Haidl’s Lawyers Ask Judge in 2nd Rape Case to Remove Himself Over Search Warrant
Lawyers for an Orange County assistant sheriff’s son accused of having sex with an underage girl asked a judge Friday to remove himself from the case because he approved a search warrant the attorneys said was illegal.
The girl’s lawyer filed suit this week in federal court against the Orange County district attorney’s office, alleging the warrant violated her civil rights. Attorneys for Gregory Haidl, 19, son of Assistant Sheriff Don Haidl, said that makes the judge who signed the warrant a possible witness in the federal lawsuit.
“The judge now has an involvement in the case,” said Joseph G. Cavallo, who has filed other motions in the misdemeanor case. “The motions need to be heard by a different judge.”
During the brief hearing in Laguna Niguel, Superior Court Judge Luis A. Rodriguez said he will research the grounds for recusal and announce his decision Tuesday.
Haidl, who did not attend the hearing, also is awaiting retrial on felony charges that he and two friends raped an unconscious girl two years ago.
At issue is a warrant investigators served recently to obtain a saliva sample from the 16-year-old girl Haidl had sex with in July. The girl and her family filed a federal lawsuit Thursday against the district attorney’s office, alleging the search warrant violated her civil rights.
Through her lawyer, Adam R. Stull, the girl has said she will not participate in the criminal case against Haidl, who has been charged with a misdemeanor, because the sex was consensual.
Stull said the defense lawyers’ request was valid and added that prosecutors should remove themselves from the case. “There’s a conflict of interest when you’re being sued by the person you’re supposedly protecting,” Stull said.
Deputy Dist. Atty. Jana Hoffman declined to comment on any issues connected with the statutory rape case, citing the pending federal lawsuit.
The defense also has filed motions asking prosecutors to provide information from witness interviews and asking the judge to allow them to use a questionnaire during jury selection.