Haidls Secret Weapon?
Illustration by Bob AulWhen the Haidl gang-rape case goes to trial a second time, early in 2005, the prosecution will rely on two key pieces of evidence: the defendants' videotape of the July 5, 2002, incident and the testimony of Jane Doe No. 1, the alleged victim.
The first trial, hinging on that same evidence, ended with the jury deadlocked in June. If that trial is any guide to defense strategy, we can count on Haidl's lawyers to try to discredit the authenticity of the video and to pressure Jane Doe No. 1 to walk away from the case.
The evidence is in that they're hard at work on the latter. That tactic apparently involves attorney Adam Stull.
OC Weekly readers following the Haidl gang-rape saga should be familiar with Stull, the criminal-defense attorney whose business cards declare him "World Famous." Stull lost his job as a Kern County prosecutor because he was convicted of having sex with underaged girls in the early 1990s. These days, he seems to have created a cottage industry: representing Greg Haidl's alleged underaged sex victims.
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So far, Stull's representation appears to consist almost exclusively of blocking Haidl's prosecutors.
In September, we reported that Stull represents Jane Doe No. 2, Haidl's alleged second underaged rape victim. Haidl met her while celebrating the deadlocked jury in the first trial; about a week later, police arrested Haidl, then 19, for statutory rape involving the girl. Stull told Orange County prosecutors his 16-year-old client would not cooperate in their investigation.
Now multiple sources say Stull also recently pitched his services to Jane Doe No. 1, who is expected to testify in the upcoming January gang-rape retrial of Haidl and his co-defendants, Kyle Nachreiner and Keith Spann.
Law-enforcement sources believe Stull is associated with members of Haidl's nine-member legal defense team, including Joseph G. Cavallo and Peter Scalisi. Authorities have not offered any evidence to support their allegation and Stull has denied even knowing them.
Stull told Jane Doe No. 1 it would be "in her best interest" to hire him so he could negotiate on her behalf with Haidl, according to sources. Court records show that Don Haidl, Greg's wealthy father and a former assistant Orange County sheriff, offered Doe's family $2.5 million to stop assisting prosecutors before the first trial. Her family rejected the offer, believing the defendants should be punished for their July 5, 2002, conduct.
The videotape shows the defendants plunging a pool cue, juice can, lit cigarette and Snapple bottle into Jane Doe No. 1's vagina and anus. The girl says she was in a stupor during the late-night incident because Haidl and his co-defendants gave her beer, liquor and marijuana. After their arrests, the defendants' lawyers excused their clients' behavior by calling Doe a "slut" who wanted to be a "porn star." The aggressive defense didn't end there. At the direction of Haidl's legal team, private detectives continue to follow Jane Doe No. 1 and her family and watch their home.
It's unclear why Stull, who has an Irvine legal practice and an Aliso Viejo residence, was soliciting business 40 miles away in Rancho Cucamonga, where Jane Doe No. 1 and her family live. Stull did not respond to requests for comment. However, in a September telephone interview, he denied knowing Cavallo, Scalisi or anyone associated with the Haidl family. Before blasting Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas for prosecuting Haidl, Stull said Jane Doe No. 2 sought him out solely because of his "stellar" legal reputation.
Sources say Stull made a surprise visit to the home of Jane Doe No. 1 in September. He reportedly said it would be "better for the girls" if he represented both Jane Does against Rackauckas. Jane Doe No. 1's parents, who had read about Stull's sex-crimes background in a Weekly article, told the lawyer to stay away from their daughter.
He didn't. Jane Doe No. 1, who has struggled since the alleged rape, apparently remained Stull's target. In early November, San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies arrested Doe and her boyfriend on felony drug charges. Someone tipped Stull about the case, and after she was released from jail, he approached Doe at the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga. There, Stull reportedly told Doe he had arranged for her boyfriend to have a lawyer, John Passanante, free of charge because he wanted to prove he had her interests at heart. After buying her dinner, lunch and a cell phone during the next few days, Stull convinced her to sign a retainer—not for her drug arrest, but for the Haidl matter.
(Coincidentally, the sheriff's deputies brought a camera crew from the show Cops during the Doe arrest. Authorities in San Bernardino say the bust and filming had nothing to do with the fact Don Haidl served for years as a high-ranking reserve officer in their department.)
After getting his retainer, Stull then contacted Sheldon Lodmer, a Los Angeles attorney who has represented Doe and her family for years. Stull demanded that Lodmer transfer to him all of Doe's files related to Haidl. Lodmer refused and notified Stull that the girl had made a mistake under pressure and would remain his client.
Stull has a history of offensive activities. According to state-bar records and law-enforcement files reviewed by the Weekly, Stull used his position as a deputy district attorney to work as a mock-trial coach at a Kern County high school. A police investigation asserted that Stull took high-school kids to bars (including a gay club), where he bought them alcohol; "continually" made sexual comments; and, when he got some students alone, repeatedly engaged in unlawful sex.
On at least one occasion, Stull allegedly had a student pose naked while fondling herself for a photograph, police say. On other occasions, he took students to his home or to apartments, took his clothes off and had sex, according to a police report. Records also provide graphic descriptions of Stull "offering to put his tongue to [a student's] anus," "kissing and feeling [a student's] breast under her shirt," taking a student's "hand and placing it on his groin area outside of his clothing and allow[ing] her to feel his erect penis," "exposing his penis and asking her to masturbate him," and "fondling [a student's] vaginal area to orgasm."
California state-bar records show 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." By 1994, he'd lost his job as a prosecutor and his law license was suspended for 16 months. Two years later, Stull moved to Orange County; got his criminal record expunged; and opened a criminal-defense practice, Stull & Stull in Irvine. In 2002, he convinced Orange County Judge Ron Kreber to set aside his obligation to register as a convicted sex offender.
Asked in September to explain his conviction, Stull—who says he is married now with two children—recoiled angrily.
"That happened, like, 15 years ago," he said. "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 No. 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."
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