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
In the never-ending saga of accused teenage gang rapist Gregory Scott Haidl, add a couple more bizarre chapters, including a startling revelation that a defense lawyer connected to the litigation is himself a convicted felon who had illegal sex with a high school girl.
First, the background: In July—just two weeks after a male-dominated jury deadlocked on whether Haidl and two buddies videotaped themselves gang raping an unconscious 16-year-old girl on a pool table—Haidl was arrested again for allegedly committing another sex crime.
Similarities in the cases are worth noting. Like the original 2002 incident, the new case involves illegally obtained booze and marijuana, a 16-year-old minor, California's laws against intercourse with children, and--of course--a horny Haidl.
But Haidl, the 19-year-old son of wealthy Orange County Assistant Sheriff Don Haidl, has apparently learned something in the past few years. In this latest escapade, Haidl didn't videotape the sex for the pleasure of his pals. Nor did he plunge a Snapple bottle, lit cigarette, juice can or pool cue into an unconscious girl's vagina and rectum. Nor did he leave the object of his affections to wake up in a parked car alone, disheveled, groggy and covered in dried male bodily fluids.
No, this incident suggests that the young Haidl is growing up.
In the first rape case, his father, who made a fortune selling used government cars in Rancho Cucamonga, funded a nine-member legal defense team—not including the army of private detectives, on-duty police officers and assorted other Haidl family camp followers. They called Jane Doe 1 a "slut" who enticed an "innocent . . . little boy" (that would be six-foot-plus Greg Haidl, who has had six known separate criminal episodes in the past three years). In hopes of forcing Jane Doe 1 to decline prosecution, they probed her entire life—tailed her, posted inflammatory fliers in her neighborhood, spread savage rumors about her family, sued investigating police agencies, and released her private medical records to members of the media. Some jurors weren't bothered; some actually received post-trial checks from Haidl in return for a promise to act as consultants at the retrial, which could begin later this year.
No word yet on how much Haidl Sr., who has made no secret that he'll do whatever it takes to keep his son out of prison, plans to pay the next batch of jurors.
It's unknown if the Haidl checkbook has opened for Jane Doe 2. She met young Haidl on June 28, the night he and his father threw a party to celebrate the hung jury. That party, ironically, took place in the same home where prosecutors allege Haidl and company raped Jane Doe 1.
According to law enforcement records reviewed by the Weekly, this 16-year-old girl initially lied in hopes of protecting Haidl from criminal charges. Later she claimed the intercourse lasted for only "one minute" and was consensual while she was house sitting for a vacationing family.
Despite shifting stories, this much is certain: a sheriff's deputy investigating a possible disturbance at the house sitter's San Clemente location unknowingly interrupted Haidl and the girl while they were in bed. Once inside the residence, the deputy found partially consumed rum and vodka drinks, a bloody used condom and a loaded marijuana pipe. Outside, the deputy found a partially clothed Haidl and a 17-year-old buddy scampering through the bushes and down a cliff.
Under California law, it is illegal for anyone 18 or older to have sex with anyone under 18.
It was here that the bawdy Haidl tale produced its umpteenth twist. (For descriptions of the others, check the Weekly's online Haidl article archive.) Jane Doe 2 found her way to the offices of Irvine defense lawyer Adam R. Stull and began refusing to cooperate with District Attorney Tony Rackauckas. Law enforcement sources say they believe Stull is tied to the Haidl family or their key lawyer Joseph G. Cavallo, also of Irvine, but Stull insists he doesn't know them and was hired solely because "I'm a good attorney."
On Aug. 26, Stull held a press conference, blasted police for pursuing this latest case against Haidl and announced he would file suit against Rackauckas in federal court for overzealous prosecution. According to Stull, the DA had no authority to pursue the case once his client didn't want to cooperate. Even now, the lawyer is livid that DA investigators eventually got a court-ordered DNA swab from Jane Doe 2's mouth.
"My client simply doesn't want to testify," Stull said in a Sept. 9 telephone interview. "Her parents want to deal with this as a family matter. . . . It's not right for Rackauckas to force her to help him."
This latest subplot might have ended here with a mild fizzle except for one thing: Stull himself. The defense lawyer now representing Jane Doe 2 and encouraging her not to cooperate with the DA is a former deputy district attorney in Bakersfield. And there he had his own sexual-assault history.
According to California state bar records obtained by the Weekly, Stull was convicted in 1992 for six charges involving "oral copulation with a minor" and "penetration of the genital or anal opening with a foreign object" while he helped teach mock trials at a high school. By 1994, Stull had lost his job as a prosecutor, spent 90 days in jail and, after a review of the case by then acting state Chief Justice Stanley Mosk, found his license to practice law suspended for 16 months. In 1996, he moved to Orange County. He eventually got his criminal record expunged and opened a practice, Stull & Stull, specializing in criminal defense. He says he is now married, has two kids and life is good.