This hasn't been a big national story, but the alleged gang-rape of a teenaged girl by three boys at a party -- one of whom is the son of an Orange County assistant sheriff -- has been pretty closely watched here in Southern California. The details are pretty simple: the girl passed out at a party and the boys then videotaped themselves having sex with her and sodomizing her on a pool table. Straight-forward, right? Nope, there's been a mistrial.So what'd he do now? Just a little drunk driving, vandalism, trespassing, drug possession and statutory rape -- but at least this time it was consensual, other than the fact that California doesn't let 16-year-olds consent. Now his $200,000 bail has been revoked and he has twice attempted suicide, thereby further devestating his family... just like Scott Peterson. Haidl and Peterson... does anyone really doubt that the former wouldn't eventually become the latter? I bet an investigation of Peterson's childhood would reveal a lot of similarities.
Why? The alleged crime is on video tape, but rape is inherently hard to prove and guilt hinges entirely on the state of mind of the woman involved, which is impossible to prove scientifically (until we get magical time-traveling mind-reading machines). Our system of justice doesn't require scientific proof, it only requires "reasonable doubt" proof, but even that's hard to come by when it's one person's word against another's (or three others). ...
The potential for a misunderstanding is rather high when the girl admits that she had sex with at least two of the boys willingly within the week before the alleged rape. There was also some controversy over whether the girl was actually unconscious at the time of the video taping, or whether the whole event was a staged attempt at making a porno, as the girl had previously indicated she wanted to do.
And finally, the jurors from Mr. Haidl's mistrial are being hired by his defense lawyers to help prepare them for the retrial. Since the first jury was deadlocked 11 to 1 in favor of acquittal, it doesn't seem likely that Mr. Haidl will spend much time in jail.