By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Don Haidl likes to brag that he helped raise "thousands" in campaign cash for the man now trying his son, the district attorney, Tony Rackauckas. In a move that turned political reality upside down, the Haidl defense team has used that financial relationship to argue that the DA is compromised—that he's prosecuting Gregory only to prove he's a tough, independent law-enforcement officer. In December, Haidl's attorneys asked the judge to take the DA off the case, and to replace him with the state attorney general, Bill Lockyer.
Lockyer gravely disappointed the Haidls. As the Weekly went to press, and as Judge Briseno prepared to decide whether Rackauckas will try the case, the attorney general responded. On January 20, he handed the prosecution a new weapon in the PR war over Gregory Haidl: a stinging 13-page denunciation of the young man's character.
"The number and nature of the charges that defendant is facing . . . is based solely upon his participation in a deplorable series of sexual assaults upon the body of a young lady, which included multiple penetrations of her vaginal and anal openings with various foreign objects as she lay unconscious on a pool table," Lockyer wrote. "More importantly, defendant's argument ignores the reality that his own videotape is the beginning and end of this case: there would be no prosecution without it. But because it exists, no prosecutor could ignore the crimes clearly depicted, regardless of who or what the defendant's father is."
It's unclear what the Haidl defense team hopes to get by switching prosecutors in a case where the evidence is so compelling. But what they got was the state's top lawman summing up his take on Gregory Scott Haidl, the boy who dreamed of becoming a film-industry player: "The videotape . . . graphically reveals defendant's character as lacking fundamental decency and respect for human dignity and readily demonstrates that his acts went far beyond mere delinquency."
Photo by James Bunoan