In the Haidl case, the defendants were charged with rape by intoxication. During the trial, prosecutor Chuck Middleton argued that the three men should have known that the girl was incapacitated because:

• After giving her a marijuana cigarette to smoke, they handed her a can of beer followed by an 8.5-ounce glass of straight, 94-proof Bombay Gin, which she gulped in their presence.

• On the DVD—banned from public consumption because it has been classified as child pornography—the defendants looked directly into Doe’s rolled-back eyes and gave one another hand signals indicating that she had passed out.

• Doe’s body was as limp as a rag doll’s during a majority of the film; indeed, at one point, when Spann and Nachreiner sandwiched her body, they let go of their grip, and she failed to react, causing her head to strike the edge of a couch.

• To check Doe’s lack of consciousness, the defendants pinched her nipples, slapped her butt and finger-flicked her facial cheeks.

• Despite the defense team’s insistence that Doe was faking unconsciousness, the girl didn’t move when she urinated on the pool table as the defendants repeatedly plunged a pool cue into her anus and vagina.

If the fake-unconsciousness angle fails, the Haidl defense lawyers—who have totaled more than a dozen at a time—are also claiming that the convictions (and lifetime sex-offender-registration requirements) should be erased because Briseño didn’t admit evidence that Doe once had been convicted of misdemeanor possession of methamphetamine and that Doe allegedly considered accepting a proposed $2.5 million pretrial payment by then-Orange County Assistant Sheriff and used-government-car salesman Don Haidl, Greg’s ultra-wealthy father, to keep her mouth shut. According to Fischer, “The jury never learned of Doe’s willingness to violate the law.”

OC prosecutors and officials at the California attorney general’s office insist the additional defense claims are without merit or, alternatively, “harmless errors.” Now it’s time for a three-judge state appellate panel in Santa Ana to decide who is right. The public hearing is scheduled for Sept. 23.

rscottmoxley@ocweekly.com

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