrolling in Temple University. There, he won multiple championships and was inducted into the Temple University Hall of Fame, according to the web page of the Titan Mercury Wresting Club, which Boyd co-founded.
Following his trial, Titan Mercury Wrestling Club announced Boyd had resigned from the organization.
A statement from the wrestling club, attributed to Boyd, said he would be “vigorously pursuing” an appeal and that all the charges were “totally unfounded especially in light of the fact that the prosecution granted the victim immunity for perjury and theft of money from me.”
Boyd has no documented felony convictions in Riverside County.
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