Victim of Notorious Haidl Gang Rape Breaks Silence

The woman who was attacked by three teens in the Corona del Mar home of an assistant sheriff speaks at Friday's Victims' Rights March and Rally.

She has been known as Jane Doe for the last 10 years, but on Friday the victim of one of Orange County's most notorious sexual assault cases said she was comfortable revealing her true first name.

"I am no longer ashamed of who I am or of what happened to me," Alisa, 26, said. "It feels like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders."

Alisa was one of nearly 400 people -- including other crime victims and their families -- who attended the fourth annual Victims' Rights March and Rally at the Old Orange County Courthouse in Santa Ana.

Alisa was just 16 on July 5, 2002, when she was sexually assaulted while unconscious in the Corona del Mar home of then-Assistant Sheriff Don Haidl. The details of what happened to her that night -- she was videotaped while being assaulted on a pool table and penetrated with a lighted cigarette and pool cue -- were played out in the courtroom and in the media and later sent her over the edge.

"That one night turned my whole life and existence upside down," Alisa said. "I lost myself, my hopes and dreams -- and there was even a point when all I wanted to do was die."

But Alisa decided to go head-on and testify against her attackers, Haidl's 17-year-old son, Greg, and his two buddies Kyle Nachreiner and Keith Spann. Her decision to speak out resulted in torment and humiliation on the witness stand, bouts of depression and drug and alcohol abuse.

At Friday's rally, District Attorney Tony Rackauckas praised Alisa's bravery during two trials (the first resulted in a hung jury), saying: "Because she stood up to [the defendants], Orange County sent a message that we will hold men responsible for having sex with a woman who was unable to say 'no,' and women have a right to control their body. And because she stood up to them, she stood up for everyone."

The boys were ultimately convicted of multiple sexual-assault counts and sentenced to six years in prison. They have since been released on parole and Alisa has mustered the strength to shift her life into a positive direction.

"It took me walking with the devil to realize I had a choice," Alisa said. "I learned that your mind is where the battle is won or lost. I am happy to say I have lived a happy and clean life for many years now."

Today, Alisa works as a medical assistant and attends college studying criminal justice. She is also a state-certified sexual assault victim advocate and crisis intervention counselor who volunteers with the nonprofit Project Sister Family Services.

Alisa said she considered her assailants to be friends, and urges other young women to be careful with the people they allow into their lives.

"Don't be so naive. Be cautious of who you befriend and keep a close-knit group," she said.

Although her life-changing night is almost 10 years behind her, she said it's something she carries with her every day.

"I don't think any punishment would ever be enough for me," Alisa said. "But it feels great to be proud of the young woman I have become."

Arthur R. Vinsel April 28, 2012 at 03:05 PM
A tragic story but inspiring in terms of the way she has triumphed over ruthless abuse while unable to defend herself, the kind of violation that has ruined countless young women's lives. Well-written and compelling journalism as well.
Daniel Lee Hawk April 29, 2012 at 06:13 PM
sad that some think it was her fault because of her clothes
Nisha Gutierrez-Jaime April 30, 2012 at 02:48 AM
Thank you Arthur, much appreciated! Daniel, yes very ignorant.
Daniel Lee Hawk August 06, 2012 at 09:11 AM
I won an Art contest for this topic, Received First place for my Painting, It was of a woman on the railroad tracks a train coming at her in the back, on the left side she had on conventional clothing on the right a woman of the nights cloths, and on her upheld hand were the words "Who's fault is it in My rape" This was won in the Victims Rights Campaign in Virginia. Dan


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