This afternoon justices at the California Court of Appeal based in Santa Ana denied a formal request to second guess their recent decision to uphold the convictions of three men found guilty of sexually assaulting an unconscious minor in Corona del Mar in July 2002.
The court also used the opportunity to reiterated that it's not a legal defense for rapists to claim that their victims would have given consent if they had been conscious.
"It's hardly extravagant to demand that the man evaluate the woman's capacity to consent to sex when she becomes sick, is unable to stand or sit up, or passes in and out of consciousness," the justices wrote.
In July 2002, Gregory Scott Haidl, Kyle Joseph Nachreiner and Keith James Spann got a 16-year-old girl drunk and high, watched her pass out, stripped her and filmed their sexual exploits that included shoving a Snapple bottle, apple juice can, lit cigarette and pool stick into her vagina and anus.
One of the defenses the defendants offered was that the victim would have given consent to all their activity if she'd been conscious.
Note to future knuckleheads: It is illegal in California to have sex with someone who is not capable of saying "no" at any point during the encounter.
The Haidl case defendants--who have also actually claimed they were raped by the unconscious girl--were found guilty by an Orange County jury, served prison sentences and now want the justice system to remove lifetime sex offender registration requirements.
Asking the appellate court to reconsider its approval of the convictions and punishments was a necessary step to eventually ask the California Supreme Court to review the case.
The Orange County Register recently published an interview with Nachreiner, who says he's been punished too severely and doesn't regret his conduct on the night of crime.
--R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly