Bad Dads

The Haidl Gang-Rape case couldve ended years ago with better parenting

"It was never my intention to cause you any pain," he said in a barely audible, slow cadence of a person on painkillers. "I wake up every day and feel bad about the people I've hurt. Someone was hurt because of my actions."

Kyle, whose face showed the most regret throughout the hearing, came next, apologizing to Doe for his "repugnant actions." In the back of the courtroom, his father Robert cried. "I accept full responsibility," he said. "What I did is not acceptable." The younger Nachreiner then said he'd found a calling. He wants to teach kids "positive things" when he gets out of prison. He looked at Doe and concluded, "My heart goes out to you."

Don Haidl, the man who'd funded the entire nightmare and still blames the media, sat staring at his knees. His left hand propped up his burgundy face. Maybe it was Nachreiner's words that touched him. Maybe it was the sense that, finally, no amount of money could keep his boy out of prison. Maybe he was thinking about the night his son said it was time to drop the lawyers, the lies, the attack-dog tactics and simply take responsibility, the same night the father told his son the "world doesn't work that way." Whatever Don Haidl was thinking in that moment in the courtroom, he lifted his glasses and wiped away a tear.
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