Photo courtesy pool photographer
Michael Goulding/ The O.C. RegisterHow has Gregory Scott Haidl, Orange County's most famous criminal suspect, avoided jail? Is it because his wealthy father is a former assistant sheriff who hired nine defense lawyers, an army of private detectives, a jury consultant and a publicist for his 19-year-old son? Or is it because an "innocent" Haidl is, in the words of his defense team, "miserably persecuted" by the Orange County district attorney's office?
On Nov. 15, Superior Court Judge Francisco Briseo will likely decide whether Haidl should be locked up in county jail until his numerous legal matters are resolved.
Here's the Haidl crime log:
July 5, 2002 At his Newport Beach house, an intoxicated Haidl and two of his drunk buddies give a 16-year-old girl beer, alcohol and marijuana; strip her; and—as she's lapsing into unconsciousness—videotape sex with her on a pool table before they repeatedly penetrate her vagina and anus with a juice can, lit cigarette, Snapple bottle and pool stick.
Excuse: He and his friends were actually gentlemen helping a "poor" Rancho Cucamonga girl fulfill what they believed was her wish to become a porn star.
Punishment:Awaiting retrial after jury deadlocked during the first trial in June.
Oct. 26, 2003 In San Clemente, police find a glassy-eyed Haidl and two other buddies illegally skateboarding. A search of their car uncovered a bag of marijuana between Haidl's keys and his wallet.
Excuse:Haidl, out on bail for the gang-rape charge, turned to his friends and said, "Dudes, it can't be my dope!" An underaged friend took blame.
March 1, 2004 Awaiting trial and ordered not to break any laws, Haidl and 12 others are caught illegally skateboarding by police and could be but aren't charged with trespassing at a vandalized Laguna Niguel commercial property.
Excuse: A skateboard-toting Haidl said he was an innocent bystander on his way to a community-college class.
May 7, 2004 During the first day off from his gang-rape trial, police say, Haidl and two buddies allegedly vandalize public property so they can illegally skateboard in a Dana Point park.
Excuse: The incident was merely "insupportable innuendo."
May 12, 2004 Orange County district attorney's office asks Briseo to increase Haidl's bail, claiming the defendant has no respect for the law. Haidl lawyer Joe Cavallo says the action isn't necessary because his client, an "innocent little boy," will be on his best behavior. Briseo sides with the defense. July 14, 2004 Investigating a disturbance at a San Clemente residence, police find a bag of marijuana and a used condom as well as a semi-nude Haidl hiding in the bushes. Authorities later charge Haidl with statutory rape of the minor baby-sitting at the residence.
Excuse: Haidl didn't know the girl, whom he met at a party celebrating the deadlock in his gang-rape case, was underaged.
Punishment: Awaiting trial. Aug. 10, 2004 Briseo says Haidl "doesn't appear to be a quick learner" but refuses to raise or revoke bail after telling the defendant he cannot be alone with underaged girls, consume alcohol or illegal drugs, violate any laws, or ignore an 11 p.m. curfew. The judge also orders random drug and alcohol tests, adding that any violation of his rules will result in bail revocation. Haidl acknowledges the rules and promises he'll obey. Oct. 16, 2004 Sentinel Offender Services, the service used by the court to monitor Haidl, reports that at around midnight, an "incoherent" Haidl—whose "words were slurred"—fails to cooperate with a drug test and won't log on to his computer webcam so his case manager can make a visual inspection.
Punishment: None. Oct. 18, 2004 Haidl, who explains to Sentinel that he failed to cooperate on the 16th because he was "tired" and had taken unidentified medication, gives what the monitoring company calls an "unusually clear" urine sample. Oct. 31, 2004 Haidl is found on Halloween night in a known illegal-drug-trafficking area of Santa Ana after he crosses a divided road and crashes his 2005 Scion into oncoming traffic. Officers note Haidl's "glassy eyes" and "glazed" look before he fails two alcohol breath tests.
Excuse: He was accidentally in the area, and the positive alcohol tests were not caused by the consumption of booze but of spicy Indian food, which Haidl argues makes a person appear drunk.
Punishment: None so far. Nov. 1, 2004 Prosecutor Chuck Middleton announces he'll seek bail revocation, and Haidl attorneys announce Haidl has checked himself into a mental hospital. Nov. 2, 2004 Haidl lawyers claim their client has never violated the judge's orders, and Don Haidl, Greg's father (and until recently an assistant OC sheriff), says "the last thing this kid needs" is jail time. Nov. 3, 2004 Haidl lawyers say Greg is not only suffering from "severe depression," but is also suicidal and thus should remain free on bail. Nov. 5, 2004 To test their credibility, Briseo orders Haidl confined to the hospital and for the defense to produce medical evidence of their claims at an upcoming Nov. 15 bail-revocation hearing. Cavallo switches tactics, announcing to the press that "Greg was never suicidal . . . who told you that?" Cavallo then identifies the real villain in the Haidl matters: law enforcement. "It's a political prosecution," said Cavallo. "He's not a threat to the community. He's not a threat to himself. He's not a threat to anybody, that boy." firstname.lastname@example.org
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