The Bombshell That Wasnt

Haidl judge tossed out Times new evidence last year

Even more troubling was Luna's second defense: that she didn't mention Cervantes' 2004 statement in her recent stories because she believed his proposed current testimony would be "fundamentally different" than Cervantes' earlier version. This fact apparently didn't set off alarm bells for Luna. But prosecutor Middleton surely would have had fun with Cervantes on the witness stand.

Ironically, the Weekly's 2004 Cervantes article helped expose a loophole in California's rape shield law: defense lawyers could supply to the public and, thus potentially to jurors, accusations about a rape victim's sex life that would not be credible otherwise. After our article, the state Legislature enacted a new law, Assembly Bill 2829, to close the loophole. Allegations about the victim must now be filed under seal. A judge determines public access. Despite the new rule, Haidl's defense team nonetheless again proved resourceful with the help from friends in the media.

"The whole Joey Cervantes mystery was laughable," said a law-enforcement source familiar with the Haidl rape case. "The guy had nothing of substance to offer. I'm really surprised the Times fell for it. They should be embarrassed."

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