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Punk Haidl Convicted

SANTA ANA, Calif. – Three young men, including the son of a former law enforcement official, were convicted Wednesday of sexually assaulting an unconscious teenage girl with a pool cue, juice bottle and cigarette as they filmed themselves on videotape.

The jury returned convictions on a total of 15 felony counts among the three defendants, acquitted them of seven counts and did not reach a verdict on five others in the high-profile case.

Greg Haidl, 19, the son of a former assistant sheriff, was convicted of six counts of sexual assault. Keith Spann, 20, was convicted of five counts and the jury found Kyle Nachreiner, 20, guilty of four counts.

All three were acquitted of assault with a deadly weapon, the pool cue.

“Every woman has a right to say no to sex,” Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said. “Performing sex acts on the body of an unconscious woman is a crime. It is a crime if the perpetrator is a student, a laborer, an executive or the son of an assistant sheriff.”

Haidl, who has been in custody, appeared to bite his lip at one point; his co-defendants cried as the verdicts were read and were taken into custody afterward.

“It’s extraordinarily disappointing. It’s beyond words, but it is a day everyone knew might come. It’s a tragedy for everybody,” Nachreiner’s attorney, John Barnett, said outside court.

He said an appeal was under consideration.

Rackauckas said prosecutors would seek prison time, but he declined to be more specific. Haidl faces a maximum of 18 years, Spann 16 years and Nachreiner 14 years. They had faced up to 23 years if convicted on all counts. They could also get probation.

The key evidence was a 21-minute video of the July 6, 2002, attack at the home of Don Haidl, a multimillionaire businessman who resigned as assistant sheriff to focus on his son’s legal battle.

“It was a very serious, very provocative, ugly scene on that video,” prosecutor Chuck Middleton told reporters. “They probably had the same reaction I did watching it in that jury room.”

Jurors had to choose between two starkly different scenarios: that three young men violently abused an unconscious teen, as prosecutors contended; or that a 16-year-old girl was a willing participant in what the defense claimed was a “weekend sexcapade.”

Last year, a jury deadlocked on a longer list of charges.


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