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3 Convicted in Taped Sex Assault Ask to Be Sentenced as Juveniles

Times Staff Writer

Three young men convicted of the videotaped sexual assault of an intoxicated 16-year-old girl asked Friday to be sentenced as juveniles rather than sent to state prison.

Probation officers will interview the defendants -- Gregory Haidl, Kyle Nachreiner and Keith Spann, all now 20 -- and review the evidence in the 2002 attack before recommending whether juvenile treatment is appropriate.

The evaluations will be made public at a hearing Sept. 30 in Orange County Superior Court, at which Judge Francisco P. Briseno will decide how the three will be sentenced.

The evidence to be reviewed includes the videotape the defendants made of the incident, which shows the three assaulting the girl on a pool table. The tape was made during a summer gathering at the Corona del Mar home of Haidl’s father, then an Orange County assistant sheriff. While the tape was shown to the jury, it has not been made public.

“Crimes like this, committed by juveniles like that, deserve juvenile treatment,” John Barnett, Nachreiner’s lawyer, said outside court. His client, he said, has no prior record.

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It is rare that a person tried as an adult is sentenced as a juvenile, defense attorneys said.

An 11-year-old Michigan boy was convicted of second-degree murder in 2000 and then sent to a juvenile facility until 2007. In 1999, a 15-year-old who raped and murdered his neighbor in New York was sentenced to nine years behind bars as a juvenile rather than the adult sentence of life in prison.

If the defendants are sentenced as juveniles, the potential punishments range from probation to time in juvenile hall to a sentence in the California Youth Authority that will end when they turn 21.

Prosecutors said they are trying to determine if the law allows them to ask that the defendants be kept at the CYA for two years from the date they arrive, lengthening their potential sentences by at least a year.

If sentenced as adults, Haidl faces up to 18 years in prison, Spann up to 16 and Nachreiner up to 14, due to the different charges for which they were convicted in March.

Whether the defendants are treated as adults or juveniles, they will not be sentenced for at least six weeks after the Sept. 30 hearing. The victim and her family are expected to speak at that hearing.

Chief Assistant Dist. Atty. Chuck Middleton said he will push for the defendants to be treated as adults and sentenced to prison.

“The types of crimes they committed were pretty horrendous,” Middleton said outside court. “If you saw the video, you would see they’re all engaged in adult activity.”


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