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Trial date reset for N.B. doctor accused of sending ‘sexually motivated’ messages to teen cheerleaders

Students walk to Newport Harbor High School.
David Lee Haller was charged with two misdemeanor counts of annoying or molesting a minor in 2018. Haller is accused of sending ‘sexually motivated’ texts to two cheerleaders at Newport Harbor High School.
(Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

The trial for David Lee Haller, a Newport Beach doctor accused of sending “sexually motivated” messages to two cheerleaders at Newport Harbor High School in 2017, has been pushed to Aug. 22.

Haller is accused of contacting both students through social media in a “sexually motivated and inappropriate manner,” according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. The victims in the case have not been identified by prosecutors in light of their ages at the time and the circumstances of the case.

Haller has been out on $50,000 bail since January 2019 and is required to stay away from the two victims.

Haller, who pleaded not guilty to both charges, initially went to trial in January. A mistrial was declared by Orange County Superior Court Judge M. Marc Kelly, though the reasons for his ruling is unclear in court records reviewed by the Daily Pilot.

Prosecutors said Haller volunteered as a doctor at several athletic events at Newport Harbor High School from October to December 2017. The two incidents are alleged to have occurred in August and October of that year, according to court records.

An investigation was launched in November 2017 after coaches told a school resource officer that several cheerleaders were being followed on social media by someone who had made suspicious online contact with them through aliases like “miaperv,” “Anh Tran” and “Anh Nguyen.”

Then, a college cheerleader from UC Irvine reported that she was also being sexually harassed through social media by a man that’d also spoken to her in person. That man was later identified as Haller.

A request for comment from Haller’s attorney, Peter Iocana, was not immediately answered Wednesday afternoon.

The trial will be held at the Harbor Justice Center.

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