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O.C. Lawman's Son, 17, Held in Rape

Police: The teen and two others are accused of assaulting an unconscious girl at the assistant sheriff's Newport Beach home.


The 17-year-old son of Orange County Assistant Sheriff Donald G. Haidl is one of three teens suspected of raping an unconscious girl at Haidl's home in Newport Beach, law enforcement sources said Thursday.

Police allege that the three teens drugged the 16-year-old girl and videotaped their sexual assault during a July 5 party at Haidl's house in Corona del Mar. Authorities did not disclose whether the assistant sheriff or any other adults were home at the time.

Newport Beach police declined to identify the alleged attackers because they are juveniles, but Orange County sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino said a Haidl family member was among those arrested. Two law enforcement sources confirmed one of the suspects was Haidl's 17-year-old son.

The assistant sheriff and his ex-wife, who lives in Alta Loma in San Bernardino County, share custody of the juvenile, according to court records. The couple also have a 22-year-old son.

An informant, whom police would not identify, turned over the videotape to the San Bernardino Sheriff's Department this week. With the help of Newport Beach detectives, authorities identified the victim and three alleged attackers, said Sgt. Steve Shulman, spokesman for the Newport Beach Police Department.

"We don't believe the victim was even aware of the assault," Shulman said.

The Orange County district attorney's office is expected to decide today whether to charge the three 17-year-old suspects as adults, spokeswoman Tori Richards said. All three live in San Bernardino County, as does the girl.

Haidl is one of five assistant sheriffs, reporting directly to Sheriff Mike Carona. A successful businessman and longtime political supporter of the sheriff, Haidl oversees the department's 250-person reserve program and does not take a salary from the county.

Neither he nor his son could be reached for comment Thursday.

Two of the suspects were arrested in San Bernardino County, and the third was taken into custody in the 100 block of Jade Cove in Corona del Mar, the same block where Haidl lives. Two of the arrests were made Wednesday and one Thursday. Police also searched homes in Alta Loma and Rancho Cucamonga.

Orange County Assistant Sheriff George Jaramillo traveled to the San Bernardino County sheriff's office in Rancho Cucamonga earlier this week to inquire about the case.

"Jaramillo responded to try to determine if any member of the Sheriff's Department was involved in this incident," Amormino said. "He confirmed that no one from the Sheriff's Department was involved or under investigation in this incident, and briefed [Carona] accordingly."

Newport Beach police officials said the Sheriff's Department played no further role in the investigation. Police have determined that the victim was apparently knocked out after she consumed a drink laced with an undetermined "date rape" drug, Shulman said.

"We know the girl knows at least one of the [suspects], possibly more," he said. "That's just another reason why young girls need to know what they are drinking, to protect any kind of beverage, because this has become a problem in recent years."

Haidl has served as the assistant sheriff of the reserve division since 1999. The volunteer reserves perform a variety of duties, from crisis intervention counseling to search-and-rescue missions.

Before being named assistant sheriff, Haidl, a self-made millionaire, worked 13 years as a volunteer for the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, where he rose to the rank of captain.

Haidl's appointment to assistant sheriff met with some controversy because of his business background. He was investigated by Caltrans and the state attorney general's office in the 1980s over complaints that his company, Nationwide Auction Systems, underreported how much it received when it sold state-owned vehicles. No criminal charges were filed.


Times staff writer Jack Leonard contributed to this report.

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