Does Teen Sex Tape Show Rape?

A Night of Sex And Excess, Caught On Tape, Leads To A Rape Trial

Greg Haidl, 17, spends part of his time living a life of paradise in Newport Beach, Calif.

His father, Don, is a millionaire who owns a very nice house near the beach in affluent Orange County. "He's just an average teenage kid, very sensitive, very emotional," says Don. "Just a good, sensitive kid."

Greg lives with his mother, Gail, in San Bernardino County during the rest of the week. It's a long freeway ride from the glamour of Newport Beach. But Gail says that middle-class America is where her son learned good old-fashioned values.

"We've talked about sex. We've talked about drinking. We've talked about respecting other people's rights," says Gail.

But, as Correspondent Bill Lagattuta reports, Greg's sense of morality would be put on display one summer night in 2002, and the evidence would be recorded on tape, by a camera given to him by his father.


Before the infamous videotape was made, Greg had made other typical teenage films with Kyle Nachreiner and Keith Spann, his friends in San Bernardino.

All three boys had parents who split up, and all three shared at least one teenage interest: an obsession about sex.

"You open a newspaper, or a magazine. A girl standing there, half-naked, if more than half-naked," says Greg. "You turn on the TV, it's the same thing. Everything portrays a sexual message, because sex sells."

What kind of message did he think that sent to kids his age? "That it's alright to have sex," says Greg. "Even kinky sex."

Vanessa, Melissa and Jenna know Greg as the boy with one foot in the door of wealth and privilege. They say they're not promiscuous at all. They admit that their life in the suburbs isn't bad, but they'd much rather be in a place like Newport Beach, especially in Greg's big, glamorous house.

They're too young for bars or fancy clubs, but the "in" place is to be at a good house party, especially at the big, glamorous house Don Haidl owns - where the parents don't monitor every move the kids make.

"We go to parties. Girls are getting drunk, hooking up with whomever," says Jenna. "And then, in the morning, it's like, 'Oh my gosh.'"

"Hooking up could be from kissing to having sex," adds Vanessa. "Parents don't exactly know what is going on when their kids leave the house."

On July 4, 2002, Haidl invited some of his friends from San Bernardino, including Melissa and Jenna, to his dad's house in Newport Beach. They hung out in the backyard pool and started drinking.

"We said, 'OK, we're going to bed. Everybody's gonna be outta here real quick, right,'" recalls Don Haidl. "'Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. We're just wrapping it up.'"

But as Don turned in, the party out by the pool would continue late into the night, and Greg and his friends would get involved in something they would soon come to regret.

It had nothing to do with Melissa and Jenna, but a new girl who had come along with them. She was someone who Keith had gone out with a couple of times, but she was a girl the other boys hardly knew.

"She was like one of our first friends, where we were like, 'Wow, she's different than us,'" says Vanessa. "She kind of crossed the line at certain points with certain people."

"She was flirtatious," says Jenna. "Very flirtatious."

According to Greg's friends, it was a wild night.

"She ends up getting completely naked, and then Kyle is, too, and so they are at the edge of the pool, like on the step, on the stair to get into the pool, and they start having sex," recalls Melissa.

"I had sex with her about five hours later, and about 20 minutes after that, Keith had sex with her, all within a five-hour timespan," says Greg.

His father, Don, says he had no idea what had gone on. Besides, his son could always be trusted. "I never saw anything like this in the future, never had no indicators," he says.

Things that night got out of hand, but no one could predict what would happen the next night and how it would ruin so many lives, as it was all captured on tape.


For Greg, the next morning, July 5, hit like a hangover. "I was pretty much just in that state of mind that, 'Yeah, I'm having intercourse with a girl.' So, of course, I'm a guy. Of course it's good," recalls Greg, who says the sex was consensual.

He claims it wasn't till later that morning, when he spoke with Keith and Kyle, that he realized how wild the night had been. "I thought I was the only one," says Greg. "But all three of us thought we were the only one."

If Greg and his pals were really angry, or even embarrassed, they quickly got over it. By nightfall, they were ready to party again. And a phone call went out to the girl from the night before.

The girl was intrigued enough by the invitation to pass it along to her friends, who decided not to go. So the girl told her parents she was spending the night at a friend's house, and headed to Greg's house.

Did Greg and his friends think that they would have sex with her again? "I think that thought crossed my mind," says Greg. "We're teenage guys, we're 17. Of course, it's typical of a male to think that."

Greg and his friends say they were completely drunk when the girl showed up. And while all this was happening, Don and his wife were in the main house.

"The bottom line with us - We think that the kids are here under our control, under our supervision, that there's a better chance they're going to be safe," says Don.

But with Don and Cathy once again leaving the kids on their own, trouble started as soon as the girl walked into the Haidl's garage. Then, in a decision that would change everything, one of the boys reached for Greg's camera, and began filming everything.

Greg says they started having sex with the girl, only this time, they were all together. "She had the drink and then she started taking off her clothes and just pretty much saying, 'Oh yeah, I'm fine with all three of you guys and stuff like that.'"

In the garage, there was a pool table, and the girl was sprawled on top of it. And the sex was far from ordinary. "Kinky sexual acts. There were different objects. Pool stick and the Snapple bottle, and a Tree Top apple juice can," says Greg.

What made them think of doing that? "Curious guys, I guess. Curious, drunk kids," says Greg. "And she was OK with it."

From Greg's point of view, everyone knew what they were getting into that night. Did the girl ever say no? "Not one time," says Greg.

Sometime before dawn, Keith drove the girl back to San Bernardino, which might have been the end of the story. But then, Greg got careless. The next day, he brought the tape they had made to another friend's house, and left it there. A girl who lived in the house watched it, was horrified, and showed it to a neighbor, who happened to be a cop.

The tape and camera would eventually end up in the possession of Orange County Prosecutor Dan Hess. "You couldn't imagine this being a film, an act of passion, an act of sexual gratification. It's a crime," says Hess.

One week later, Greg, Keith and Kyle were each arrested and charged with 24 felony counts against the girl, based on the penetrations of the girl, identified by the court only as "Jane Doe."

They will be tried as adults, facing as much as 55 years each in prison. It's something Don can't bear to think about.

"The stakes are his life. His life could end in prison. This kid is not a kid who could survive in the system," says Don Haidl, who's also assistant sheriff of Orange County, the No. 2 man in the department.

But for the victim, it was about rape. "They did the crime. They gotta pay the consequences," says Jane. "They've ruined my life. And you know, they ruined theirs, too. They just haven't paid for it yet."


Two years after that notorious July 4th weekend in Newport Beach, Jane remains in the shadows, afraid to show the world her face. She agreed to speak out for the first time, as long as her face would not be revealed.

How did she feel about doing this interview? "I was a little hesitant at first because after everything that's gone on, it's very hard for me to trust anybody," she says.

But it wasn't always that way. As a child growing up in San Bernardino, Jane loved to dance and ride horses. She was a straight A student with a love of life.

Her parents say their daughter was strong, honest, dependable and intelligent. But she joined a new group of friends, and started going to more parties, just a few months before the events that July 4th weekend.

"I fell into that crowd, because that crowd treated me like I was the center of everyone's attention," says Jane.

Alcohol, drugs and sex may have been part of this new scene, but Jane says her behavior was nothing out of the ordinary: "I wasn't out there having sex with all these different guys, like people try to make it seem. I wasn't out there doing all these drugs. I was a good kid. I went to parties, but I didn't do anything wrong."

Jane wouldn't talk about July 4th, except to say she didn't have sex with all three boys - just two of them. Nor would she talk about July 5th, except to say she was a victim.

"I went down that night because first of all, I was seeing one of the guys. And second, because these guys were my friends. I trusted them," says Jane. "Never ever would I have imagined that they could even think of doing something to me like they did."

Jane claims that she got too drunk to even function. She also says she never consented to any of the acts that took place on the videotape. And under California law, that's rape.

"It wouldn't have mattered even if I was a prostitute on the street corner that they picked up, and brought me home with them that night," says Jane. "I was passed out and never was there consent. And that's all it is. They raped me, and it's right there on the videotape."

Jane concedes that without the tape, she might never have claimed she was raped - if the activities of that night hadn't been captured on videotape. She also says she didn't remember what happened in Haidl's garage the day after.

But if she was worried, or had sensed something horrible had happened, she didn't say anything to her parents. In fact, her father was the first to be told what happened by the police.

"Phone rang early in the morning, and woke us up," recalls Jane's father. "He [the detective] said, 'We believe she was a victim of a gang rape.'"

"It sickened me. I was sick to my stomach," says Jane. "Why would they do that? How could they do that?"

The police then arrested Greg at his father's house. Don says his son was way out of line, but had committed no crime. "It sickens me. I don't condone what happened at all," says Haidl. "The fact that it happened here."

But as angry as Don was with Greg, he was equally sure his son's case was being blown way out of proportion by the media. "It was being made a big fish-type celebrity case right from the start," says Don. "These types of cases mean career advancement for a lot of people."

District Attorney Tony Rauckakas, however, denies he's coming down hard on Greg, just to prove that an assistant sheriff's son wouldn't get special privilege. He says this is simply about the tape.

"It's what can be seen that's charged," says Rauckakas. "You see the crimes happening. So it's the core evidence. It's the key to the case."

Don's fortune helped buy his son his own "dream team" of lawyers, led by Peter Scalese and Joe Cavallo. The defense prepared a two-fold strategy to discredit the girl and raise several doubts about the videotape, beginning with what it really showed.

"She did many things on that tape to express that she was aware, awake, knew what was going on," says Scalese.

But prosecutor Hess saw a different girl on that tape: "She never talks. She's unable to talk. She can't lift up her head. She can't control her movements. She's flat-out unconscious, and she's a rag doll."

Meanwhile, Don began to worry about his son's future, if it ended up behind bars. "We were concerned about him being suicidal. He had told myself and a couple other people, if he had to go to prison for the rest of his life, he can't do that," says Don. "He'll have to kill himself. And that just tore me up."


Nearly a year after his arrest, Greg completed his high school requirements for graduation. But his future will have to wait until after he goes on trial for rape.

Looking back, what does he think about what he did? "Ridiculously bad judgment," he says. "We messed up badly."

However, Greg, now 18, would once again find himself in the spotlight. This time, he was stopped in San Clemente for allegedly having marijuana. There would be no arrest, but the incident would lead to charges about Greg's character and Don's prominent status in the community.

Jurors in the case reflected the makeup of Orange County, a mix of conservatives and liberals. From the moment the jury first saw the tape, it was clear this would be a tough call.

The defense argued that Jane got exactly what she wanted that weekend, and had even made sex videos on other occasions, and boasted about it. "She considered herself a porn star," says Cavallo.

But Jane says it isn't true. "Not at all. That was just another one of their lies that they tried to use," she says.

Her civil lawyer, Sheldon Lodner, says Haidl's team tried to paint Jane as a participant in her own rape: "It's called victim assassination. In a rape case, that's what the defense does. Why put the defendants on trial? Put the victim on trial."

Vanessa and Jenna would also testify that Jane never indicated, in any way, that she was raped that night.

"That they could just get upon the stand and lie like they did, it hurt a lot," says Jane. "Rape is not something that is consensual. It is not something that the victim asks for. It is completely a violent crime. It is rape."


The trial lasted more than two months, and often made the front page, and finally headed to the jury.

"Hopefully, they will see me as a person and not like an animal that I've been portrayed as for the last two years," says Greg.

It took the jury three days of deliberations before they reached a decision that would stun nearly everyone. They could not reach a unanimous agreement, so a mistrial was declared.

"For once, I have a feeling I haven't had in two years, at least for a little while, know I'm not going to jail. It's amazing. It's definitely amazing," says Greg.

Ironically, it was the tape that worked in the boys' defense.

"We saw movements that were consistent with a level of consciousness that showed she was actively participating," says Jeff, one juror. "Instead of pushing away, there were movements of acceptance."

In fact, on the first count, the jurors were 11 to 1 in favor of acquitting the boys. But they couldn't get any further than that because one of the jurors, Carolyn, refused to back down.

"She was not participating," says Carolyn. "Her level of consciousness was not that of what I have ever seen, of any normal sexual act, ever."

"The reality is that they needed to watch the evidence and apply the law, and I don't think they did that," says Hess.

The trial that riveted Orange County was over, with no real resolution. And no winners.

A week after the mistrial, Greg Haidl was arrested again. He was charged with the statutory rape of another 16-year-old girl. The girl told police she consented, but an investigation continues. Greg has twice attempted suicide. Now, he is in the Orange County Jail, under a suicide watch.

Jane Doe plans to sue the Haidl family for several million dollars. This month, she was arrested for possession of methamphetamines.

Citing too much pressure on his family, Don Haidl resigned as assistant sheriff.

The three boys will be tried a second time in January.