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.
When asked questions about his rap sheet, Stull recoiled.
"That happened like 15 years ago," said Stull. "It has nothing to do with the Haidl case at all. I just represent a victim here, that's all. My past case is so far removed it's not even the same thing. There's nothing remotely similar. It's a completely different deal. The DA is putting so much pressure on her [Jane Doe 2] to testify. Look, she's embarrassed enough about having sex let alone being forced to talk about it. All of this has no relationship to my own case. It's like if you asked me: Did you smoke pot in college? It wouldn't make sense. It's the same type of thing here."
Stull says that he was the victim of a witch hunt by a high school teacher who was "jealous" of his mock trial success and an "incompetent" Bakersfield police detective. (Contacted, the detective sighed at the mention of Stull's name and referred the call to the Kern County District Attorney's office.) Stull said he had sex with the girl, but only after she turned 18.
But I asked Stull why, in 1994, he admitted during a state bar investigation that he had had sex several times with an underage high school girl.
"I was convicted of having sex with a girl, but when they [police] filed charges she was 21 years old," Stull said. "She never went to police. She never said I was guilty of a crime. I was convicted only because of one detective's testimony. Why was the detective so lame? I don't know."
When confronted with detailed descriptions of his actions, Stull explained: "Yes, I knew the girl when she was 17. I was her mock-trial coach. She turned 18, but you have to understand she looked 30. She was about 5'11 about 130 pounds. Beautiful girl. . . . That's all behind me now."
But it's not old news for the Orange County District Attorney's office.
"Here we have a former prosecutor who abused the power of his position and the public trust and now he's advocating that another rape victim not testify," said DA's spokeswoman Susan Kang Schroeder. "The public should be alarmed. It's shocking."