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Closing Arguments Tomorrow in Rape Case

Attorneys are expected to make their closing arguments on Tuesday in case where three Orange County teenagers are accused of raping an unconscious girl.

SANTA ANA – Prosecution and defense teams rested their cases Thursday afternoon in a high-profile trial involving three teenagers accused of raping an unconscious 16-year-old girl.

Prosecutors say Greg Haidl, son of Orange County Assistant Sheriff Don Haidl, Kyle Nachreiner and Keith Spann raped the girl, identified only as Jane Doe, and sexually assaulted her with various objects at the assistant sheriff’s Corona del Mar home.

The defendants also made a videotape of the incident, which has been played for jurors and other expert witnesses during the trial. The jury trial began on May 3.

On Thursday, the prosecution presented Brad Hagen, a new video expert, to interpret the “frozen frames” or blackout in the digital videotape as well as a “flutter” in the end of the tape. Joe Micalizzi, the defense’s video expert, had testified that the tape was very likely a copy and missing several minutes of footage.

David Dustin, who previously testified for the prosecution, has said he believes the tape is an original and that the flutter was probably caused by sudden loss of power to the camera.

Hagen showed jurors through an experiment he conducted that the flutter on an original looks different from one on a copy.

“The image goes back and forth in a copy,” he said.

Hagen demonstrated using a different tape that officials had confiscated from Greg Haidl, which had skateboarding action on it. Then he showed jurors the sex tape and a copy of it to prove his point that the flutter in the original skateboarding tape was consistent with the flutter in the original tape of the alleged gang-rape.

Nachreiner’s attorney, John Barnett, who cross-examined Hagen, said he did not believe that the prosecution’s new witness accomplished anything significant.

“Neither of the prosecution’s witnesses have been able to say for sure that this tape is not a copy,” he said. “[Hagen’s] testimony didn’t prove anything.”

Deputy Dist. Atty. Susan Schroeder declined to comment on the testimony.

Earlier in the day, the defense brought back neurologist Harris Fisk to rebut testimony of the prosecution’s expert, Peter Fotinakes. Fisk said he believes the victim appeared to be conscious during the incident. He observed that her movements as she was drinking beer in the beginning of the tape were fluid and coordinated.

He also said the girl’s position on the pool table suggested she was willing to receive the objects that were inserted into her.

Another defense witness, Marvin Corman, a specialist in colorectal surgery, testified via satellite from New York City Thursday morning to rebut the testimony of the prosecution’s Astrid Heger, who observed that Jane Doe did suffer injuries as a result of the sexual assault. Corman said he saw no injury except the one caused by the examining nurse, who he said inappropriately used a cotton swab.

Judge Francisco Briseno, on Thursday, also denied the defense’s motion to not admit the tape into evidence based on the allegation that Deputy Dist. Atty. Dan Hess inappropriately took the original tape from the evidence basket to show it to Hagen without Micalizzi or any of the defense attorneys present.

In a rare event in jury trials, Hess took the stand on Wednesday outside the presence of the jury and told the judge that he did ask the clerk for the original tape and showed it to Hagen in the jury room. Briseno told defense attorneys that he was concerned Hess had neither sought the permission of the court to show the evidence or informed defense attorneys that he was going to do so, but said he didn’t believe the prosecutor’s actions affected the case in any way.
 

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