Jury watches tape of alleged gang rape

May 05, 2004

Deepa Bharath

SANTA ANA -- Jurors in a gang-rape trial watched a 20-minute digital

videotape Tuesday that reportedly shows three teenagers sexually

assaulting an unconscious 16-year-old girl in a Corona del Mar home.

Greg Haidl, son of Orange County Assistant Sheriff Don Haidl, Kyle

Nachreiner and Keith Spann are accused of sexually assaulting the

victim with various objects in the older Haidl's Jade Cove home in


July 2002.

The teens recorded the entire incident on a tape, which

prosecutors believe is the piece of evidence that will convince the

jury to find the defendants guilty. Defense attorneys have argued

that the sexual acts were consensual.

Orange County Superior Court Judge Francisco Briseno ruled before

the jury trial that the tape bearing graphic sexual content must be

shown only to jurors and not to the public.

On Tuesday, three large television screens were turned away from

the gallery so that only the jury, attorneys, court staff members,

the judge and the three defendants could see it. The sound from the

tape, however, was heard by all.

What the public and members of the media heard was loud rap music

in the background. The songs were clearly about sex. The tape started

off with the girl giggling and laughing with the defendants. Less

than a minute later she is heard asking: "You want to take off my

clothes, huh Greg?"

Shortly after that, only the defendants' voices were heard. There

was no sound from the girl. The defendants laughed and talked about

enjoying their sexual experience with the girl. Prosecutors said the

teens assaulted the unconscious girl with a Snapple bottle, a juice

can, a lighted cigarette and a pool cue.

Most jurors who watched the tape showed little reaction. One juror

turned her head away for a moment. Another juror shook his head after

he finished watching the tape. The three defendants, dressed in

short-sleeved shirts, ties and dark pants, looked down for the most

part and seemed to be writing notes as the tape was being played.

The tape was, and continues to be, a controversial element of the

trial. Defense attorneys contend that the tape is "incomplete," that

it has been edited by police and that several minutes of important

footage is missing. Pretrial motions asking that the tape not be

admitted into evidence were denied.

On Tuesday, once again, defense attorneys cross-questioned

witnesses for the prosecution in an attempt to prove that the tape is

not legitimate.

Prosecutors brought in Ryan Weedall, Lindsay Picou and Kevin

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