The first witness in a high-profile gang-rape case tearfully
testified Wednesday that she felt her "world was falling apart" when
she found out, at age 16, that a videotape existed of three boys
gang-raping her at a party days earlier.
The Rancho Cucamonga woman, now 19 and referred to in court as
Jane Doe, testified that she went to a July 5, 2002 party at the
Corona del Mar home of former Orange County Assistant Sheriff Don
Haidl to party with his son, Greg, and friends Kyle Nachreiner and
Keith Spann, all 17 at the time. She said she passed out after
drinking a beer, 8.6 ounces of 94-proof Bombay gin and taking one hit
A videotape taken by the defendants later that night shows the
boys having sex with her on a pool table in Haidl's garage and
sexually assaulting her with various objects, including a Snapple
bottle, a lighted cigarette and a pool cue, Chief Assistant Dist.
Atty. Chuck Middleton said during his opening statements Monday.
"Did you give consent that night to Mr. Spann to have sexual
intercourse with you on top of that pool table?" Middleton asked her
Doe raised her right hand to her face and wiped away tears.
"No," she said.
Middleton named each of the acts the defendants are accused of and
asked her, one by one, if she gave consent.
"No," she replied each time, continuing to cry.
Though this is the second time the case has gone to trial -- the
first ended with a deadlocked jury last year -- Doe testified she had
seen the video for the first time about two weeks ago. Middleton said
outside the courthouse on Wednesday that she watched it at his
suggestion, so she would be prepared to answer questions on the
"She was very tense about viewing it," he said.
In court, he questioned her about scenes on the tape.
"Were you faking being passed out on that pool table?" he asked.
"No," she said.
Doe, whom defense attorneys have characterized as a lying,
hard-drinking, willing participant in the action, admitted to having
sex with Greg Haidl and Spann, whom she was dating, at a party the
night before. She also said she had asked Nachreiner for a strong
drink when she got to the Haidl home that night. She said she quickly
downed the gin.
"I was in the mind frame that I had more fun if I was drunk," she
said. "That was the only way I would have fun, was when I was drunk."
Doe said she woke up at some point the next morning when she hit
her head on a couch in the garage and started vomiting. She passed
out again and later woke up in the passenger seat of her car in front
of Spann's Rancho Cucamonga home, she said.
She went to a friend's house to clean up and said she didn't
remember most of the night. She felt that something might have
happened, especially when her bra fell out of her pants when she got
undressed to take a shower.
"At that point I knew in my heart that something had happened, but
I didn't want to admit it," she said.
Days later, she testified, her father told her that Newport Beach
police had called him and said someone had turned in a videotape of
her being gang-raped.
"I started crying hysterically and getting dry heaves," she said.
"I felt really sick to my stomach."
Earlier in the day, Joseph Cavallo, attorney for Greg Haidl, gave
a roughly 90-minute opening statement to the jury. Judge Francisco
Briseno halted Cavallo's statements Monday after about 15 minutes
when he made repeated references to Doe's sexual history and called
her a "drug dealer."
Wednesday morning, he told jurors that Doe was a compulsive liar
and a promiscuous teen. He described parties at Haidl's Corona del
Mar home, attended mostly by Rancho Cucamonga teens, as "the 909
meets the 949," referring to the cities' area codes.
Doe willingly went to the parties and engaged in risky sexual
behavior, including the videotaped incident, Cavallo said.
"She went down there with her eyes open, knowing the situation she
was entering into," Cavallo said.
Cavallo started his cross-examination of Doe late Wednesday and is
expected to continue with Doe today.
* MARISA O'NEIL covers public safety and courts. She may be
reached at (714) 966-4618 or by e-mail at marisa.oneil @latimes.com.