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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL
Pediatrician Accused of Raping Over 100 Children
Aired December 29, 2009 - 19:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JIM MORET, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, stomach-churning developments from inside a doctor`s office. A pediatrician is accused of raping more than 100 kids. Tonight, we`ll go inside the investigation.
The police have been watching this guy for more than a year. So why did it take so long to arrest him? Could some of these hellish attacks been prevented?
And massive new leads pouring in, in the desperate search of Susan Powell. The Utah mother vanished more than three weeks ago. So why are the police keeping new information away from the public? What did they find inside the Powell home?
Plus, shocking new insight into Charlie Sheen`s Christmas arrest. We now have the police report, detailing his alleged knockdown, drag-out fight with his wife. She claims he held a knife to her neck and threatened to have her killed, and that`s just the beginning. Is their marriage completely finished?
ISSUES starts right now.
MORET: Sickening allegations against a small-town pediatrician fueling outrage among parents and prosecutors. Was Dr. Earl Bradley allowed to practice medicine during the time cops were watching him?
I`m Jim Moret from "Inside Edition," sitting in tonight for Jane Velez-Mitchell.
Just hours ago, the Delaware Board of Medical Practice met in emergency session and decided to suspend the license of the accused serial pedophile. Cops say they`ve investigated Dr. Bradley for about a year, but it was not until he was arrested on December 15 that the medical board found out about his alleged abuse of patients.
State police examined -- explained to DelawareOnline.com that it would not have been appropriate, they say, to give him a heads up. They quote, "If they tip him off and then do an investigation, he might destroy evidence."
Critics say he might have destroyed lives during that time.
Court documents reveal at least 16 possible victims, and shocking new details of the alleged abuse. Cops say Bradley videotaped himself committing sex acts with victims as young as 3 months old in a basement and in an out-building at his Bay Bees pediatric practice.
Several allegedly show Bradley yelling orders at babies and toddlers, some who cry and try to run away. One disturbing scene allegedly shows Bradley becoming, quote, "violently enraged." The videos were made between August 7 and December 13, according to cops.
Meantime, the case has sparked controversy as legal experts question whether this case has been handled appropriately from the get-go.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CURTIS SLIWA, ABC RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: It involves law enforcement not doing its jobs, prosecutors not doing its job, and the medical authorities not monitoring this pediatrician. Complaints were made since 1998.
MARK EIGLARSH, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I disagree. What he`s saying is irresponsible. It presupposes that parents knew that their children were being harmed.
EIGLARSH: That law enforcement knew and didn`t do everything they were supposed to.
EIGLARSH: These cases are difficult to bring.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORET: Those were some statements made on our show last night.
A lot of ground to cover tonight. I want you to know that we do think -- we want to know what you think about how this investigation has gone down. So give us a call: 1-877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877-586-7297.
We have to mention: ISSUES reached out once again to Dr. Bradley`s attorney. We have not heard back before air time.
Straight out now to my expert panel: Robin Sax, prosecutor, former D.A. who specializes in sex crimes and author of "Predators and Child Molesters"; Steve Rogers, detective lieutenant in the Nutley, New Jersey, Police Department; Brian Russell, forensic psychologist and attorney; Kevin Sullivan, criminal defense attorney; and joining me by phone tonight, Melissa Satterfield. She says her daughter was a patient of Dr. Bradley.
Melissa, thank you for joining us. First, tell us your experience of this doctor and your daughter.
MELISSA SATTERFIELD, DAUGHTER A PATIENT OF BRADLEY`S (via phone): I actually have two children. My son is now 4 and my daughter is 14. They`ve been patients of Dr. Bradley`s for 2 1/2 years. And the last time we were there was in October.
MORET: And was there anything -- was there anything that the doctor did that seemed inappropriate to you either at the time or on reflection?
SATTERFIELD: Honestly, no. He was always, you know, very good with me and my children. I did have -- after speaking with one of the detectives, I did have a question about the way he performed her physical.
MORET: What was unusual, in your mind?
SATTERFIELD: Because it seemed that some of the -- some of the incidents occurred with the parent in the room. Now...
MORET: So you were never separated. I want to make this clear. Because some of the allegations were the doctor tried to separate the parent from the child, and it was in that other room where some of these alleged activities took place. You were never separated from your children. Is that right?
SATTERFIELD: Never, never. And there was a room downstairs where he would give his children a toy or something when we left, which is, I`m assuming, where it is that he took them, which was downstairs. But he...
MORET: What happened, though, with your daughter? What happened with your daughter that you think was unusual?
SATTERFIELD: She was examined for a physical, and she was examined vaginally. He didn`t touch her, but he said look. And from what I understand...
MORET: How old was -- how old was your daughter at the time?
SATTERFIELD: Twelve and 13. They both were physicals, because she`s only gone twice for her physicals. She hasn`t gotten sick.
MORET: Well, so how do you feel about these allegations, when you`ve been going to this doctor for -- for a couple of years with two children, and then you hear that there are 16, possibly 100 alleged incidents? And you brought your kids. You trusted this doctor with your children`s safety, with their lives. How do you feel about this?
SATTERFIELD: I`m outraged. I`ve gone through a whole roller coaster of emotions, from shock to outrage to just disappointment, sadness. You know, worried. Because as a parent, you know, we`re supposed to protect our children. You know, and you think you`re doing the right thing.
You are doing the right thing. You`re taking your children to see the doctor, you know. And thinking you`re taking care of them. And for something like this to happen, it`s just -- I mean, it`s just almost unbelievable.
MORET: The medical board has suspended the doctor`s license. We`ve reached out to the doctor`s attorney. We`ve not heard back from the attorney. What are your thoughts about the license being suspended? Do you feel -- do you feel that your children in some way have been violated or betrayed?
SATTERFIELD: No. I do have some concern about my daughter, because from what I understand, he was -- he had cameras in some of the rooms. So you know, my...
MORET: Have you talked to your daughter about this?
SATTERFIELD: Yes, I have. She said, "Mom, you know, you were right there." We spoke about it clearly. You know, he hadn`t touched her, but it`s just my concern that, you know, someone was actually looking at her that way.
MORET: Well, so...
SATTERFIELD: That`s what hurts me and bothers me.
MORET: But do these allegations then ring true to you, based upon your experience with this doctor?
SATTERFIELD: Yes, definitely. And the building in the back, I mean, it`s just -- it`s a huge room, which he said that he intended to make his office. And he`s got -- I mean, everything you can think of. I mean, all kinds of rides and games. It`s just a mess back there.
MORET: Melissa, did you ever feel at anytime that the doctor was trying to take your children and separate you from them?
SATTERFIELD: No. No, my son would never have gone. But I have seen him carrying children around the office. And his staff...
MORET: So have you witnessed him...
SATTERFIELD: His staff had been -- his staff would just stay in the front. They were never in the rooms.
MORET: Have you ever witnessed him take a child into a room alone without a parent?
MORET: OK. So -- but you believe -- your gut feeling is that these charges are warranted, based upon what you know about the doctor...
MORET: ... even though you say you don`t feel like your children were violated?
SATTERFIELD: Yes. And I can understand how a parent would actually let their children go, because of the way the office is set up.
MORET: Well, explain that. Because you know, as a parent, I brought my kids into a doctor. I`ve never been separated from them. Explain why you think that`s reasonable.
SATTERFIELD: In the waiting area, he`s got rides. You know, and he`ll come out and he`ll put -- you know, he`ll put a coin in and, you know, he`s got a little movie theatre there. He`ll put on movies for them while they`re waiting.
When you walk in, in the back, there was three examination rooms. One of them was geared towards, like, the infants. It was a Winnie the Pooh room. He had a Little Mermaid room and a Pinocchio room. I was always in the Little Mermaid room.
But then he had another room, which was kind of like a closet size. It was painted black with glow-in-the-dark stickers with stars on the wall with a Buzz Lightyear ride. But I always went in with my son, because that`s just the way that I am.
But any other parent -- you know, like I said, I`ve seen him carrying children around, you know, the office. So any other parent would probably see nothing wrong with it. And think nothing of it because that`s the doctor, you know?
MORET: Melissa Satterfield, thank you very much for sharing your experience with us tonight.
SATTERFIELD: Thank you very much.
MORET: And we are learning -- we`re learning a great deal about Dr. Earl Bradley. Remember, he`s 56 years old, graduated Temple University Medical School in 1983.
In `94 he got his license to practice in Delaware. About ten years ago, he moved his practice to the 1,300-person town of Lewes.
Hours ago, the Delaware State Board of Medical Practice suspended his license. But that`s not the only state where he held a license. Last week, Pennsylvania suspended his inactive license. He`s also licensed in New Jersey and Florida. Neither of those states has taken action so far.
Shouldn`t there be a national database and a way of triggering an alert or a red flag when there`s any impropriety in a case like this? We`ve only got about 30 seconds before the break. We`re going to pick up on this after. But let me go to Robin Sax first, an attorney who specializes in these types of cases.
Are you -- are you surprised, first of all, at what this mom said? She didn`t feel her children were violated, but she did raise some questions about the examination of her daughter.
ROBIN SAX, AUTHOR, "PREDATORS AND CHILD MOLESTERS": I think what the doctor did was classic grooming. No better way to gain trust than starting the touching and the abuse with the parents right there. The parents aren`t noticing it. The silent cue to the kid is "This must be OK." That just lays the foundation for the doctor to come in and them take them away at some other point.
So just because she may not have been concerned at that day and that time doesn`t mean she may not have been as time went on.
MORET: OK. Our panelists are standing by, as we hope you are, as well. More on this disturbing case and the allegations right after this break.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. CATHLEEN LONDON, BOARD-CERTIFIED DOCTOR: The only time we separate small children from their -- whoever brings them in is if we`re concerned that there`s abuse in the house. And then there`s usually another adult present. So the whole story, it`s just -- how did this go on? Where were his office staff? How can six video cameras go unnoticed? It makes no sense. You know, we take an oath in med school that -- to first do no harm.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORET: That was Dr. Cathleen London speaking to us last night.
Tonight, major developments in this case against a small-town pediatrician accused of horrific serial child abuse against his patients, some as young as a month old.
Dr. Earl Bradley`s license to practice in Delaware, suspended. He`s currently behind bars on almost $3 million cash bail. His attorney has not responded to our request for comment.
Let`s go right out to our panel. Brian Russell psychologist and attorney. Shouldn`t there be some network, some red-flag system so that, in one state when there`s a red flag raised, people in other states know about it?
BRIAN RUSSELL, PSYCHOLOGIST AND ATTORNEY: Absolutely. Some state boards are good about reporting to other state boards where a person who`s a recipient of a complaint is licensed; some aren`t. There should be a national, streamlined system.
And I`m very interested, Jim, in the complaint history in this case. Medical boards and hospitals around the country send doctors to Lawrence, Kansas, to have their fitness to practice evaluated by my colleagues and me when there has been a complaint. And I just -- I have to hope that, had they done that a year ago when this guy first was in trouble, and maybe it was even previous to that, that we could have identified some proclivities that might have helped us spare some kids this horror. Like you said, it`s such a horrific abuse of trust.
MORET: Steve Rogers, detective lieutenant in the Nutley, New Jersey, Police Department. I want to make it clear that Steve Rogers is not one of the detectives on this case.
But Steve, I want to ask you, as a police officer, the police in this case have been gathering information for about a year. We know, based upon the allegations, that some of these videotapes were made just within the last few months. So some people are outraged, thinking that lives that are now ruined could have been spared this, had the charges been made Earlier. So what do you say to them?
STEVE ROGERS, DETECTIVE LIEUTENANT, NUTLEY, NEW JERSEY, POLICE DEPARTMENT: Well, I am troubled as they are. To a degree, I can understand the police not wanting their investigation compromised. However, our first and foremost job as law enforcement is to protect the people from being victimized by crime.
Here we`re talking about children. So maybe in retrospect, law enforcement is going to look at how they handled this and maybe should have done things a little bit differently.
MORET: Kevin Sullivan, criminal defense attorney, let`s say you represent this person, this doctor. You know, it`s a tough case to take, I`m sure, especially if you`re a parent. But what do you do first. And do you look at the way the investigation was handled and point the finger there?
KEVIN SULLIVAN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Jim, this is a tough case. The presumption of innocence is the bedrock of our society. But if you`re the defense attorney in this case, one of the things you may want to do is recommend to the family -- I don`t mean to make light of the situation -- that when they send him civilian clothes to wear back and forth to his court appearances, you include a bullet proof vest in that -- in those belongings, as well.
You have seen and heard the new face of evil, and it`s Earl Bradley.
MORET: Robin Sax, former prosecutor, you specialized in sex crimes. Are you outraged that police have been investigating this person for a year, but we`re now finding out about it and that some of these victims could have been spared?
SAX: I`m absolutely outraged. I mean, we look at the year of 2009 and sex crimes, and it seems to be the year of missed opportunities. We look at the Jaycee Dugard case and saw our law enforcement and parole fail children there, and particularly Jaycee Dugard.
And look at how many children -- I mean, how much corroboration do you need? I can understand, you know, waiting a week, waiting a couple of days. That does happen. But when you have that number of victims, there is no way that you wouldn`t have the need and urgency to have that person in custody right away.
MORET: We have a caller from California. Priscilla from California has a point to bring up. Priscilla, you`re on the air. Your question or comment?
CALLER: Hi, Jim, thank you for taking my call.
CALLER: Yes. This case reminds me of the McMartin pretrial case back in the `70s. And...
MORET: It was actually -- that case actually was in the late `80s, I believe.
MORET: And what happened in that case, there were about 300 charges that were filed, and nobody was ever convicted. And I guess that`s what your point is.
CALLER: Well, my point is, now how do I -- my grandson, who`s only 6, was sodomized from a second grader and done it to his other classmates. What is -- I want to know the -- tell-tale signs. And my point is, I`m upset.
I want the patients to ask their children, take 10, 15 minutes out of their day to ask their kids how they are, how it was in school, because it`s important. When I asked them, I got a question that took him right down to the Saderborough (ph) Police Department. So...
MORET: I`m going to go to Brian -- I`m going to go to Brian Russell right now for this. And I just want to make it very clear that McMartin is different than that case, because that case did go to trial. There were no convictions. There was also no videotape. And there appears to be in this case.
But Brian Russell, this caller asks about tell-tale signs. What would you say to a parent who`s concerned about this?
RUSSELL: Well, I would say that the caller is absolutely right, that every kid should be told what kinds -- they should be -- you know, in an age-appropriate way, at the earliest age, how to identify good touch/bad touch. At an older age, how to identify when folks are sort of -- how to identify boundaries and when folks are sort of invading those boundaries.
And so if that is -- if that`s not going on at school, or even if it is, I think it`s something that there`s a role for schools, there`s a role for parents at home, and there`s a role for health-care professionals. And certainly, this guy is not an example of that. But I think all of the adults who love and care about kids have a responsibility to help them learn where these boundaries are and how to identify when somebody is trying to cross them.
MORET: Steve Rogers, we have about 45 seconds before break. How do you proceed now as law enforcement to continue to gather evidence in this case, especially given the fact that some people in the community are a bit upset with the police?
ROGERS: Well, what they`re going to do is obviously confiscate all the video footage that they can. They`ll have forensic teams come in and speak to the parents and some of the older children who are involved, and then they`re going to probably have this guy get put away for many, many years to come.
MORET: OK, everybody. Stay right where you are. We are, of course, all over the story. We`ll continue after the break. How did this alleged nightmare go on for so long?
Plus, we have disturbing new details from Charlie Sheen`s latest arrest. His wife claims he put a knife to her neck and threatened her life. We`ll hear his side of the story and try to figure out what started this whole mess. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: My first reaction was thanks a lot to the United States Supreme Court for overturning the death penalty for child rapists. And I don`t even believe in the death penalty, but I kind of want to believe it in today, if you know what I mean.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORET: Welcome back. I`m Jim Moret from "Inside Edition," filling in tonight for Jane.
If Dr. Earl Bradley is ultimately found guilty, he faces life behind bars, but is that enough? Is that any kind of deterrent? Let`s go right now to Robin Sax, prosecutor, former D.A. and author of "Predators and Child Molesters."
Robin, you`ve got a lot of experience in this. Is this any kind of deterrent? I guess the short answer is no.
SAX: Unfortunately and sadly enough, for perpetrator, victims and all of us alike, it doesn`t seem to matter how harsh the possible penalties are. It doesn`t matter if there`s a sex registry or not. It doesn`t matter if people are counseled. People who are this sick, and I`m talking about in a case like Dr. Bradley`s. I`m not talking about every single sex offense case in the world, but this type of case, I don`t think anything is a deterrent.
RUSSELL: Hey, Jim, can I -- can I just jump in on the word "sick"? Because somebody -- somebody there in Delaware, an official, somebody in the authorities said that. Well, it looks like what we have here is a very mentally-ill person.
And yes, I`m sure that`s true. Pedophilia is the desire, obviously, to have these sexual interactions with kids. But if somebody just only had that, then they might be distraught. They might commit suicide. They might be depressed, whatever.
The people who do stuff like this guy have that plus psychopathy. The psychopathy is that sense of entitlement to go ahead and act on their demented urges, no matter how bad it hurts somebody else. That`s the very dangerous combination that I think we`re seeing here. Yes, mental illness, but coupled with psychopathy.
MORET: Plus -- plus, you`re clearly betraying a trust of parents bringing their child to a doctor.
Last week, the Delaware state attorney general was vocal about Dr. Bradley`s alleged victims. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BEAU BIDEN, DELAWARE STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL: This defendant is currently being held in prison on $2.9 million cash bond. He is no longer a threat to our children and to our community and to this county. We urge all concerned parents to contact the Delaware State Police victim services hotline at 1-800-VICTIM-1.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORET: The question on everyone`s mind tonight is whether law enforcement put the safety of Dr. Bradley`s alleged victims in jeopardy in order to preserve the integrity of their investigation. We touched on this a bit earlier.
Keith Sullivan, attorney, what do you think in this case? It just -- it bothers me that, just on the face of it, to think of patients continuing to go to this doctor while police have a very strong suspicion of wrongdoing.
SULLIVAN: Jim, I think about all of the innocence of all those childrens [SIC] -- children who were lost over the past year while this investigation was taking place. What they should have done was act with surgical accuracy and lightning speed and swiftly got in and made a determination.
At some point in time, they should have notified the medical board much sooner than a year ago. And this suspension, by the way, today of his license is a joke. The guy`s incarcerated. He`s not practicing medicine. What they should have done was taken decisive action like the Pennsylvania board did a week ago.
And, since everyone is touching on this issue of insanity and sickness, as a criminal defense attorney, you would have to consider the insanity defense.
MORET: Thank you to my great -- thank you to my great panel. I`m sorry, we`re out of time.
Coming up, Susan Powell has been missing for three weeks. Now cops are keeping clues away from the public. So is this a positive sign for the investigation? Could cops be closing in on a suspect? Those answers up ahead.
MORET: Massive new leads pouring in, in the desperate search for Susan Powell. The Utah mother vanished more than three weeks ago, so why are the police keeping new information away from the public? What did they find inside the Powell home?
Plus, shocking new insight into Charlie Sheen`s Christmas arrest; we now have the police report detailing his alleged knockdown-drag out fight with his wife. She claims he held a knife to her neck and threatened to have her killed. And that`s just the beginning. Is their marriage completely finished?
Welcome back, I`m Jim Moret from "Inside Edition" sitting in for Jane Velez-Mitchell.
Tonight it`s access denied in the case of missing Utah mom, Susan Powell. That`s right, cops have sealed the search warrants that could contain a list of critical items seized from Josh Powell`s home and van. The secret paperwork also reportedly has details about blood and other biological samples from Josh Powell.
Police say Powell is a person of interest in his wife Susan`s disappearance. She was reported missing December 7th. Josh said he took their sons who are two and four years old on a camping trip in the middle of the night in freezing temperatures, only to find that Susan had vanished when he came back home days later. Powell appeared to be distraught.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSH POWELL, SUSAN POWELL`S HUSBAND: Any help to try to find her would be appreciated. So it really -- that`s all. We just -- she`s somewhere.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORET: That seemingly distraught Josh isn`t necessarily consistent with recent reports of a rocky relationship with his wife.
Several of Susan`s friends confirm to the Salt Lake Tribune that she sent them e-mails in which she said she was worried about Josh kidnapping their children, even going so far as to voice concern that her boys would think she committed suicide if she turned up dead.
Another family friend was dubious of Josh`s demeanor in the days following Susan`s disappearance and he spoke out to NBC News about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TIM PETERSON, POWELL FAMILY FRIEND: If it was me and my wife was missing, I would be going out of my mind. And he just sat there with this blank stare on his face and said well, the police are dealing with that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORET: Meanwhile, we`re left to wonder why law enforcement has put the cabash on sealing the search warrant affidavits. Could this lead to more speculation about what`s in them?
More of what we do know in a moment, but first, back to my expert panel: prosecutor Robin Sax; forensic psychologist and attorney Brian Russell; police detective Steve Rogers; and joining me now Michelle Sigona, investigative reporter and founder of the Web site MichelleSigona.com.
Michelle what`s the latest?
MICHELLE SIGONA, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: The very latest in this case is about an hour ago I just got off the phone with the Captain McLaughlin (ph) and he said that they are still receiving a lot of leads on Susan Powell`s case. They are prioritizing those leads. They are going out; they are searching various areas to be able to rule tips in and out.
So that`s -- this is a good sign that we`re three weeks into this investigation and that leads are still being called in. At this point, he still believes that Josh Powell is visiting family members in Washington State with both of his sons. And they are still moving forward in this case, as Josh Powell only being a person of interest. He has not graduated to becoming a suspect at this point.
And last week, the assistant chief did confirm to me that there are other persons of interest in the case. But investigators have not come forward to name those particular persons of interest. As far as the search warrants that you mentioned, Jim, they are filed with the court and usually made public after 20 days of the filing.
And so when this motion came forward, to be able to seal those documents what is known to be inside of them are usually statements from police and things that are very close -- very sensitive to this particular investigation. I can tell you, five search warrants have been served total; three on the home, one on Josh Powell for his DNA and one for the family mini-van.
MORET: Michelle, a lot of information there, but when you talk about other potential persons of interest, does that necessarily exclude Josh Powell? Or are they looking at these other people in addition to Josh Powell as a person of interest?
SIGONA: To my understanding they are looking at these folks, these other people in addition to Josh Powell. So no one has been ruled in, no one has been ruled out at this point. And we`re still working off of the persons of interest term. And so again, no one has been named a suspect. But we don`t know if that`s going to come forward in the future.
MORET: Robin Sax as a former prosecutor, you look at this case in this stage and it`s impossible not to think back on the Peterson case, the Scott Peterson case. He was a person of interest and we want to point out that that`s all Josh Powell is right now, a person of interest. But there are some strange and odd similarities between these cases.
ROBIN SAX, PROSECUTOR: Yes. There appears to be more than just a bunch of coinkidinks (ph) right now. But what you`re looking at is access denied here, maybe evidence preserved. Inside those search warrants are the theories that the police have; investigators` suspicions in terms of how the crime went down.
And if there are multiple people involved, putting the information out there for everybody to have tends to water down the believability and credibility of any future investigative tools that come out later on.
So good for the police on keeping it tight lipped at this point. And all we are left to do is speculate and right now, the stuff that we`re looking at is pretty damming stuff.
MORET: Steve Rogers, as an investigator, do you want to keep this information under wraps because its information that only presumably the victim and the perpetrator would know?
STEVE ROGERS, DETECTIVE LT. NUTLEY, NJ POLICE DEPARTMENT: Absolutely. The police are doing a superb job in connecting the dots. They have a 20- day window and indeed this means they`re closing in on a suspect. So this has to be kept under wraps. And don`t be surprised if in the next 20 days you`re going to see a suspect.
MORET: And Brian Russell, how do you see this case unfolding? Anything standing out to you as unusual given the fact that police are now trying to get new information but keeping a lid on it?
BRIAN RUSSELL, FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGIST & ATTORNEY: Well, another reason that they might not want to release what`s in those search warrants is they might not want him to be able to prepare that 4-year-old for what to say to the police when -- because I think the 4-year-old could hold the key to some of this.
Also you said that he seems distraught. He doesn`t seem distraught to me, but even if he is, that could be distraught because his wife disappeared, that could be distraught because he thinks he`s about to get caught or that could distraught because he feels guilty. You don`t know what that emotion is if it`s genuine which I don`t think it is. I haven`t seen what looks to me like genuine emotion out of this guy.
MORET: Well, you talk about Josh Powell`s activities. His camping stories has raised eyebrows from the time a local reporter caught up with him about three days after Susan was reported missing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
POWELL: A lot of times I just go camping with my boys. You know, not anything big. I just go overnight. And we do smores (ph) and stuff like that. And so I just went with the boys. I was planning to do some smores in the morning. And then when we got home and on the way home, found out that people were worried about us and that we are missing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORET: Police have more questions, they wanted to know where Josh Powell was going in a car he rented. During the 24-hour period when it was being processed for evidence, he reportedly put hundreds of miles on it. There`s also the matter of a prepaid cell phone that he reportedly used during his alleged road trip.
Do police have that phone? Do they have phone records of that from the various pings on the cell towers? We simply don`t know at this time. And that of course brings us back to the sealed search warrants.
Would the public be better served if we had access to the information contained within them? Would that give us a better context? Robin Sax, your point of view?
SAX: I don`t believe at this juncture that we need from the public point of view any more information in terms of how Josh Powell has behaved, in terms of how his behavior is bizarre. And 20 days isn`t asking the public to wait all that long in terms of figuring that -- letting law enforcement do their job.
Remember, we here in the media want to assist law enforcement and be able to benefit investigation, not inhibit it. So I don`t think that there`s any disservice at this point.
MORET: Last week on ISSUES, Jane asked a veteran polygraph expert about whether Josh Powell should submit to one of those controversial polygraph tests. Listen to what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DOUG WILLIAMS, POLYGRAPH EXPERT: Of course he should from the investigators` standpoint because a polygraph basically just a thinly- disguised excuse to get a person in the hand of a very well-trained interrogator.
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN ANCHOR: So they use the polygraph as sort of an instrument, an investigative tool to ask him questions...
WILLIAMS: Absolutely, it`s a psychological Billy club that will coerce a confession out of the dull and ignorant. And any lawyer that has any brains at all is going to say stay away from that thing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORET: Well, clearly early in this investigation we have to give Josh Powell the benefit of the doubt. He is, as far as we know, nothing more than a so-called person of interest. Steve Rogers, what is your take on this lie detector technology. Who benefits from it?
ROGERS: Well, the police certainly benefit from it. We`re talking about trained investigators who know how to use polygraphs and what these indicators are. The only drawback is I`ve heard where habitual liars and people who are pathological liars can defeat these tests. We don`t know that at this point if he`s that type of individual, but they are very helpful as far as an investigative tool is concerned.
MORET: And Brian Russell, do you see this playing out into the -- police are being tight-lipped here. We just said that was a bad move in the earlier case we were talking about with the doctor. In this case you think it`s a good strategy?
RUSSELL: Well, we have to keep in mind that if this guy killed his wife and the public is best served by having him be convicted. So I think the tight-lipped strategy right now is in aid of that. And I agree it would be nice here for us in the media to be able to have more details that we could talk about. But for now it`s probably the best strategy for law enforcement.
MORET: Thanks to our terrific guests, we really appreciate your time.
There`s no doubt the Tiger Woods sex scandal could cost him millions of dollar, but he`s not the only one. Could his alleged infidelity actually affect your wallet?
And did talks of divorce spark the fight between Charlie Sheen and his wife? What`s next for the Hollywood couple? And what actually happened on Christmas morning? We`ve got the police report. We want to hear from you on this one. Give us a call 1-877-JVM SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHARLIE SHEEN, ACTOR: We love each other and want to hang out until we die. Doesn`t that sound romantic? Hang out until we die.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you say about that, Brooke? What`s it like being this guy -- going to marry Charlie Sheen?
SHEEN: She doesn`t have words for...
BROOKE MUELLER, CHARLIE SHEEN`S WIFE: I don`t -- it`s too much.
SHEEN: For such a feeling.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORET: Welcome back. I`m Jim Moret from "Inside Edition" filling in tonight for Jane Velez-Mitchell.
What`s next for Charlie Sheen? He was arrested on Christmas morning charged with abuse. Now there`s rumors he`s heading for divorce court. That`s next.
But first, tonight`s "Top of the Block". It started as a fender bender in his driveway, but now the Tiger Woods sex scandal is impacting Wall Street. The Tiger Woods empire is basically crashing to the ground and the financial fallout is simply unbelievable. His sexual affair has cost investors billions of dollars.
According to research at the University of California, companies that Woods endorsed lost as much as $12 billion in stock value. Companies like EA Sports, Nike and Gatorade were hit the hardest.
Woods was making about $110 million a year in endorsements. It`s probably safe to say Tiger is going to have to do some major image repair before he can start collecting those paychecks again.
And that is tonight`s "Top of the Block".
Turning now to shocking new details about Charlie Sheen`s domestic violence arrest: the actor spent much of Christmas day in jail following a nasty fight with his wife Brooke Mueller.
We now have a copy of the police report. She told officers Charlie straddled her on their bed, placed a knife next to her threat, put his other hand around her throat. Brooke says she was afraid she was going to die. Charlie allegedly told her, quote, "You better be in fear. If you tell anyone, I`ll kill you. I have ex-police I can hire who know how to get the job done and they won`t leave any trace."
Charlie Sheen denies threatening his wife with a knife or strangling her. He told the officers he and Brooke are having marital problems and that she abuses alcohol. Charlie claims their fight escalated when Brooke threatened to divorce him and take away their infant twin sons.
RadarOnline is reporting that she met with a divorce attorney before the Christmas day blow-up.
I want to welcome back Brian Russell; also joining me, Darren Kavinoky, criminal defense attorney; and Bonnie Fuller, editor-in-chief of Hollywoodlife.com.
Bonnie, let me start with you. What can you tell us about the divorce rumors?
BONNIE FULLER, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, HOLLYWOODLIFE.COM: I think there`s good evidence that she did go and see a divorce attorney, otherwise, I don`t think that this would have -- that this whole argument would have escalated.
And at Hollywoodlife.com, we actually have new information that the couple is being investigated by the L.A. Family Services Division because of this situation. And that they could be in danger of even losing temporary custody of their children.
MORET: Well, as we understand it, the Colorado authorities that were first to be notified and that is a matter of course, whenever there are allegations of domestic violence in a home. And that, as you said, could leak over for Charlie Sheen into Los Angeles where he has two children with his former wife.
Darren Kavinoky, criminal defense attorney, when you hear the specificity of these allegations, does that trouble you, if you were to represent Charlie Sheen in this case?
DARREN KAVINOKY, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I think Charlie Sheen`s lawyers actually have quite a bit to work with, Jim. There`s a few factors at play. First of all, it`s been widely reported that Brooke was under the influence of alcohol that morning and, in fact, had an alcohol level of a 0.13 at approximately 8:45 that morning. So that would be put her at significantly higher levels at the time of the incident.
Obviously, people who are under the influence of alcohol can still be crime victims, but it`s important to note that with alcohol consumption, when you`re at that level of intoxication, you expect significant impairment and that includes impairment in the ability to understand, to perceive and to relate events. So that`s going to be a problem.
Another one is going to be her recanting. Brooke later changed her story prior to Charlie`s bail hearing where she took back some of her stories. It`s a well-settled proposition that a witness who is untruthful in one area is to be distrusted in others.
And so here we have these two competing stories. There isn`t necessarily good reason to believe one over the other. So that`s going to be a big problem.
The other thing that really is a red flag to me is that the police report mentioned there were other people in the home, yet there`s no mention at all about them being interviewed or what kinds of evidence they may have to offer here. That tells me that they may not have seen or heard anything. And that would be inconsistent with Brooke`s story. So there`s an awful lot for defense lawyers to start peeling away at here. This is hardly a slam dunk for the prosecution.
MORET: I appreciate that insight Darren. I was disturbed by that fact too because we know on the 911 call, we heard that there were people supposedly separating this couple.
Let`s hear Charlie`s side of the story right now. Charlie Sheen denies threatening Brooke, strangling her or putting a knife to her throat. He does admit that the fight got physical though. Sheen told police that he and Brooke slapped each other on the arms and that he took two of her eyeglasses and broke them in front of her.
Brooke told a different story to the 911 operator. Listen.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
MUELLER: My husband had me -- with a knife. I`m scared for my life and he threatened me.
911 OPERATOR: Ok. Are you guys separated right now?
MUELLER: Yes, right now we have people that are separating us but I have to file the report or else...
911 OPERATOR: Are there other people there? Does he still have the knife?
MUELLER: Yes, he still does.
911 OPERATOR: What`s your name?
911 OPERATOR: And what`s your husband`s name?
MUELLER: Charlie Sheen.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
MORET: According to the police report, Charlie showed officers a knife that he kept in a travel bag. It was just outside the bedroom where the fight happened and that it was in an unlocked position.
There`s more on the other side of the break. We have to take a short break right now. We`ll be back with our panelists right after this.
SHEEN: We love each other and want to hang out until we die. Doesn`t that sound romantic? Yes, hang out until we die.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you say about that, Brooke? What is it like being with this guy -- going to marry Charlie Sheen?
SHEEN: She doesn`t have words...
MUELLER: I don`t. It`s too much.
SHEEN: ... for such a feeling.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORET: That was Charlie Sheen and his wife Brooke back in happier times. With allegations of domestic violence, death threats and alcohol abuse, you have to wonder if this marriage can survive.
Back to my guests right now. Bonnie Fuller, what do you make of, first of all, that was an odd choice of words, we`re going to stay together till we die then you hear these alleged death threats against Brooke that she is making; Charlie, of course denying. There is some talk that she`s already seen a defense -- sorry, strike that -- a divorce attorney.
FULLER: Yes. Apparently she has, and she mentioned this during their argument and that`s how the argument escalated because she told Charlie that she was going to divorce him and that she wanted to take the two children. And both of them mentioned this in the affidavit.
Now, the other thing is that she did have red marks around her neck and that is consistent with what she said about being choked by Charlie.
DAVINOKY: If I may...
MORET: Hold on. That is true and it was in the police report, but paramedics were apparently called, nobody received any medical attention.
So Brian Russell, as a defense attorney, where does that really fall? Do you feel good for one side or the other?
RUSSELL: Well, you know, I have to put on both hats here. As an attorney, I think you have to look at history and this guy -- we`ve got a history here with this guy. On the other hand, he`s innocent until proven guilty.
Darren is absolutely right. We have intoxication apparently involved on her side. I think that as a psychologist, I can tell you the tendency to recant, that this recanting that she did, that is typical in spousal abuse cases where the spouse thinks, "Well, what will I lose if I lose the marriage, et cetera?"
As a psychologist -- sort of to bring the show full circle -- I`m most concerned here about the kids. Because both the propensity to get enraged and get violent and a propensity to be drunk around little kids are both -- neither one of these folks sounds like parent of the year to me.
KAVINOKY: Sure, but as to that last point, it`s very interesting, because I think the divorce proceedings and specifically the issue about child custody actually helps the defense position that all of this could be fabricated or embellished so that Brooke could gain some advantage -- some tactical advantage in the family court action.
The other thing you mentioned the red marks on her throat earlier, it`s quite interesting in that affidavit that was released, the first officer on the seen notes that he looked at Brooke and didn`t notice any obvious signs of injury. It was only later in a conversation that these red marks were observed.
That throat area is typically something investigators are looking at right away in these domestic violence allegations. It seems a little bit odd to me and I think that`s something that we need more information. Certainly those kinds of red marks could be self-inflicted.
Again, we don`t know this. We`re reading some tea leaves here, but it could be part of embellishing or fabricating a story and given the...
MORET: Darren, I`m sorry -- we`re out of time Darren.
Darren Kavinoky, Brian Russell, Bonnie Fuller. Thank you to my terrific panel tonight.
FULLER: Thank you.
MORET: I`m Jim Moret from "Inside Edition" filling in tonight for Jane.
Please, check out my new inspirational book. It`s called "The Last Day of My Life" available now online and in bookstores everywhere.