Orange County- A probation report has recommended state prison, not probation, for three young men convicted of sexually assaulting an intoxicated 16-year-old girl at a summertime gathering at the Newport Beach home of a then-assistant sheriff, it was disclosed Friday.
Although it was not released publicly, the report’s conclusion was part of a brief discussion Friday at a hearing for Gregory Haidl, Kyle Nachreiner and Keith Spann, all now 20.
The three, all teenagers at the time of the incident, face sentencing Feb. 24. All are being held at Orange County Jail.
The case drew widespread media attention and condemnation from some, who were aghast when the defense portrayed the victim as a sex-hungry teen who aspired to be a porn star.
The first trial ended in a mistrial, with jurors leaning toward acquittal. The three were convicted in March after a second trial, though jurors did acquit them on several counts.
There has been considerable speculation on whether the three friends would be sentenced to prison or county jail or even be granted probation, so Orange County Superior Court Judge Francisco P. Briseno’s disclosure Friday was noteworthy.
After the judge revealed the recommendation, Assistant Dist. Atty. Chuck Middleton said he thought it was “very fair.”
The length of potential prison terms was not discussed during Friday’s hearing.
Middleton said he would request prison time but would not decide how much until he had read all three probation reports.
The recommendation by the county Probation Department is one of three reports that could affect sentencing.
A report by the state Department of Corrections is complete but is sealed.
The third, a psychiatric evaluation ordered by Briseno, is not finished.
In October, Briseno ruled that all three would be sentenced as adults.
Their attorneys had argued that all three should receive probation or be sent to the California Youth Authority.
Although they were tried as adults, they were eligible to be sent to a juvenile facility.
Each has a different possible maximum sentence, ranging from 14 to 18 years.
Haidl, Nachreiner and Spann were convicted of sexually assaulting the girl, identified in court only as Jane Doe, in July 2002 at a party at the Corona del Mar home of former Orange County Assistant Sheriff Don Haidl, Gregory Haidl’s father.
A videotape of the attack on a pool table was given to police by a young woman who found it at Haidl’s house.
The three men, one 16 and the others 17 at the time, used a juice bottle, pool cue and cigarette to assault the unconscious girl.
During their appearance in court Friday, the defendants looked disheveled, according to spectators. Haidl and Spann had shaved heads.
Last week, the victim filed a lawsuit against the men and six others involved in the case. She seeks unspecified damages for emotional distress, invasion of privacy, sexual assault and battery. She intends to make a victim’s impact statement when the three are sentenced.
Briseno has scheduled a Jan. 20 hearing to discuss sentencing.