Judge to rule on enhanced rape charge for Haidl

Deepa Bharath

A Superior Court judge said he will decide next week whether to drop

an enhanced charge against one of the defendants in a gang rape case

that could determine if the teenager would face life in prison, if


Gregory Haidl, the son of Orange County Assistant Sheriff Don

Haidl; Keith Spann; and Kyle Nachreiner face 24 counts. Haidl and

Nachreiner face enhancements for allegedly inflicting great bodily

injury to the unconscious victim and using a deadly weapon -- in this

case a pool cue -- to sexually assault her.

The three, students at Rancho Cucamonga High School, will be tried

as adults for the July 6, 2001, incident that reportedly happened in

Don Haidl's Corona del Mar home.

On Monday, attorneys for Haidl and Nachreiner argued that use of

the pool cue did not cause "great bodily injury" to the victim. What

is legally called "great bodily injury" may be caused by a deadly

weapon such as a gun or a knife or by an innocuous object such as the

pool cue, which has the potential to harm a victim if used


The judge's decision could decide whether Haidl gets a life

sentence or a much lesser sentence, Deputy District Atty. Susan

Schroeder said.

As of now, Haidl faces more than 100 years in prison, but the

judge could bring it down "by a lot," she said. Schroeder was not

sure exactly by how much that number would be reduced, but she said

it would bring it down from a life sentence.

Prosecutors argued that the defendants in this case had used the

pool cue in such a way that it cause great bodily injury to the girl,

who was 16 years old at the time of the incident.

David Macher, one of Gregory Haidl's attorneys, told Judge

Francisco Briseno that Haidl did not touch the pool cue.

"The prosecution themselves have acknowledged that the pool cue

was an innocuous object and not a deadly weapon," he said.

Armand Arabian, a rape law expert and former judge, also argued in

Haidl's defense, contending that his client did not inflict great

bodily injury on the victim.

Briseno said he would make a ruling on the issue, possibly a week

from now.

Haidl's attorneys have filed several other motions to dismiss the

case based on prosecutorial misconduct. They have also asked that the

court not accept a 20-minute videotape of the entire incident because

they say it was stolen from the defendants.

Those motions are scheduled to be heard Dec. 4.

* DEEPA BHARATH covers public safety and courts. She may be

reached at (949) 574-4226 or by e-mail at deepa.bharath@latimes.com.

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