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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL
Supporters Rally around Teen Accused of Beating; Captive Lion Attacks Trainer
Aired September 8, 2010 - 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, defending a monster. A young man accused of brutally beating Josie Ratley nearly to death. Cops say he stomped her on the head and face, leaving her with permanent brain damage. Tonight, as this young woman fights for her life, a group of the suspect`s supporters are now campaigning for him, in the hopes he gets off easy, claiming he`s a victim, too. Is this outrageous, or was he a ticking time bomb?
Also, the war on women rips through college campuses. Horrifying news, people. One out of every four college women will be raped before they graduate. I will talk one on one with a brave young woman who survived a rape, and now she is fighting back. Tonight, what every parent needs to know.
Plus, a mock torture video filmed inside a police station. Cops used tasers, night vision and handcuffs pretending to force a terrorist confession from a stuffed animal head. Are these guys nuts? And should they really be the ones with the power to arrest us, given this behavior?
ISSUES starts now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, new outrage over a vicious beating that nearly ended a girl`s life. Does the boy accused of trying to murder Josie Ratley also deserve our sympathy?
Fifteen-year-old Wayne Treacy is accused of stomping on Josie`s head. Cops say he kicked her repeatedly and stomped on her with steel-toed boots. It all happened at a Florida bus stop back in March.
Cops say the two teens exchanged some nasty text messages before the attack. Josie suffered horrific -- and I mean horrific -- injuries, including permanent brain damage. And yet tonight, a growing group of people are coming to the suspect`s defense, saying, that given that he`s only 15 years old, he is a victim, too. About 100 of them or more are on a Facebook page called The Wayne Treacy Support Group. They think this kid deserves a second chance.
Listen to the teenage suspect just hours after the attack.
WAYNE TREACY, ACCUSED OF ATTACKING JOSIE RATLEY: I`m a monster. I`m a monster.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Supporters say Wayne Treacy was devastated over the suicide of his older brother, who was a father figure to him. So why didn`t he get psychological counseling after he discovered his dead brother swinging from a tree? Should this boy serve life behind bars for the vicious beating he gave this young girl?
Call me: 1-877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877-586-7297.
Straight out to my expert panel. We begin with law enforcement analyst Mike Brooks.
Mike, what is your reaction to this organized support for this violent young suspect?
MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, first of all, 100 people on Facebook, Jane, you can get that in an hour. I`m not -- I don`t put any credence behind that.
He`s behind bars. He should go to trial just like anyone else.
And, you know, anybody can have sympathizers. Do I have any sympathy for this kid after he did to her? Because we covered that on HLN on prime news for a number of nights. None whatsoever.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I want to go to Jason Rubin. He is a member of the support group, the Wayne Treacy support group on Facebook. You`re also -- have an interesting background with the suspect. You were his second- grade teacher, apparently?
A lot of people, you just heard -- you just heard Mike Brooks, HLN law enforcement analyst, outraged that there`s support for someone who committed this kind of a vicious, violent attack. What`s your side of the story, and how do you defend it?
JASON RUBIN, WAYNE TREACY SUPPORTER (via phone): Well, I do -- I can see the other side of the story where they don`t support him. But there`s the other side where she does have the support, because, yes, he is being tried as an adult. He is below the age of 18. So he does need the support on his side.
They`re both victims in this case. My heart definitely does go out for Josie`s family. And of course, Josie. But Wayne also needs the support as well. He, you know, had one incident in his life that is going to scar his future, as well. I mean, and Josie`s future is scarred, as well. But for a 15-year-old to be tried as an adult, there needs to be other options.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well -- wow. Mark Eiglarsh, criminal defense attorney, that seems to be the crux of the issue. He is being tried as an adult, and that means that he could go to prison for the rest of his life.
Now, Florida is famous for trying teenagers as adults. You`re a Florida attorney. Your reaction to that, that he -- this is the argument, he should be tried as a juvenile?
MARK EIGLARSH, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, it`s not going to happen here in South Florida. I practice in Broward County, where this case is being heard. They`re particularly tough, and this is a particularly brutal crime. And he`s not 12.
The question is, what should happen to him now? And just because people are supporting him, doesn`t mean they endorse what he did. I think everybody universally believes this was a horrible crime. The question is, what do you do in terms of mitigation?
He`s 15 years old. And again, I`m not defending him, but these are things that you would bring forward. He`s 15 years old. He was suffering posttraumatic stress disorder. Children 15 years of age do not have frontal lobe full development. That`s the portion of the brain that governs reason. These are all factors that the court can consider and/or the prosecutors can consider in offering him maybe less than life, maybe 40, maybe 30, maybe 20, maybe 10. These are the issues that need to be fleshed out.
BROOKS: And Mark, you know what? We just had the Rebecca Wade sentencing just the other day on "In Session," and the judge said the same thing you just did, Mark, about the development of the brain, and as hers wasn`t totally developed. And that`s why he did not give her life in prison like he could have. He gave her 27 years.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me give you my big issue on this. Because yes, this was a boy who was traumatized because he discovered his older brother, who was a father figure, swinging from a tree, having committed suicide.
But in general, I have to ask, are we conditioning, creating a nation of ticking time bombs? You know, our society is basically training kids to use violence to solve their personal problems.
This is a shocking statistic. By the age of 18, an American child will have seen 200,000 agents of violence and 40,000 murders on television, movies and video games.
Now, listen to this suspect, Wayne Treacy, as he is confronted in the police station with what he`s done.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TREACY: I started stomping on her face on the ground and kicked her in the head a few times. And...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you have any idea how many times you did it?
TREACY: No, it just went blurry. I don`t know. Everything just kind of disappeared, and I was on the ground.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When did it disappear?
TREACY: Like as soon as -- like I walked up to her, and I just -- I don`t know what happened after that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, obviously, Wayne Treacy could have used some conflict resolution skills. This is a girl who apparently texted something that he took offense to about his dead brother.
We don`t teach children how to respond with nonviolence. This country incarcerates more people than any other nation in the world, and yet we are not addressing the underlying problems that make people violent.
Cheryl Arutt, you`re a forensic psychologist. Are we breeding a nation of ticking time bombs?
CHERYL ARUTT, FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, there -- there are a lot of things in society that are exposing our kids to more violence. That part is definitely true.
But this is a situation where Wayne really did have a really horrific event happen just before this. I know it`s very easy to look at this in black and white. But it really does make sense that both of these kids are victims here.
And he perpetrated this crime. But it sounds to me like he did it in a really disassociated state.
And this point about how the pre-frontal lobes of the brain are not fully developed until the age of 25, actually, and that those parts of the brain can go completely offline when people are overwhelmed by things like trauma, I think we need to learn how to teach affect regulation and teach people how to not enact their...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re not teaching any of that in school. We`re not teaching...
ARUTT: They need to be.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... reading, writing and arithmetic. Oh, yes, I believe in that. But I also believe 45 minutes a week to teach kids how to respond to problems that every teenager -- you know, come on, they all interact. They all -- their hormones are raging.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s a time when their -- their ideals are being developed, their role models are being developed.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is a time to teach them nonviolent conflict resolution. But we don`t.
EIGLARSH: Jane, how about we teach the audience a simple equation? A child seeing a brother that he loves hanging from a tree equals therapy. Can we all get our hands around that, regardless of what side we`re on? Can we agree that that requires immediate attention?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Sure. But here`s the rub on that. He was offered therapy. He was offered psychological counseling. And he refused. And his parents didn`t force him to go.
BROOKS: Well, that`s -- there you go. The parents.
EIGLARSH: There`s your problem. There`s your problem.
BROOKS: Thank you.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mike Brooks.
ARUTT: The stigma about therapy, I think it`s a very, very big problem for a lot of people. There is a new evidence-based short-term trauma therapy for PTSD called EMDR that is highly effective and incredibly rapid. And if more people knew about it, these things would not be happening.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, on the other side of the break, you`re going to hear from the stepfather of this kid. And you will not believe -- it really is shocking what the stepfather of this kid told him after he attacked her, basically giving him an "atta boy." You listen for yourself and decide.
And we`re taking your calls on this. They`re lighting up. We`ll get to them on the other side of the break. That`s 1-877-JVM-SAYS.
Plus, a shocking video showing Indiana cops mocking a terrorist torture session. Was this their idea of a joke? If so, it was a very bad joke.
But first, Josie Ratley`s attacker left her hospitalized with severe brain damage, nearly dead. So why are more than 100 people feeling sympathy for him now?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TREACY: I know I`d give anything to take that day back. I can`t believe I hurt somebody like that. But that doesn`t make me feel any better. It doesn`t make life get any less worse.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You texted how you were going to do it before you even did it. Do you understand what I`m saying to you, Wayne?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So are you sorry for what you did?
TREACY: Why do you think I`ve been crying?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, then why don`t you tell me the full truth and make me believe it?
TREACY: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) believe it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. He`s even a little smart aleck-y with the detective there. Wayne Treacy says he is truly sorry, however, for savagely beating Josie Ratley last March. She spent months in the hospital and now has permanent brain damage.
Wayne Treacy sent text messages before and after the attack that indicate he knew exactly what he was doing. So why does he deserve our compassion?
Phone lines lighting up.
Gina, Maryland, your question or thought.
CALLER: Hi, Jane. I just -- you know, I kind of have a thought on kids in general. You know, I just think it starts from home. It seems like kids nowadays are just -- they`re ruthless. You know?
My daughter started college last week, her first year of college. I had to pull her out eight days later because she was bullied by the same girls that bullied her for the last two years of her high school.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Lucky, because we`re going to cover a story later here on ISSUES that says that she has a very good chance of being sexually assaulted in college. One out of every four female students are being sexually assaulted in college. This is a shocker. We`re going to get to that in a little bit. But yes, it`s part of the violence of our society.
And I agree. It gets back to the parents.
Now, the teen suspect, Wayne Treacy`s biological dad, he`s racked up more than 40 arrests in Florida since 1981. This dad has been in and out of prison most of his son`s life. And that`s why Wayne`s older brother had turned into a father figure.
Now, the suspect`s step-dad, well, you can decide whether he`s fit to be anybody`s father figure. Listen to what he said to his stepson in jail after the boy was arrested for this vicious assault.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The average human being would have did the same thing. She texted you this, and you text back, and then one of her texts says, "You make me giggle." You know how I feel now, don`t you? Do I have to say it? She ain`t giggling now, is she? I`m telling you, bro, I got more hatred towards her and her mother than you had the day you did what you did.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, that, in my opinion, is totally sick.
EIGLARSH: That is. Mr. Tough Guy. There`s no defending that.
BROOKS: No, not at all, Mark, none.
RUBIN: That comment can easily be taken out of context. It should be taken in a sense that he is actually being the father figure, and telling him what he did was wrong. And obviously that she`s not giggling now because of what Wayne did.
EIGLARSH: No, no, no!
VELEZ-MITCHELL: No. We all heard the same thing. I`m going to toss it to Mark Eiglarsh.
Your analysis of what the stepfather said.
EIGLARSH: Well, I mean, there`s no defense at all to that. Clearly, there`s no responsibility being taken for his actions at that point. And the stepfather`s giving him a platform not to accept responsibility.
This, again, adds to the equation as to why this kid was a recipe for failure, a recipe for disaster. He didn`t have his biological father in the picture.
And again, I`m not in any way defending what -- what he did. But you knew that something horrible was eventually going to happen when he doesn`t get the required therapy, when no one forced the kid to get help after seeing a traumatic event.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And when violence is being applauded in his family as a solution.
EIGLARSH: Absolutely, yes.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Rafael Olmeda, you`re a reporter with the newspaper down there, the "Sun-Sentinel." What is the reaction in the community to this support group, given that this community has really poured out its heart to the victim?
RAFAEL OLMEDA, REPORTER, "SUN-SENTINEL": I think it`s really -- it`s a matter of perspective. We have the Wayne Treacy support group. It`s got about 100 people in it. The Josie Lou Ratley support groups and those pages have thousands and thousands of people. So it`s not even close.
And a lot of people listened to Wayne Treacy describe himself as a monster, and they flat-out agree with him.
This -- I did with this story was I tried to show that not everybody feels this is a monster, that some people say this is a kid. A kid who did something awful. A kid who did something that`s going to scar somebody else for the rest of her life. And in a different way is going to scar himself for the rest of his life. But still, nonetheless, a child.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Treacy reportedly refused to go to psychological counseling following his brother`s suicide. And the parents didn`t force him. Well, you heard the stepfather.
BROOKS: The step-dad finally though, "Oh, you`d be a sissy if went and got some help."
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Exactly. I mean, listen, the stepfather is invited on anytime to tell his side of the story. But -- but a guy who has that mentality is probably not going to encourage -- may well not encourage.
BROOKS: Of course not.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But after he attacked Josie, Wayne Treacy talked to his mom in the interrogation room. Listen to this. Fascinating stuff.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONNA POWERS, MOTHER OF WAYNE TREACY: You just ruined your life. Attempted murder? What were you thinking, babe?
TREACY: I don`t know. She said something about Mike. She knew he was dead, and I lost it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I got to say, Cheryl Arutt, psychologist, part of it is our texting culture. Kids don`t talk to each other, and when they text, you can`t tell an expression. You can`t tell whether they`re kidding.
BROOKS: That`s right.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s never in context.
ARUTT: That`s true. You get the lyrics about the music.
ARUTT: You get the lyrics without the music. When you -- when you`re texting, it`s so disconnected, and it`s as if you only get part of the communication. You don`t get the emotional resonance about what someone means. You don`t have a moment to step back and realize, "Oh, this is getting overheated. Let`s calm down."
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Got to go. Thank you, fantastic panel.
Up next, a captive lion in Las Vegas takes a nibble out of his trainer. Ugh. We`ll cover that in a moment.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, the video is harrowing, but sadly, what`s going on in the video, no surprise at all.
A 400-pound lion lashes out at a trainer and chomps on the guy`s leg. It`s all caught on video by a tourist at the MGM Hotel and Casino. The trainer will be OK. But how many times is this going to happen before we realize keeping animals in captivity for entertainment is a bad idea?
Straight out to Ryan Huling, senior campaign coordinator for PETA.
Thank you for joining us, Ryan. Are humans to blame for this lion attack, and if so, why?
RYAN HULING, SENIOR CAMPAIGN COORDINATOR, PETA: Absolutely. I mean, we`ve seen this time and time again. You have lions who, in nature, would be roaming freely over areas thousands of times larger than what they`re getting at the MGM or any other confined environment.
And so as a result, you have animals that are stressed, they`re frustrated, and they`re lashing out in a wide variety of ways, whether it`s through self-mutilation, or pacing neurotically in their cages, or of course, attacking any human beings who happen to be a little too close. These animals are ticking time bombs, and they are dangerous to both themselves and to humans, as well.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And as you mentioned, this isn`t the first horrific story of a captive animal attacking a human trainer. We all remember the white tiger that viciously attacked Roy Horn during a 2003 show at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas. Now Roy survived, but he was very badly injured.
And of course, more recent, Tilly, the whale, attacked a SeaWorld trainer. The results there, deadly. Tilly reportedly grabbed the trainer by the ponytail, dragged her to the bottom of the pool twice.
As you just say, animals in captivity because they`re frustrated and suffering.
This is what MGM Grand had to say. Quote, "The MGM Grand lion habitat helps build public appreciation for lions and other animals, providing an opportunity for many who would otherwise never have an opportunity to see a lion close up."
What is your reaction to that justification?
HULING: Well, it`s simply not the case. And as you mentioned, this is something we`ve seen time and time again. Of course, we had the orca situation at SeaWorld earlier this year. Just last month, we saw a grizzly bear at a zoo in Ohio killing a keeper there. The list is getting longer and longer and longer.
So it`s time for us to take these animals out of captivity. We`re hoping the MGM will make the wise decision to shut down this exhibit and keep these animals in their natural environments.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, but generally businesses that use animals for profit don`t make that kind of change unless it`s a business decision. Ultimately, isn`t this a consumer issue, and what would you suggest that consumers do if they don`t appreciate how these lions are being kept?
HULING: You`re absolutely right. I mean, this is something that consumers have all the power in. We`re hoping that they will boycott any situation where animals, either exotic or domestic, are being kept in these confusing, artificial environments, because it is harmful to the animals, and it`s potentially dangerous to humans, as well.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So don`t go to see it. And I`ve said it many times. I`m not a supporter of circuses either. It`s all part of the same system.
Essentially, ten seconds, follow the money when it comes to animal exploitation, Ryan?
HULING: Absolutely. You`re absolutely right. And people who want to learn more information about why animals should not be kept in these captive environments should visit PETA.org, P-E-T-A dot org, to learn more about what they can do to help.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We can all be part of the solution, because one thing we can all agree on: those animals cannot speak for themselves. They can roar, but they can`t talk English. Ryan, thank you so much.
The war on women rages on. One in four women in college will be raped before they graduate. Tonight, we`ll talk with a survivor.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: The war on women rips through college campuses. Horrifying news, one out of every four college women will be raped before they graduate. I`ll talk one on one with a brave young woman who survived a rape and now she`s fighting back. Tonight, what every parent needs to know.
Plus, a mock torture video filmed inside a police station. Cops used tasers, night vision and handcuffs pretending to force a terrorist confession from a stuffed animal head? Are these men nuts? And given this behavior, should they really be the ones with the power to arrest us?
A beautiful young co-ed commits suicide after a hellish night allegedly filled with torture and gang-rape. Tonight: stunning breaking news in the war on women. This innocent young woman is just one out of thousands of female students being attacked on college campuses. Parents out there, you need to hear this information.
A head-spinning new investigation reveals -- are you sitting down -- one out of every four female college students will be raped before they graduate. That`s one out of four. That`s an outrage.
Pretty freshman Megan Wright was at a party in her dorm. She thought she was safe. That party turned into a total nightmare.
Take a look at this bone-chilling surveillance video obtained by ABC`s "Nightline". There you see Megan. She is stumbling down a hallway. We`ve blurred the faces of the other people involved because -- well, we`ll get into it. It`s an unbelievable story. She`s led into different rooms by a slew of men. She was allegedly drugged and gang-raped. Charges never filed.
Megan committed suicide. Listen to this. Also from ABC`s "Nightline".
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CINDY MCGRATH, MOTHER OF RAPE VICTIM: I put my hand over something really horrid. And it was a plastic bag. And it was her head in the plastic bag. Her head was in the plastic bag.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That poor woman. That`s Megan`s mom. Now she is fighting for justice for her deceased daughter. We will talk to her famous attorney, Gloria Allred tonight.
Plus, one brave young woman comes forward and tells her story tonight here on ISSUES.
Liz Seccuro was 17 years old, a freshman when she was raped. Years later, she found the courage to seek justice, and she opens up about everything in her heart-wrenching new book "Crash into Me"; and from victim to hero, rape survivor and activist, Katy Callaway Hall, also joining us tonight.
But first to Gloria Allred, attorney for the heart broken mother of the young woman who committed suicide after she said she was gang-raped and nobody was prosecuted. You saw the video a second ago of the hallway.
Gloria, what did this young woman go through that led her to suicide?
GLORIA ALLRED, ATTORNEY FOR FAMILY OF RAPE VICTIM: Well, she promptly went to the hospital, Jane and had the rape exam by sexual assault nurse who found trauma to her genital areas. And in addition, she promptly reported it to the college.
The college, Dominican College in New York, we allege, failed to do what they were required to do under the law once a rape or a gang rape is - - or the allegation is reported to them. As a result, she did not feel safe in returning to the campus because they failed to accommodate her, we allege, for her final exam. Didn`t tell her whether or not the young men, two of whom she alleged were students, were still on the college campus.
And she went home, did not return to the college, and later committed suicide. We are suing the college. In fact, I`ll be in New York next week going to federal court next Wednesday. And I expect that the judge is most likely going to set a trial date at that time for our case.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Megan`s attack, was as you saw, was caught on tape by surveillance cameras in her dorm. Let`s take a look at this video from ABC`s "Nightline". You can see Megan staggering -- in a moment, we`ll show it to you -- from room to room the night of her attack. Ok?
Dominican College -- there it is. There is Megan. Ok? She is clearly staggering. And we`re going to find out why. There she is in the green tank top. Dominican College declined to appear on our show tonight. We invited them but they sent us a statement. They say they`re saddened by Megan`s tragic death, but say they handled the situation appropriately.
They say, quote, "When the police report was filed by Megan in May 16, 2006, college officials cooperated promptly and fully with all law enforcement agencies, as they pursued criminal investigations. The college understands that the official criminal investigation of the local police and the district attorney`s office concluded that there was insufficient evidence to support a criminal prosecution of rape or a presentation to the grand jury."
Gloria, I don`t understand something. Do you believe there was insufficient evidence given that there`s surveillance video right there and Megan, according to you, submitted a rape kit?
ALLRED: Well, we do believe that the college did not fulfill their duty to Megan. When a college student reports rape to a college, they have a duty to investigate. They have a duty to accommodate the alleged victim. They have a duty to make her safe. And we believe they violated that duty.
And by the way, the police detective that they referred her to, we found out later was actually on the payroll of the college. So when he let her know that they refused to prosecute, we felt that that whole investigation was contaminated by the fact that he was on the payroll of the college.
And one more thing, Jane, we urged the attorney general to report -- to investigate the underreporting of sexual assault statistics in Dominican College`s handbook. And the attorney general of New York, Andrew Cuomo, found after a lengthy investigation that everything I said was true, that they had in fact reported false sexual assault statistics to the public in their handbook -- under-reported the number of sexual assaults.
And that is wrong. Because parents look to see if a campus is safe before they send their students there. If they`re getting --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, apparently, Gloria, first of all, if the Dominican College wants to come on this show to give their side, they`re always welcome. But I have to say that the statistics taken from the Department of Justice, this is happening all over the country.
This isn`t just an isolated incident in one campus. One out of every four women are going to be raped before they graduate? That`s sick.
MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: If that is under-reported - - if that`s under-reported, Jane, imagine how many actual crimes are being committed on the campuses.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I know.
BROOKS: It`s amazing. It`s unbelievable.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I mean it just freaks me out.
BROOKS: And Gloria, Gloria --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Guess what. I just want to -- I want to get to my big issue because this is important.
Many college co-eds are in basically a constant booze bubble, which renders them completely unaware of their surroundings and possible danger. In three-quarters of all these cases, the victim or the rapist or both had been drinking alcohol, there`s a clear connection between alcohol consumption and rapes on college campuses.
Check this out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAITLIN KELLER, RAPE SURVIVOR: They definitely, you know, mention a few things like watch your drink when you go out. You know, be careful; be safe, be with friends. But I never -- I don`t think they understood, and neither did I understand the prevalence of this issue and how often it actually happens because I was safe. And when it happened I was with friends. And my perpetrator was a good friend of mine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Liz Seccuro, tell us about your experience. You were raped while at a fraternity party. Was alcohol involved and what happened?
LIZ SECCURO, RAPE SURVIVOR: Yes. But, you know, I don`t think alcohol is the main issue, simply because alcohol was involved and is involved in many of these cases, but there are a lot of times when good men who are drinking alcohol aren`t going to rape a woman at a fraternity party. It just -- I think it gives a bad name to all the good men.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, what happened to you?
SECCURO: That said, in my case, I was a freshman at the University of Virginia. And I went to a fraternity party with a friend of mine who happened to be gay. He was rushing and he wanted to pass as straight. It`s very important to belong, especially in a hugely Greek culture.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, for some people --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But I understand what you`re saying.
SECCURO: Right. In 1984, in the south, it wasn`t in vogue.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, ok.
SECCURO: I was given a drink that was apparently spiked with something. And you`ll see on the cover of the book, that`s what the drink is. And I was actually gang raped although we did not know that at the time. I recall one of the rapes, and I woke up tossed on a sofa in a sheet, naked, covered in blood. I looked through the man`s mail. I did not know him.
And I went to the university dean`s. I went to the university police. I was told that the real police didn`t have jurisdiction. And that they would handle it internally.
Well, I banged the pots and pans, even at the age of 17, from a very sheltered Catholic family, and nothing was done. After a year I realized nothing would be done. Twenty years later, I received a letter in the mail at my home in Connecticut from this rapist saying he was sorry as part of his 12-step AA -- his 12th step on the ninth step.
I didn`t know what to do. I began e-mailing him. He sent me his card. And I asked him how he could live with himself and that sort of thing.
And, you know, my real fear and anger was that he would come to my home where I lived with my child. And so I really needed to keep it together. My reason for e-mailing him was nothing more than to make sure he was where he said he was.
About two months later, after all of these e-mails went back and forth, I called the police in Charlottesville just on a hunch and I said, this happened to me in 1984, and I was told that you all didn`t have any jurisdiction. And I just want to make sure that I`m doing the right thing. And should I call my local police, should they know.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You ultimately prosecuted him.
SECCURO: Exactly. I`m beating around the bush. But yes there is no statute of limitations on felony rape in the Commonwealth in Virginia. And I was able to prosecute him. He was -- he pleaded down to aggravated sexual battery. And in the course of the investigation, it was discovered that there were two other rapists that night.
So the investigation remains open.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So those two were not arrested. Let me --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- fascinating story. More on these alarming facts in just a moment. Absolutely unbelievable -- one out of every four women.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: "Top of the Block" tonight.
A special one for sure: the star of the "Jersey Shore", Snooki, was sentenced to a whopping two days` community service and fined 500 clams, basically for being annoying. She was arrested in July for being boozed up on the boardwalk. Reports say she was doing body shots and drinking soda from a beer bong.
Today Snooki pleaded guilty to annoying others.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In this matter, I have concerns about how much of this episode was scripted by your show. Or how much was actions of your own initiative. I mean, if this was scripted, only you can determine if it`s worth trading your dignity for a paycheck.
Your actions, I don`t know, you seem to be acting like a Lindsay Lohan wannabe in this matter. Going through life rude, profane, obnoxious and self-indulgent is not the way you want to live your life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But it is a good way to become a reality TV star. And that is tonight`s "Top of the Block".
Switching gears, back to a very serious subject we`re shining a light on a rape epidemic that`s sweeping to our nation. A shocking new investigation reveals one out of every four women in college will be raped before they graduate. How is that possible?
We`re talking to victims and fighting back in the war on woman. Mary, California, your question or thoughts ma`am?
MARY, CALIFORNIA (via telephone): Yes, hi.
MARY: My question is, why is it so hard for women to prove rape, but it`s so easy for men to -- to be, you know, let go and, you know, you can`t prove that they`ve done anything. They`re always -- they`re always the heroes in the story.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Mike Brooks, there is a rape kit. That`s why I don`t understand why --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- in Gloria Allred victim`s case, if there was a rape kit and there is video -- game, set, match?
BROOKS: Exactly. And I want to know, Gloria, what did the reports that this detective who was on the payroll of the college, what did they have to say?
ALLRED: Well, you know, we don`t have access to the whole investigation. But what we do know is this. That a college has a duty under the law --
ALLRED: -- not to defer the investigation to the police department. In other words, the police can investigate, but the college also has a duty to investigate once a student alleges that she has been raped.
And we say they did not do the full, fair and thorough investigation that they are required to do under the law, and to make the alleged victim safe. And so we feel that they are remiss in that. And that is why we are suing them, that they have violated Title 9, and that we -- that this victim through her mother has rights.
And we hope to set a precedent for the entire nation. Because, Jane, sexual assaults on campus are very underreported, and -- and victims need to know that their colleges will act appropriately if they report -- and will not take the side of the alleged rapist.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Five percent are reported. That`s because in 90 percent of the cases, they know the assailant. We`re going to get to that in a second.
But first I want to go to one of my heroes, Katie Callaway Hall, Katie was kidnapped and raped by Phillip Garrido and escaped courageously. And then this sicko went on to hold 11-year-old Jaycee Dugard captive for 18 years.
Katie, you are a shining example of how important it is to come forward, given what your attacker ended up being capable of, even though you did everything in your power to stop him. You`re now an activist for women.
Do you think society is creating some kind of hunter/prey mentality by sexing up violence in the media and could this be leading to the shocking, shocking figure that one out of every four female college students will be raped before they graduate?
KATHIE CALLAWAY HALL, KIDNAPPED, RAPED BY PHILIP GARRIDO: Well, I think it`s due to programs like yours, and you yourself, Jane, and Gloria Allred and all the people that are out there fighting for women, that we are bringing it to the attention of everyone. And we`re putting in their face a little bit more often. Because it is -- it`s a very sad statistic that these women in college are getting attacked.
And how little are being reported. How little are reporting their attack. They`re not even sure that they want to call it rape or sexual assault. You know, because it is maybe someone they know. Or they`re not quite sure they have enough -- it`s their perception of insufficient evidence or just fear of retaliation.
But I think if we all just keep working at putting it in the public view that and try to get people to come forward and talk and tell -- and tell what has happened to them, tell people to be a friend to these girls. If someone comes to you and says, I have been attacked, I was raped, get them to tell someone, be a friend.
And -- and if we all stick together we can -- we can take this to the forefront.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, I want to bring the whole idea of stranger attacks versus acquaintance attacks. We all remember that case of John Gardner; he was this horrific man who admitted to raping and murdering two young girls, Chelsea King and Amber Dubois. He`s going to spend the rest of his life in prison.
But Liz Seccuro, in 90 percent of these rape cases, they`re committed by acquaintances and acquaintances of the victim. And only five percent are reported. Your thoughts on that.
SECCURO: Yes, well my thoughts, it`s actually 4.8 percent are reported and of those only about five percent are adjudicated. So let`s do those numbers.
And when we talk about what Gloria is talking about, not only does it violate Title 9, it violates the Cleary Act which was established by Gene and Howard -- by I`m sorry -- by Connie and Howard Cleary for their daughter Jean who was raped and murdered in her dorm at Lehigh University.
I think the idea that someone is an acquaintance, I think that`s a very broad word. It could be someone you had just seen at a party.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Please come back. We`re out of time.
Up next --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight: a shocking video surfaces showing cops mocking a terrorist torture session. I have to warn you, some of you might consider this disturbing. Others might consider it just plain cuckoo for cocoa puffs.
This victim of this mock torture video is a stuffed animal head cuffed to a chair by an antler with its mouth taped. Three uniformed officers are right there, one is holding an assault rifle, the other a knife to the animal`s head, listen to what they`re saying.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My captors have been very kind.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And this is how the officers spend their time glorifying the torture of terrorism suspects and using a dead animal as a prop? What is wrong with these people? Seriously, who are these people?
They`re law enforcement officers. They`re supposed to protect and serve and not make really atrocious videos like this using taxpayer dollars.
Straight out to former prosecutor and now defense attorney, Mark Eiglarsh; Mark, I can`t see any will any legitimate explanation for this video.
MARK EIGLARSH, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I`m trying.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Do we really want these people out there on the streets with badges and guns saying, pull over, I want to talk to you?
EIGLARSH: Absolutely not. First of all, we don`t have all the facts. So I`ll give them that. I do want to hear their side of the story. I want to know what possible reason they have.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I do, too. I want to hear it.
EIGLASH: Yes. But assuming this is what it is, it is so unbelievably disturbing to think that these are the people that we entrust to make decisions as to whose liberty gets stripped on a daily basis.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I have to tell you we did call and we didn`t get any response. No shock there. If any of these three want to come on our show, they are invited. I would love to talk to them.
EIGLARSH: You know what I`d ask them -- Jane, I`d ask, first of all, that gun, that taser, the gear, is that taxpayers` dollars at use?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Of course it is.
EIGLARSH: I`d like to know whose items those are.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: The video features members of the critical emergency response team at the Marion County, Indiana sheriff`s office.
Here`s one more look at this very disturbing video. Check this out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I admit that I was guilty of terrorist acts.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, come on, guys. Show a little more of it. It`s just so funny in a sick kind of demented way. Do we have any more sound of that? All right. We don`t. But geez.
Internal Affairs is investigating this video and the possible hazing of deputies. Maybe these deputies were forced to make the video. Their commander has been demoted and transferred. But, to me, it says immature, prejudiced and possibly sadistic given the tasering and all that.
I mean this is something if you saw teenagers doing this you`d discipline them, wouldn`t you?
EIGLARSH: Absolutely. I don`t think this was done under anyone`s direction. These people don`t seem forced; they seem like they`re having a good time. I can`t, if you put a gun to my head, come up with any legitimate reason this should be done especially with the taxpayers funding it.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I will say one thing, it`s great that we have video because video is exposing all sorts of cookie, totally fruit loops behavior that normally probably would have gone under the radar.
Thank you, Mark Eiglarsh.
EIGLARSH: Thank you Jane.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And thanks to all those who weighed in tonight on all the important subjects we discussed.
The pregnant mother of two, shot in the head by a man who breaks into her home, throwing a brick through the window -- Nancy Grace joins the search for her killer next.