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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL
Judge Refuses to Throw out Zanny the Nanny Case; Widower Suing Over Pig Farms
Aired May 19, 2009 - 19:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, a huge win for the woman who`s told the told the world she`s not Zanny the nanny. Casey Anthony`s lawyers today shot down as they tried to throw out the defamation suit against Casey. Instead the judge says the case will forge ahead, with an added bonus for Zenaida Gonzalez. Now she can seek punitive damages. So does this mean Casey will finally have to answer tough questions from Zanny`s attorney?
Then an attempted abduction in Florida leads to a stunning arrest. Cops nab Mauricio Reyes for his alleged role in trying to snatch a 4-year- old Florida girl from her bedroom, and it`s not his first run-in with the law. I`ll tell you how cops used beer cans at the crime scene to link him to another failed kidnapping.
And new scandals for reality stars Jon and Kate Gosselin. Over the weekend the couple was all smiles at their sextuplets` birthday bash, but behind the scenes, Kate`s brother makes a wild claim, saying the stars have a secret marriage contract that lets Jon date other women. So are they only a couple when the cameras are rolling?
Plus the husband of the first U.S. citizen to die of swine flu goes on "LARRY KING LIVE" and demands answers. He files a legal petition seeking information from the world`s largest pork producer, which runs the Mexican pig farm some believe is near the ground zero region for the outbreak. Could this be a wake-up call for America?
ISSUES starts now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Stunning twist tonight in the Casey Anthony murder case. The mom accused of killing her precious toddler gets a one-two punch from a judge who says, "No way," Jose, to dropping the defamation suit against Casey.
To add insult to injury, the judge also ruled that Zenaida Gonzalez, the woman who says Casey ruined her life, can now seek punitive damages from the 23-year-old.
Casey Anthony claims a nanny named Zenaida Gonzalez kidnapped her daughter Caylee, and the Zenaida who is suing says that cost her her job. Authorities have never been able to prove that any nanny existed. Prosecutors consider it a total fiction.
This ruling is a huge victory for the prosecution, because those wildly-confrontational civil depositions of George and Cindy might now be used in the criminal case.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE ANTHONY, FATHER OF CASEY ANTHONY: I`m not going to answer anything about the criminal part of this. I`m not going to do that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re going to have to. The bottom line is...
G. ANTHONY: I have to do that, sir, when the criminal case comes up, not in a civil case.
CINDY ANTHONY, MOTHER OF CASEY ANTHONY: You slandered me on TV.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stop.
CINDY ANTHONY: And you perjured yourself with this, because she`s not Fernandez. She didn`t have a fight with me. Go there. Go there, Mr. Morgan. She didn`t fight with me, sir.
G. ANTHONY: I have not heard my granddaughter`s voice since June 16, 2008. Do not ask me that again, sir, because I will walk out of here. Do not do that to me again.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sorry.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wild stuff. Casey Anthony has refused to even respond to the questions posed to her. Does this really mean Casey will finally have to answer those pointed questions? Especially question No. 17, "Were you involved in the death of Caylee?"
Straight to my fantastic expert panel. We`re really delighted to have tonight Keith Mitnik, the attorney for Zenaida Gonzalez; Drew Findling, Atlanta criminal defense attorney; Judy Kuriansky, Dr. Judy, clinical psychologist; and by phone, Rozzie Franco, reporter with WFL Radio; and the one and only Stacey Honowitz, Florida state prosecutor.
Stacey, we know this was a big win for Zenaida, but how big a win was it for prosecutors like you, except the ones in Casey`s capital murder case?
STACEY HONOWITZ, FLORIDA STATE PROSECUTOR: Well, listen, this is a great victory for the civil end of it, and as far as the prosecutors are concerned, they were always going to be able to use anything inconsistent in those depositions by George and by Cindy.
And certainly, there are various questions that they were very inconsistent on that prosecutors will make sure to use in the criminal case. And certainly, I`m sure these civil lawyers and you can ask Keith -- he`s sitting up there right now -- that they are very happy that this case did not get thrown out in court today.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, congratulations, Keith Mitnik, this was a big victory for your clients. How is Zenaida Gonzalez herself as a human being emotionally responding to this validation?
KEITH MITNIK, ATTORNEY FOR ZENAIDA GONZALEZ: Healing. It`s very healing for her.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. Short, but sweet. Very healing for her. Anything else, sir?
MITNIK: Yes. It`s a day of justice for her and the concept of justice that you can`t just pull these kind of awful things in the public eye and destroy someone`s reputation and try to escape with some technicality and justice. It`s not happening on her watch or my watch.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think you raise a fascinating point. Dr. Judy Kuriansky, there was this righteous indignation by Cindy and George, "How dare you question me?"
But the other side of that coin is that prosecutors believe that this was a total fiction: this whole idea of Zanny the nanny, that she was dropped off. One of the reasons why this Zenaida got involved is that Casey originally said she had left the child with Zanny the nanny at the Sawgrass Apartments, which this Zenaida Gonzalez had signed up some form at that very apartment complex. That`s how she got connected.
So is the moral lesson here, if you lie, allegedly, it`s not a victimless crime? You cannot intentionally throw lots of people under the bus, even if you didn`t intend to.
DR. JUDY KURIANSKY, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: That`s a great lesson for everyone, that lying doesn`t work at all. And I love what Zenaida Gonzalez`s lawyer said from a psychological point of view for healing or the woman and for everyone to recognize that what they say has been the truth. Because the opposite is not the truth.
Casey has been buried a little bit more about this. What about the fact that she said that the Zanny the nanny was a 10. Remember Bo Derek as a 10? And here the Zenaida Gonzalez that we see her now is not really a ten. So there we go as the proof of a lie.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right.
DREW FINDLING, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: How healing. How healing is it that, by filing a civil suit, her name has been getting mentioned even more than it ever would have? This would have been just another case where she would have been part of the criminal discovery. But by filing the civil case it`s completely hypocritical, because her name is out there over and over and over again.
It`s not healing. It`s just more litigation by civil lawyers. With due respect to Keith, it`s helping him in his practice, but it`s really not helping this woman at all.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Whoa. Keith -- Keith, do you want to take a response to that?
MITNIK: Sure. Sure. I don`t know who the gentleman is, but I would hope he wouldn`t speak on behalf of my client. If his family or some loved one of his got accused of being a child kidnapper I think he`d probably like -- don`t interrupt me. Would like to be exonerated her in the public eye.
The fact that her name is being mentioned in an exonerating way is healing and these kind of hearings do that. And believe it or not, sir, it matters to that lady.
FINDLING: It will happen when the criminal justice system takes its course, not when civil cases interfere with the close...
MITNIK: Would you have -- would you have her...
FINDLING: Excuse me. Let me finish, hey, hey! Let me finish.
MITNIK: ... years from...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hold on, guys! All right, guys. I`ve got to get my gavel, but actually, it`s just a mirror and I`ve used it before. Go ahead, Drew.
FINDLING: OK. All right. If the criminal justice system will take care of it and if every time there is a "some other dude did it" defense in this country, we have civil suits, then the court system will shut down. The only reason this case is surviving, this civil case, is because of the national publicity.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But Drew, don`t you -- don`t you realize...
MITNIK: The only reason it`s surviving is because it is righteous. And frankly, I don`t care about shutting the system down for all of his criminal clients. I happen to care about my civil client, whose name was raked through the mud.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Let`s listen to more of the grilling of George Anthony and those emotionally-charged depositions. It sounded like a dramatic stage play. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
G. ANTHONY: I`m not going to answer anything about the criminal part of this. I`m not going to do that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re going to have to.
The bottom line is...
G. ANTHONY: I have to do that, sir, when the criminal case comes up, not in a civil case, I do not.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m either going forward and doing my job, and I`m giving you questions and answers, and I`d like you to answer every question I ask. But I`m not going to sit here and be berated for every question I ask. Either we`re going do this business-like and get it done, or we`re going go to the judge and ask him what he thinks about it. What do you want to do? I`ve had it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, Keith, that was your voice?
MITNIK: Yes. That was me.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Were you, like, serious at that moment?
MITNIK: I wasn`t furious. I was frustrated, because I`d been very patient. I`m compassionate. Look, the man lost his granddaughter. I have feelings for the guy. I don`t want to make his life hard.
But I`ve got a job to do for my client. And he had been rude and he had been evasive and he had been argumentative. And I had been patient, and I had been calm. And I think I had been concerned. But you reach a point, and you say, "Listen, Bud, I`ve got a job to do. Enough`s enough." I`d reached a point. I`d had enough of the nonsense. It was time to get down to business and get the job done with. So he could go home and I could go home.
KURIANSKY: I love that you talked about your client being healed. You know I said that. But I`m a little concerned about George, because I`m watching carefully. And remember, he was not in a stable psychological state before and was ready to almost do himself in.
And so I`m really concerned about George when he`s getting defensive like that, or when he`s attacked, what`s going to happen.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Stacey Honowitz, could you clarify? Because for the lay person they might say, well, you know, why should he have to answer these questions? Why is it that George and Cindy have to answer these questions? And we`re going to find out if Casey herself is going to have to answer these questions now that the suit is going forward.
HONOWITZ: Listen, Jane, in any case, you know, Casey had to testify. Anything that she says that might incriminate her, certainly she has a right to take the fifth. Everybody knows you have the right against self- incrimination from the Constitution.
In this case, though, George and Cindy are crucial material witnesses as to whether or not this nanny ever existed. So Keith had every right in this world to bring them in and ask them questions to clear his client`s name, and I find it very hard to believe -- Drew, I like you a lot. I really do.
FINDLING: I like you also.
HONOWITZ: But I think -- I think that if you are being disdained and if your name is raked through the mud, everybody in this world has a right to litigate a claim that they think is false. And in this case, she lost everything. Her reputation: she couldn`t get a job.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Keith -- Keith...
HONOWITZ: Her life was in shambles and has every right in the world to go forward with this suit.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. We`re going to break. Yes or no question, Keith, are you going to bring Cindy and George back? Are you going to bring Casey?
MITNIK: We have got a hearing to bring them back, yes.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Hang on. More Casey Anthony drama -- and we mean drama -- on the way.
Be sure to tune in to "NANCY GRACE" tonight at 8 p.m. Eastern. She will have the latest breaking developments in the story. And right here on ISSUES, I will be taking your calls. Do you think Casey will finally answer those tough questions in the Zanny suit? Give me a holler: 1-877- JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297. Let me know.
Also cops made a huge arrest in the attempted abduction of a courageous Florida 4-year-old girl who hollered for her mom and dad. I`ll tell you how the suspect may be linked to another failed kidnapping. But first, Casey Anthony hasn`t been grilled yet in the Zanny the nanny civil suit. Her parents sure have. Here`s George lashing out at Zanny`s lawyers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
G. ANTHONY: You don`t realize what you`ve done to us, and you don`t care. You don`t care. When you say you sympathize, you don`t give -- anything about me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CINDY ANTHONY: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) statement does not describe her. Her birthday is not September 1. She`s not 25 years old. She`s not 5`7". She`s not 140 pounds. She doesn`t have blonde hair. She doesn`t have perfect teeth. She`s not a 10. I`m sorry, ma`am. You`re cute, but you`re not a 10.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Whoa, to add insult to injury, Cindy Anthony tells Zenaida Gonzalez she`s not as good looking as the Zenaida who Casey claims took her daughter Caylee. A judge today said no to Casey`s attempt to have the case thrown out.
In fact, the Zenaida Gonzalez who is not as good looking as the other Zenaida Gonzalez that may or may not exist got the go-ahead to seek punitive damages from the accused murderer.
We are back discussing the very latest in this unbelievable case. Phone lines jam-packed. Kathleen in New York, your question or thought, ma`am.
CALLER: Hi, Jane. How you doing? I want to say hello to everyone there and thank you for doing what you guys do every night.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you.
CALLER: My question is, what is the rush to get the civil case going? Wouldn`t it be better to wait for Casey to be found guilty? And what if she`s not found guilty? What would happen to Zenaida Gonzalez then?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK, Keith Mitnik. You`re the attorney for Zenaida, so take it away.
MITNIK: The rush to it is, is she has this cloud hanging over her head, and she wants to pursue justice. Goodness knows how long this criminal case is going to languish, and she doesn`t want to sit in the back burner with her life waiting to do something about it.
If she were to happen to be found not guilty, the news would be, for my client, would make no difference. As a matter of fact, if she were to be found not guilty and write some book, come into a bunch of money, then I`d be able to seek monetary damages for my client in the form of punitive damages or punishment in an effort for justice.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: How much in punitive damages would you like to see?
MITNIK: Well, if she gets a book deal I`d like to get every cent of it.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Woo! Oh, wow.
MITNIK: Because she shouldn`t get the money for it. The money is more -- justice is served, I`d rather see it in my client`s hands than in the hands -- in the hands of Casey Anthony.
FINDLING: But the court should know that this never happens. What normally suspects what the caller is talking about. You have a criminal case and she`s either found guilty or she`s found not guilty. Right now she has no mono whatsoever. It`s not like she`s even stamping license plates at the jail. This is really all about generating her name over and over and over again and really accomplishing nothing.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Debbie, Massachusetts, your question or thought, ma`am?
CALLER: Hi, Jane. Love the show.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you. I hope you keep watching.
CALLER: I will. The question I have, I`m a little bit confused. Casey Anthony has no money, has never had any money, nor a job nor any assets. Assuming a victory in the civil case, what do you reasonably expect to get?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right.
MITNIK: What we reasonably expect to get is some semblance of justice, some clearing of a name. Some cases aren`t about money. They`re really about a righteous cause, and this happens to be one of them. It`s hard for other lawyers at times to fathom that, but this is about a righteous cause for somebody that was an innocent victim caught up in it this web of deceit. We`re trying to unravel the web.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Stacey Honowitz, so many questions. One, could -- let me ask Stacey, because actually, Drew, you`re having a little problem with your mike so we`re going get that fixed.
Stacey, a lot of people think this could be an avenue for all of us to learn where Stacey [SIC] is getting the money to pay for her criminal defense team, very high-powered criminal defense team and all these experts. Could they use this as a vehicle to dig up all this information about where she`s getting her dough and possible media deals?
HONOWITZ: You mean the civil -- in the civil action?
HONOWITZ: Well, I think there are certain questions that somebody might say, you know, it`s not relevant to whether or not she defamed this - - you know, defamed this woman and said she was the person that took this child.
But certainly, people are very curious to know if she never worked, if she didn`t have a job, where did she get the money from? Now, you`ll remember, Jane, the court wanted to hold a hearing at some point, and the prosecutors wanted to hold a hearing, because they thought they had the right to know where the expert fees were coming from.
And the court, in an in camera hearing, which means outside the presence of the cameras and everybody else, held this hearing with Jose Baez and said, "I don`t need to know," or whatever he told them was enough to satisfy the court.
Are there avenues to try to figure it out? I think you`d have to ask Keith if he would think that those questions are relevant and maybe if the case -- if damages are found.
MITNIK: It`s a very good question. And briefly, with the victory that we won today on the punitive damages part of the case, we now have free rein to go into the finances and that`s one of the very things we intend to pursue doggedly.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me ask Dr. Judy Kuriansky. And by the way, Drew, you`re back, if you want to jump in and make a point.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Judy, you just feel right now the intense emotions that this case elicits and you see the fiery emotions in the deposition. What is it about this particular set of facts that so fascinates America and that raises everybody`s emotions to the boiling point?
KURIANSKY: Oh, I think it`s got everything that a new reality show or that a soap drama would have. It`s got a young woman who`s partying and lying and having sex with people and who is implicated in her little adorable baby`s horrific murder.
It`s got parents who are now in on it, who are emotional and on the edge, and then we can see even how the apple doesn`t fall far from the tree.
It`s got other innocent people now like Zenaida, who was -- likely has nothing to do with it, called not a ten, who`s dragged into this, you know? That`s the worst thing, Bo Derek.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Call you -- call you a kidnapper, but don`t say you`re not a ten! That`s the really insulting thing!
KURIANSKY: Everything -- all the elements you could imagine, and I think that`s why it`s capturing the public`s attention.
FINDLING: Jane, let me say this.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Last five seconds to Drew.
FINDLING: One of the problems with this civil case is sometimes there`s too much lawyering. Let the woman live her life, and get the lawyers out of it.
MITNIK: Sometimes people need a lawyer to do a good job.
FINDLING: Well, I`m a lawyer, and sometimes lawyers...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ll have you back to argue some more.
FINDLING: This is not about her, it`s about the lawyer.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ll be back with more. Thank you, excellent panel.
The husband of America`s first swine flu victim demanding answers. We will talk to his attorney up next. An amazing story.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: In the spotlight tonight, a baby dies of flu-like symptoms in New York City. And while health officials have not publicly confirmed the cause, the scary fact remains: we do not know where the swine flu virus originated. But one man is pointing his finger at the pork industry.
Steve Trunnell, whose wife was the first American to die from swine flu, launched legal action to investigate if -- and I say if -- the swine flu that killed his wife began in a pig factory farm in Mexico. That farm is in the region some suspect is ground zero for the outbreak.
The new widower told CNN`s "LARRY KING LIVE" how he`s coping.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVE TRUNNELL, HUSBAND OF SWINE FLU VICTIM: We`re holding up as good as we can. We`re still in disbelief and trying to adjust to a different life now. There`s absolutely nothing normal about the way we`re living right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, the legal document which I`m holding in my hand, a petition to conduct discovery, claims that horrifically unsanitary conditions at the Mexican hog farm owned by Smithfield Foods could be, might be -- they`re investigating and want to see if it is to blame for swine flu. They don`t know. Smithfield says flat out, it`s not the case. Not true.
Joining me, Mark Rosenthal, the lawyer for Steven Trunnell.
Mark, thanks for joining us. Why are you petitioning to investigate the conditions at this massive pig factory farm in Mexico.
MARK ROSENTHAL, LAWYER FOR STEVEN TRUNNELL: Hello, Jane. Good to be here.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you.
ROSENTHAL: We`re investigating this in more detail, because there are indicators that indicate to us that this area, this particular pig farm, which is a confined animal feeding operation, where a large proportion is part of the factory farming business, is ground zero for this particular H1N1 virus.
Swine flu is not new to the world, but this particular strain of swine flu is new, and there are indicators that point in that direction. Where there`s smoke there`s fire, and we`re compelled to investigate using the best medical experts and scientists that we can find to investigate in detail if it, indeed, originated there, at least based on reasonable probability.
One of those indicators would be the fact that a 4-year-old boy is the first confirmed diagnosis of swine flu in this world, and that was in Lagloria, which is where this pig farm operation, owned and operated by Smithfield Foods, is located.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And this that you`re looking at now comes to the Humane Society of the United States. This is a related issue. These are pig gestation crates, where pigs are kept in crates the size of their bodies, unable to turn around. And there`s a growing movement across the United States to try to ban these pig gestation crates, which are phased-in bans, coming in California, Maine and several other states.
Now, your legal petition seeks to determine if there is a link between swine flu and Smithfield`s massive hog operation at Lagloria, Mexico.
Smithfield responded with a statement. Quote, "The virus has not been found in the hog population at GCM." That`s Smithfield. "And none of GCM`s employees are known to have contracted the virus. Various state, federal and international health agencies have committed massive resources to investigate the source and propagation of the virus. To our knowledge none of these agencies has identified any link to GCM.
But meantime, the "Washington Post" recently reported about hog farms in Lagloria, saying there was lagoons of pig waste and local residents were complaining about a stench. There were pig corpses. What are -- what do you know about that?
ROSENTHAL: Well, it`s actually more serious than that. Many of the local residents have gotten sick in the past several years ever since Smithfield began operating this facility there. They`ve gotten very sick with different types of illnesses ranging from...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. We`ve got to leave it right there. Thank you so much. We`re going to stay on top of that story.
Miracle in Mexico. Three-year-old Briant Rodriguez found alive. We`ll have the very latest.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: In a stunning arrest, cops nab a man for his alleged role in trying to snatch a 4-year-old Florida girl from her bedroom. I`ll tell you how he`s being linked to another failed kidnapping.
And new scandal for reality stars Jon and Kate Gosselin. Kate`s brother makes a startling claim to RadarOnline that the stars have a secret marriage contract that lets Jon date other women. So are they only a couple when the cameras are rolling?
Also tonight the sick and shocking story of a 4-year-old girl snatched from her bedroom, allegedly by an intruder with a disturbing history of sexual perversion. Cops say this man, 44-year-old Mauricio Reyes broke into the girl`s Orlando home and he then allegedly bound and gagged the child. She courageously escaped and hollered for her parents. She screamed. The parents arrived to chase the suspect away.
Even more chilling than the child`s horrifying ordeal is this suspect`s dark past. According to court documents Reyes was caught masturbating outside the windows of adult victims on more than one occasion.
Plus using DNA evidence cops consider him a suspect in another failed abduction from 2007. Although no charges have been filed in that case, that intended victim was an 8-year-old girl. She was also bound and gagged, spared only because her attacker was also scared off by her mother.
Police believe all these cases sexually motivated. So the big question, why wasn`t this guy stopped before his alleged crime escalated to attempted kidnapping?
Straight out to my distinguished panel: Steve Greenberg, criminal defense attorney; Nancy Cotterman, director of the Broward County, Florida Sexual Assault Treatment Center; and the one and only Curtis Sliwa, founder of the Guardian Angels.
Curtis, there had been a number of cases that we covered here on ISSUES where the suspect is in a serious abduction, has a history of publicly masturbating, only gets probation for that crime and then elevates to more serious crimes. That`s what this suspect got for the public masturbation, probation. When are the courts going to realize that that kind of behavior in public is a sign that something is seriously wrong?
CURTIS SLIWA, FOUNDER, GUARDIAN ANGELS: As you know, he`s an enemy of society and he warned us clearly by his very public act. And the Curtis Sliwa method would say if you can`t keep your rocket your pocket, castration should be your cure. Because clearly here is a guy completely out of control breaking into homes and in the last case had the young girl, as you mentioned, not taken the masking tape off her mouth, he had already somehow snatched the mother`s high-heeled shoes and put it next to the girl on the blanket and God only knows what furniture was up there...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But Jane, Jane, Curtis...
STEVE GREENBERG, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Curtis, you can`t warehouse people. You can`t forget future behavior. This guy did something that unfortunately thousands of people get caught doing every year. You can`t take those people and you can`t wall them in and you can`t lock them up and you can`t predict their future behavior. And unfortunately sometimes people will fall through the cracks.
What they need to do is they need to take people like this, maybe when they gave them probation, give them some counseling and give them some testing and see what they`re like. See if they can provide some guidance to them. But you can`t say because some guy masturbated in public we`re going whack off his weenie.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I hear you but -- I agree with that. I hope that you were being rhetorical, Curtis Sliwa.
But Nancy Cotterman, you run the Broward County Sexual Assault Treatment Center. What can be done because time and time again we hear these stories where these guys masturbating in public, they get probation and then the next thing you know in one case we have a person of interest in a woman`s disappearance that she`s presumed dead? That`s not this case. That`s another case in New York.
NANCY COTTERMAN, DIRECTOR, BROWARD COUNTY SEXUAL ASSAULT TREATMENT CENTER: Right. Well, castration, as we know, is not the answer for offenders. These crimes are not necessarily sexually motivated. They`re about power and control and there are not enough treatment services available. Offenders are released, often early, out into the community where they`re very limited resources and particularly in these economic times. And the statistics for recidivism treatment is in place is it`s very encouraging.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, so let`s spend money on the treatment instead of spending so much money incarcerating people. I`ve been saying that for so long. If you wait until you have put him in prison -- but listen to the 911 -- frantic 911 call placed by the dad of the little girl who escaped from the attempted abduction by courageously screaming.
Listen to this.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My wife heard my daughter`s crying. She -- she just get up from her bed, and I think she -- she saw the man. And he pushed my wife, and then I heard my wife`s sound. I wake up and I saw a stranger in our house. I tried to catch him the way that he entered from our living room door.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, Curtis Sliwa. This guy courageously chased after the guy and he escaped but then DNA and surveillance video came to the rescue. They got surveillance video of somebody in two locations that matched the DNA on some beer cans and that brought them this particular suspect. What do you think?
SLIWA: Let me tell you something, I know this guy is going to say -- he`s going to say, "I`m sick, put me in a diagnostic clinic. I`ll paint paintings, I`ll tell you what evil demons lurk inside." Hey, you misuse it, you lose it and we don`t have to worry about you anymore. And you can go out and walk around and go to parks and look at children because you won`t have that urge.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Curtis, I love you, but I do think that the smartest solution would be to create so much treatment when somebody is in the early stage of their sickness so that when they find themselves masturbating in public we take them as a society.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And we deal with them and say you need help, you`re sick.
SLIWA: Can I ask you a question? If someone was masturbating in front of you, are you going to say, "Sir, I think you`re in need of treatment, you shouldn`t be doing that in public?"
GREENBERG: But they are. That`s a fact that they are. It`s pervasive and it`s in drug cases and it`s in these cases.
An interesting thing about this, when they gave a drawing of this guy, it doesn`t match the guy they eventually caught.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Right. That`s a good point.
GREENBERG: It`s a good thing they have the other evidence.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: He`s just been arrested. He hasn`t been convicted. He does deserve the presumption of innocence.
We`ve got to move on. Nancy Cotterman, Steve Greenberg, thank you so much. Please come back soon.
COTTERMAN: You`re welcome.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now to the frantic search for the fugitive suspects who allegedly snatched adorable 3-year-old Briant Rodriguez from his family`s home more than two weeks ago in what`s being called the miracle in Mexico. Briant found alive wandering the streets of a Mexican border town last weekend. The FBI has now upped the reward for information leading to the suspects capture to $10,000. Cops are exhausting every lead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DON ROBERTS, FBI SUPERVISORY SPECIAL AGENT: We will leave no stone unturned until these two are brought back to San Bernardino County where they will face justice for this kidnapping.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: The motive is still a mystery, but police say the boy`s abduction was calculated and planned by the two suspects, both illegal immigrants with criminal records.
Still here: Curtis Sliwa, founder of the Guardian Angels; and joining me, investigative reporter Angie Crouch.
Angie, you have done a lot of digging and you`ve talked to the little boy`s family. What`s some of the fascinating new information you have dug up?
ANGIE CROUCH, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: One of the things that we learned when we talked with the mother and the 14-year-old brother of Briant Rodriguez, shortly after kidnapping, a couple of interesting things that the kidnappers said to them.
The mother told us that one of the kidnappers asked her while they were ransacking their home asked her, "Where are you from?" She said she was from Sinaloa, Mexico. And she told us that the kidnapper told her that`s where he was from as well. And you can bet that that`s one place where the FBI and police are going to be searching for these two suspects.
Another really interesting fact was the 14-year-old brother of Briant Rodriguez told me that while they were ransacking the house, one of the things they were looking for was the car keys to the family`s car. But the family was getting ready to go to the park and one of the kid had already put in the car keys inside the car to get ready to go. And the little boy said that when the kidnappers couldn`t find the car keys one of them got so upset that he nearly started crying and even had tears in his eyes.
So when he told that I thought, well, there`s a couple of possibilities here, either this guy is a novice or perhaps he was hired by somebody and didn`t sign up for kidnapping a little boy and tying up a bunch of other little kids.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You told me -- which I think is fascinating -- that there were people outside with walkie-talkies while these two suspects that we`re now looking for were inside the house?
CROUCH: That`s right. Although the San Bernardino County sheriff`s department has only named two suspects as well as a woman who could be traveling with them. The family told us that there are other people involved as well.
The brother and the mother both told me that the two gunmen came inside the house and while they were inside the house ransacking the place they were talking on walkie-talkies. And there were at least two other men stationed at the doors and possibly another person that was waiting in a vehicle outside.
So this was not a random incident. Police know that they targeted this family specifically and given the fact that they had walkie-talkies and they were on the walkie-talkies saying to the guys outside, "There`s nothing here. We can`t find anything here." So police know that this was a coordinated and very well-choreographed event.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But Curtis, why? This is not a rich family. They`re a poor family. Usually this kind of stuff in movies happens to the big drug cartel heads or somebody who has a lot of money. Why are they targeting this poor family?
SLIWA: You see, Jane, it makes no sense street smart.
Now, the fact that they had walkie-talkies and looked highly organized, it may well be they hit the wrong house. They got the wrong suspects because, notice, they didn`t harm the child. The child was found in Mexicali. They had shaved the child`s head. He was found wandering around, thank God, and rejoined with his mother in Calexico on the American side.
So it might well be -- now I`m just surmising here -- that they hit the wrong house. They got the wrong suspects. They were looking for maybe drugs or guns or other items in this house and they couldn`t find it. Maybe that`s why this young guy was crying because he knew there would be a price to pay when he went back south of the border because this is how the narco-terrorists operate.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Listen, I want to thank both of you. Angie -- we have to cut it short, but Angie and Curtis, please come back. Love you guys.
A bizarre twist in the Haleigh Cummings disappearance; dad, Ron says he wants George and Cindy Anthony to butt out. I will have the details.
Then, Jon and Kate plus Eight, plus other women? Kate`s brother claims the couple has a secret contract allowing Jon to date outside the marriage. I want to hear your take on this scandalous story. Is it even true? Who knows?
1-877-JVM-SAYS; 1-877-586-7297; please sound off to me now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Shocking claims that reality stars Jon and Kate Gosselin have a secret contract allowing Jon to see other women? I`ll show you the bizarre allegations, but first "Top of the Block" tonight.
When little Haleigh Cummings went missing, everybody naturally thought about little Caylee Anthony, the twin tragedies in Florida. This weekend Cindy and George Anthony even attended a rally for missing kids with Haleigh`s mom, Crystal and her family.
But strangely, missing from the vigil, Haleigh`s dad, Ron. Today we have an explanation. In a press release through their attorney, Ron`s family says they don`t want the Anthonys involved in the search for Haleigh because they feel George and Cindy have their own agenda. The statement also said that the facts related to the Caylee case are, quote, "in no way similar to Haleigh`s disappearance," end quote.
It seems like everything touched by the Anthonys is racked by scandal. Is that the reason for the statement or is it just another rift between Ron and Crystal? Whatever the reason, we will stay on top of it.
That is tonight`s "Top of the block."
Shocking claims tonight from the family of Jon and Kate plus 8. Jon and Kate Gosselin have been caught in the crosshairs of the tabloid media for weeks now. "Star" magazine reporting the couple has a secret contract. Now Kate`s own brother and sister-in-law have repeated that shocking claim on camera to Radar Online, insisting the alleged contract allows Jon to, quote, "have girlfriends."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JODI KREIDER, KATE GOSSELIN`S SISTER-IN-LAW: This show Jon and Kate plus 8 is not reality and it has not been for a very long time. It has turned into a huge money-making machine and that is everyone`s priority.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But are Jon and Kate the only ones in it just for the money? Could Kate`s brother and sister-in-law be telling their story for quick cash or because there was a reported conflict between them and Kate about being paid to appear on the reality show? Throughout all of these rumors Kate has maintained she and Jon are working on their relationship.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KATE GOSSELIN, "JON & KATE PLUS 8": Everyone wants to know everything about us. And I feel like this is a situation where, you know, you can`t believe everything that you read. You know that. I know that. And so we are dealing with it privately.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: The quarrelling couple put a united front this weekend celebrating the sextuplet`s birthday. But are they only staying together because of the lucrative TV show and a possible -- get this, are you sitting down? Now, there`s possibly a movie deal in the works.
Sorting through this mess with me, three fabulous gentlemen: Carlos Diaz, correspondent for "Extra"; and Terry Lyles, psychologist; plus, gentleman number three, the one and only, fantastic A.J. Hammer, host of "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" that airs here on HLN.
A.J., I can`t believe it, now we`re talking about a possible movie deal about a popular TV show?
A.J. HAMMER, HOST, "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT": Yes. Well, it`s even more complicated than that. I actually made a chart for myself, Jane, just so I could figure it out what this would be. It would be a TV movie about a book that there`s talk of them writing about their life doing a TV show about their life. Did you catch all that?
Here`s the deal with this and, by the way, I should start out by saying, TLC, the network that airs the show "Jon and Kate Plus 8" says this is not true. But there was a story in the "Chicago Sun-Times" over the weekend which gives a story like this some serious legs -- it`s a reputable newspaper. This particular story said Jon and Kate are working with a ghost writer to write a book about their life and being sprung into the whole fame business through doing their reality show. And that book would in turn get turned into a TV movie where they would get cast by actors to play them. They`re not suggesting yet who would be playing who.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Like they don`t have enough on their hands with eight kids and their own reality TV show. They`ve got to write a book and turn it into a movie.
Let`s listen to what Kate`s brother and sister-in-law told Radar Online about Jon and Kate`s alleged secret contract.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
J. KREIDER: All we know is what Jon has told us that Kate came to him a while ago with a contract, stating that he can have girlfriends and that he can do his own thing, that they will live separate lives.
KEVIN KREIDER, KATE GOSSELIN`S BROTHER: And they just need to...
J. KREIDER: Continue the show.
K. KREIDER: Right. In exchange, Jon needs to show up for filming, basically is what it`s saying.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: If these allegations, Carlos Diaz, aren`t true, I mean, if there is no contract, do we have a lawsuit here?
CARLOS DIAZ, "EXTRA": I mean, it`s a big if, Jane. Come on. I`ve seen the entire interview with these two people. And they`re stumbling through the entire interview. They`re stiff. It`s very rehearsed. I don`t believe them for a second, and let`s -- if you watched the outtakes on some of the interviews that Jon does on the show he acknowledges the fact that he can`t go anywhere without the paparazzi following him everywhere.
So why would he make a contract with his wife knowing that wherever he goes the world will see him. Why would he make a contract to cheat when he knows that we would know if he cheated? It doesn`t make sense at all.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. It`s all very fascinating. Terry Lyles, they sort of feel now like the victims like oh, look at us, everybody`s prying into our personal business. Isn`t that what you get when you turn your family life and put your eight kids into a reality show?
TERRY LYLES, PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, I mean, it`s turned into a circus as it`s planned, I`m sure. If this contract is true it sure helps give a license to Jon that he can go out and make the show even more interesting. So I don`t know what goes on behind the scenes with producers and publishers and all the deals.
I`m concerned about the children. Who`s watching out for their well- being while cameras are around and these kids are going to grow up watching each other later on watching their mom and dad bicker and fight. Who are protecting the children in this fiasco?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And meanwhile...
DIAZ: Jane, can you see if this contract is true, meaning everything that we`re seeing on the show is basically false, can you imagine a class action lawsuit by viewers of Jon & Kate plus eight? Against TLC and the Gosselins for making up -- you know, putting on this whole facade. You know, it seems to me that would be a huge suit.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: The ratings are going to shoot through the roof. You know, TLC is just loving all this, which is what the average person at home might not realize, is that this is just going to make their show on Monday more successful.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And it`s going to make it a huge hit that we`re all going to watch. Ok. Gentlemen, more reality TV drama in just a moment.
Don`t forget, you can catch A.J. Hammer on "Showbiz Tonight" at 11:00 p.m. Eastern. He will have all the scandalous Jon & Kate details.
We will be back with more in a moment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOSSELIN: We are living our lives like a normal family. Cameras come in and film us. And that to the world, to the public makes us celebrities. I do not like that word. I am not a celebrity. I am a mom and a wife.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Kate Gosselin telling Larry King, "I`m not a celebrity, leave me alone." Doesn`t that sound just like another non- celebrity we know, octo-mom?
The phone lines lighting up. Melissa, Mississippi, your question or thought, ma`am.
MELISSA, MISSISSIPPI (via telephone): Yes, ma`am. The fact Jon hasn`t run his head through a brick wall has been amazing to me. But if it ever came to a divorce, could he sue her for like emotional distress, seeing as we see the way she belittles him constantly on every episode?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok, Carlos. You`ve got to grab that one.
DIAZ: You know what? We could be the jury. We could all be witnesses. We could all be called as witnesses. We can come in, go, "Excuse me, but in season 4, episode 6 she was really mean to him and I want to say that he deserves at least $4 million."
HAMMER: There`s your reality show right there, Carlos. Nice.
HAMMER: There we go.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: TLC, the network that airs the show, seems to be promoting their troubles. Look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JON GOSSELIN, "JON & KATE PLUS 8": I can`t be Jon. I have to be Jon & Kate plus eight.
K. GOSSELIN: We`re still working on ourselves and our marriage and our relationship.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jon and Kate face each other for the first time on the season premiere of "Jon & Kate Plus 8."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: A.J. Hammer, how much is TLC loving all this?
HAMMER: It`s interesting, Jane. We talked about before, TLC a network not known for scandalous programming, all of a sudden they have a show that has been immersed in scandal. And you know what? They`re doing what any good moneymaking network is going to do. They`re going to promote the fact that on Monday you can tune in for the first time and see these two sitting side by side talking about these problems.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Michelle in California, a quick question or thought, ma`am.
MICHELLE, CALIFORNIA (via telephone): Sure. Why isn`t Gloria Allred, who is suing the octo-mom, not suing the Gosselins, who I feel are also exploiting their kids for their own personal gain?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Interesting parallel.
Terry Lyles, psychologist, you know a lot of people are up in arms over octo-mom. But yet there doesn`t seem to be the same level of outrage at this family over the parenting issue.
LYLES: Well, I think you see the parenting issue becoming more like a circus. I mean, the octo-mom you`ve got a single parent out there. I think there`s a bit of people feeling sorry for her.
You see the fiasco that goes on with this couple Jon and Kate like it was mentioned by the caller, she belittles him and he kind of crawls away and then the kids are off running crazy. It`s orchestrated chaos.
The problem is the fallout from all that. But like A.J. said, I mean, the ratings are going through the roof. TLC scores. Everybody wins.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Reasonable behavior doesn`t make for a hit show. Drama does.
Thank you, fabulous panel.
You are watching ISSUES on HLN.