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TV Exec Accused of Beheading Wife Ousted From Courtroom; Will Casey Anthony`s Past Come Back to Haunt Her?

Aired January 21, 2011 - 19:00:00   ET



JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL (voice-over): Tonight, fast-breaking, shocking developments. The high-powered TV executive accused of viciously beheading his wife is ousted from the courtroom for fighting with the judge. This isn`t one of those made for TV courtroom dramas, but is this defendant putting on a show to distract the jury from all the damning evidence?

And will Casey Anthony`s scandalous past haunt her in court? The prosecution says Casey`s lying and stealing ways prove one thing, that she`s capable of murder. We`ll debate it.

Also, the war on women rages on. The youngest victims in this disgusting sex for money trade are underage girls put on the streets for profit and then thrown in jail while the Johns walk free. Why are the victims being blamed? Tonight, an astounding undercover look at this horrific plague on our society.

Plus, outrage over a proposal to ban pitbulls in the entire state of Texas? What?

ISSUES starts now.

JEREMY SCHWARTZ, HASSAN`S ATTORNEY: The marriage of Mo and Asif Hassan was a sad, unhealthy relationship. It ended with Mo Hassan in fear of his very life.


MITCHELL: Tonight, chaos in the courtroom. The TV station executive accused of slaughtering his wife by beheading her with a hunting knife is cuffed and dragged out by deputies. Mo Hassan got into a heated argument with the judge because he wanted to fire his lawyer, claiming the guy was "unprepared."

This would have been the fourth lawyer he axed. Pardon the expression. The judge said no dice and shut him down right on the spot, but Mo came back at him once again. And that`s when the judge said, get him out of the courtroom and he was taken away.

Prosecutors are trying to prove beyond any reasonable doubt that this man decapitated this woman, his wife, Ayisa. That`s the woman you`re looking at there, who was decapitated, allegedly by this man.


PAUL BONANNO, PROSECUTOR: The defendant sawed Ayisa`s head off with such force that he left long knife marks.


MITCHELL: Their first witness, a physician`s assistant who examined Ayisa the year before she was murdered. The witness said Ayisa had blood pooling under eyes and said she claimed she had fallen off a bike, but later admitted she was the victim of a vicious beating by her husband, Mo.

We`re also learning tonight Asia had prepared a 21-page statement that documented her years of horrific torment, manipulation and cruelty allegedly at the hands of husband, Mo.

ISSUES reached out to Mo`s attorney, but we did not hear back. Straight out to "In Session" correspondent Beth Karas. Beth, you`ve been tracking this case with the fast breaking developments. What is the very latest?

BETH KARAS, CORRESPONDENT, IN SESSION ON TRUTV: Well, as you were just reporting, Mo Hassan wanted to basically fire his lawyer. He says he`s ineffective because he didn`t visit me for the month before the trial started.

And he says that he wanted to do it on his own. He said, Judge, I`m the only one who has anything to lose here by representing myself. Not a bad argument, actually. But as you also said, he was not allowed to do it, and he`s been watching from a room with video and audio feed from the courtroom refusing, actually, to go into the courtroom.

Well, the prosecution on day three of the trial put on more premeditation evidence. An employee at bridges TV where both victim and defendant worked, he was the CEO of this television station. Found a $90,000 check under the desk of Hassan dated two days before the killing, which seems to indicate that he may -- it was a bank check. He may have been taking out a bunch of funds so he could flee perhaps. This is all evidence of premeditation.

MITCHELL: Yes. Now, some of the stuff we`re learning in this trial just mind-boggling. Before she was ready to divorce Mo, Ayisa reportedly prepared a secret document outlining her years of torment including a shocking written agreement her husband, like a contract, her husband forced her to sign. Check this out.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was a document between husband and wife, now dead, where she agrees apparently to be punished if she did certain things like go to the authorities or file for divorce.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s sort of brainwashing the woman to think that she not only doesn`t have the power to go to authorities because he`ll hurt her but she`s actually signed a contract.

MITCHELL: Mo reportedly subjected Ayisa to some of the most horrific abuse and intimidation imaginable. She claims he deprived her of sleep to, quote, "improve her personality." That he forced her to give him her e- mail password so that he could pose as her psychologist and pretend that she didn`t think Mo needed domestic violence classes.

He made her subject herself to his punishment if she called cops, for example, that he could deprive her of seeing her own children. And she also said in this document that he imprisoned her in their bedroom, sat on her, punched her in the face when he found out she was pregnant. She later miscarried.

She also claimed in this secret document he forced her to memorize humiliating scripts while he was preparing to defend himself in a child neglect case, my gosh.

Mike Brooks, HLN law enforcement analyst. How can so much overwhelming abuse occur without some kind of critical mass, without somebody, a neighbor, a relative, somebody intervening and calling cops?

MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: That`s a good question. If he didn`t let her out of the house, though, she probably didn`t have much contact, but we did have that testimony with that physician`s assistant that said that there were signs of abuse.

And Jane, this guy, he is doing nothing, but just putting off the inevitable and that`s going to be life in prison for this guy. I`m sorry. You know, I`m pro-death penalty, and I`m sorry that New York does not have a death penalty in this particular case.

MITCHELL: My big issue was Mo a bad actor in court looking to distract the jury when he appeared to melt down in court and was checked out, all the drama. The judge says get out. It`s a big distraction for the jury. It wouldn`t be the first time something like this was tried.

Take a look at this freak. Elizabeth Smart`s kidnapper, Brian David Mitchell, he was kicked out of court because he sang hymns at the top of his lungs every day. He was convicted and then remember the "40-year-old virgin actor" Shelley Malil and he did all this drama in the courtroom re- enacting how he says he was attacked and how he had to fight back, all this nonsense.

And that`s why he says he slashed his girlfriend more than 20 times. Guess what? She lived. He was sent to prison for life. These tactics do not work. They backfire. And yet, Stacey Honowitz, Florida prosecutor, these knucklehead defendants try to time and time again, fireworks in the courtroom. They think are somehow going to help them.

STACEY HONOWITZ, PROSECUTOR AND SEX CRIMES UNIT SUPERVISOR: Yes, I agree with you, Jane. I don`t know if they watch a lot of television or they get kind of information from other inmates who tell them this might be really good for you and your case, but they`re stupid.

I mean, these guys are stupid. And for some reason they think, as Mike said, it`s going to really prolong the inevitable. They get distracted. The jurors get distracted. Everyone goes off track. But the bottom line is, like you said, it backfires every single time. The antics never play out.

BROOKS: Jane, this is a guy who`s used to being in charge. He`s a CEO. He had almost total dominion, it looks like, over his wife. And now he`s trying as one of the prosecutors said to manipulate the court. That`s not happening with this judge.

MITCHELL: This guy is -- go ahead.

HONOWITZ: The unfortunate thing, Jane, in many of these cases is the lawyer has no control over the client. So many times they tell the client head of time how to act proper in a courtroom, but it doesn`t pan out.

Lots of times guys with this kind of mentality and personality, the narcissists, they don`t want to listen to anybody. They want to take the show into their own hands and inevitably, this is what happens.

MITCHELL: Yes, the king of his own castle. When you are a malignant narcissist who thinks that everybody should listen to you, the only people who actually you can force to listen to are the people in your household, your defenseless children and your terrorized wife.

The defense says Mo admits, he admits that he decapitated his wife, sliced off her neck, but that`s not he says his problem because he says it`s not murder. That he was just defending himself against this woman who looks like she`s 90 pounds sopping wet.

Listen to what one of my guests on ISSUES said about that defense, that this is all self-defense.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m a lawyer, and I can tell you that the prosecutors and the defense lawyers agree on one thing. This is a man that snapped. This is a man that`s obviously mentally ill.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is not -- this is not about a mentally ill individual. This is a man who probably is a narcissist, is in power and control and trying to dominate --


MITCHELL: Dr. Reef Karim, psychiatrist. This nonsense that he was being psychologically abused by his wife and that`s why he had to decapitate her in self-defense, it`s one of the most -- it`s one of the lamest defenses I`ve ever heard.

DR. REEF KARIM, DIRECTOR, THE CONTROL CENTER: Yes, it`s hard to believe that a 90-pound woman would, you know, cause someone to have to reach out in self-defense and decapitate them. I mean, that`s -- in my opinion, this -- yes, he is definitely a malignant narcissist.

There may be other psychological stuff going on. But this is a severe, severe brutal case of domestic violence, and I think a really important note here is domestic violence is not just physical. It`s not just about being beaten physically. It`s about being beaten mentally.

The embarrassment, the deprivation, the humiliation, the manipulation, the power, all of that is a part of domestic violence and it`s something this woman has lived through for a long time. He has a history of doing this with his other wives as well, his previous marriages.

MITCHELL: You know, if a husband says please, sign this piece of paper that says I can punish you if you defy me, just excuse me, say check, please, taxi, and get the hell out as far as you can from that sicko. Thank you, fantastic panel.


MITCHELL (voice-over): Coming up, a man posed as a cop and raped a woman, and now he has to face the music. You won`t believe his antics in court. It`s a similar story of acting out in the courtroom.

And this is wild because we`ve got it on tape but first, will the prosecution be allowed to drag Casey Anthony`s lies and theft in front of the jury? That`s next.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Casey, hold on, sweetheart. Settle down.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nobody`s letting me speak. You want me to talk and --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right. I`ll listen.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Give me three seconds to say something.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m not in control.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was in my county two days ago.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is there anything there?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mom! Geez. I`m sorry. I love you guys. I miss you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right, sweetheart. Here`s dad. Hold on.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. I`m going to just walk away right now --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because I`m frustrated and I`m angry and I don`t want to be angry. This is the first time I`ve truly, truly been angry this entire time. But I`m so beyond frustrated with -- with all of this that I can`t even swallow right now. It hurts.


MITCHELL: Tonight, secrets of the Casey prosecution. The alleged murderous mom`s past of sex, lies, and videotape could come back to haunt her in court.

Casey Anthony`s lawyers are battling right now to keep the jury in the dark about Casey`s scandalous past. But the prosecution wants everything on the table in front of the jury, especially steamy details about Casey`s love life with then boyfriend Tony Lazaro. Why?

Well, prosecutors say Casey was playing house with Tony the entire month her daughter was missing and she didn`t say a word. Check this out.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you tell me a little bit what`s going on?

CASEY: My daughter`s been missing for the last 31 days.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And you know who has her?

CASEY: I know who has her. I`ve tried to contact her. I actually received a phone call today now from a number that is no longer in service. I did get to speak to my daughter for about a moment -- for about a minute.


MITCHELL (voice-over): For an entire month 2-year-old Caylee Marie Anthony, this precious child you`re looking at right there, was missing, and Casey did not report it to police and also did not tell her very serious boyfriend of the time? Well, prosecutors saying that`s not just bizarre, but it`s damning.


MITCHELL: I want to begin with bounty hunter Leonard Padilla, who was with the Anthony family during the very crucial early stages of this case and who at one time actually bailed Casey out of jail.

What do you know about this crucial one-month period, Leonard, when the child went missing but before that phone call we just heard was made by Casey`s mom, Cindy, to cops saying hey, my little granddaughter`s been missing for 31 days?

LEONARD PADILLA, BOUNTY HUNTER: Well, her -- her activities between June the 15th, the evening of June the 15th when she came home and July the 15th are pretty well set out by law enforcement. They pretty well have it down --

MITCHELL: Well, you tell us.

PADILLA: She was going back and forth to clubs. She was partying with several of her friends, including a 20-year-old young lady that`s in one of the pictures with her. On July the 4th or the 5th, somewhere in there, her mother told her brother, Lee, find her, I want her home.

Lee set out to find her, contacted her, wasn`t able to convince her to come home. Cindy was very worried about the child. Everybody wanted to know where she was at. She kept coming up with lies about she`s at the beach. She`s with nanny, the babysitter. All sorts of things.

But she never once was able to come up with a legitimate truth as to where her child was because the child died probably the evening of the 15th or the wee hours of June the 16th.

MITCHELL: Well, that`s according to the prosecution. And by the way, we can tell you that we invited Jose Baez and Shady Mason part of Casey Anthony`s dream team, to be on our broadcast today.

They`re invited anytime to tell their side of the story. We want to be fair. Leonard Padilla, I was asking specifically about this boyfriend situation, Tony Lazaro. What was she doing with tony --

PADILLA: She was spend -- she was spending a lot of time there, and he had a couple of other roommates and they`ve all testified to the fact that she was there constantly. But one of the things she was not allowed to do was bring the child over to that apartment at night.

There was concern that if the child got up during the evening that she might ingest something, like a pill or something that might be laying around. She was not allowed to bring the child to that apartment at night. She could bring the child over during the day when they --

MITCHELL: Well, the child wasn`t brought over day or night. The child was missing. The point is, Stacey Honowitz, Florida prosecutor, that prosecutors are arguing that she did not discuss with her boyfriend that her child was missing.

What is the implication as far as prosecutors? What point are they trying to make? And what point does the defense want to keep out?

HONOWITZ: Well, the defense wants to keep out the fact that she could care less about this kid because she killed the kid. The prosecutor`s saying, can you imagine being in a relationship, can you imagine having a child and never telling anybody this child is missing? Is it damning?

Listen to the words roll of your tongue. It`s the most damning thing you could possibly imagine. You have a 2-year-old. You never report her missing nor do you tell anyone she`s missing? This is great evidence for the prosecution and I have a feeling the judge is going to let it in.


MITCHELL (voice-over): My big issue tonight --

PADILLA: Yes, he will.

MITCHELL: -- not relevant? Really? To the point that Stacey just made. How can the defense say this is not relevant? Investigators interviewed, for example, the artist who inked Casey with her beautiful life tattoo.

She reportedly got the tattoo about a week before she finally admitted Caylee had been missing for an entire month. The tattoo artist says Casey seemed fine and was just normal.


MITCHELL: So how is her behavior during this crucial month when she kept her daughter`s disappearance a secret not relevant?

Beth Karas, you have covered so many of these trials. Do you think that the defense has any chance of getting all this stuff kept away from the jury`s eyes and ears?

KARAS: No. They do have a chance of getting some behavior before Caylee was last seen, so before June 16th, kept out.

In fact, the state concedes that one of the relationships with a man named Rusciano, they`re not going to -- they concede they can`t talk about that because it isn`t relevant because it`s not relevant to the time period of June 16th to July 15th, 2008, but everything she did and said in that 31-day period is relevant. And I predict will come in.

MITCHELL: Dr. Reef, couple of seconds. What do you make of getting a tattoo, beautiful life?

KARIM: Yes, I`m not big on the tattoo part. She said some stuff on MySpace that was pretty damning as well. You know, all we`re doing here is we`re painting a picture, a profile of someone from a forensic psychology standpoint, looking at their motivations, objectives, and behaviors for those 31 days.

MITCHELL: All right, we`re going to have more in a second. Stay with this panel.


MITCHELL (voice-over): Later, the war on women rages on. Underage girls, pimped out, locked up like criminals when they`re actually sex slaves. You`re not going to believe the undercover video we`re going to show you.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just wanted to let everyone know that I`m sorry for what I did. I take complete and full responsibility for my actions and I`d like to sincerely apologize to Amy. I wish I would have been a better friend.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Thank you. Anything else?



MITCHELL: Last year, Casey Anthony pleaded guilty to stealing her best friend`s checkbook and going on shopping sprees with the stolen money during the time that little Caylee was missing.


MITCHELL (voice-over): Here she is, Casey, shopping it up at Target as she bought clothes and lingerie with the stolen checks and loaded up on beer and groceries at several stores -- or at a different store, I should say.

Prosecutors say this is very significant because they believe she didn`t want to ask her parents for money, she wanted to avoid her parents` questions about where`s our granddaughter, where`s she been for the past month?

So that`s what prosecutors are going to use this to prove. Her mom, Cindy, was shocked when she finally found out. Listen to this.

CINDY: George, Caylee`s missing. Caylee`s missing. Casey says Zanny took her a month ago. She`s been missing for a month.


MITCHELL: My heart goes out to Cindy and George. They have been through hell. They did nothing wrong. Peggy, Florida, your question or thought, Ma`am.

CALLER: Yes. This is Peggy in Florida. This all goes to who Casey is as a person and as a mother. It goes to her motive. They need to let anything in from the time the last person saw her on father`s day. She didn`t show any sense of urgency at all in finding this child. She didn`t show any empathy for anybody.

She lied about the Zanny. She lied about the phone call from Zanny even that day that the people were trying to help her find her daughter. She lied about where she worked at and other people that supposedly used Zanny that didn`t.

She partied the whole time. They`ve got to show that she was not out looking for that child. She was just taking care of herself, beautiful life. That`s what the tattoo said. That`s what she was trying to live.

MITCHELL: Exactly. You sound like you could be one of the prosecutors on this case. Leonard Padilla, if the defense is not successful and all this stuff does come in before the jury, what`s plan b, do you think, for the defense? What can they do to counteract this?

PADILLA: Well, the thing about it is once the judge rules that it`s coming in I think Jose`s going to take a step back, talk to his client, and say look, we`d better cut a deal because if this evidence comes in you`re going to be convicted and then there`s going to be the penalty part of the trial and you could end up dead. So we`d better step back and take -- Jose Baez is not an idiot. I spent a lot of time talking to him --

MITCHELL: He`s a very smart, smart guy and I`ve talked to him many times.

PADILLA: Yes, he is. Yes. He`s not a dummy. He knows exactly where he`s at, but like any good attorney he`s going to push it right to the wall. I think when he sees this stuff coming in he`s going to sit back and say hey, fellas, what do we do now?

What`s plan B? Plan B is let`s see if we can get her off alive and that`s where it`s going to end up at. She`s going to have to --

MITCHELL: Stacey, you`re a Florida prosecutor. Do you buy Leonard`s theory, that there`s going to be some kind of deal?

HONOWITZ: I don`t know, but I can tell you, you know, when Jose does see -- it`s almost like a David and Goliath. If all this evidence comes in, there`s only a certain amount of things you can do as a defense attorney to keep your client from getting convicted.

And now it does become a matter of saving her life. The death penalty`s on the table. I think that`s what you shoot for at the end of the day, saving your client`s life.

MITCHELL: Got to leave it right there. Thank you, panel.


MITCHELL: Tonight and for the next 10 weeks Nancy Grace is on a mission to find America`s missing. Check it out. More next.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: The war on women rages on. The youngest victims in this disgusting sex-for-money trade are underage girls put on the streets for profit and then thrown in jail while the Johns walk free. Why are the victims being blamed? Tonight: an astounding undercover look at this horrific plague on our society.

Plus, outrage over a proposal to ban pit bulls in the entire state of Texas? What?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m from Seattle, and I started hoeing when I was 16.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I got started in the sex industry when I was 15.

JAZZY, BUNNY RANCH GIRL: I`ve been in the game since I was 13.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, frightening, astounding new evidence of an American crisis that is festering right under our noses. It`s the epidemic of sex trafficking.

You think it`s happening in some far off exotic country? You think wrong. It`s going on right down the block from you. Thousands and thousands of girls lured into sexual slavery right here in the good old U.S. of A. Hooked on drugs and forced to sell their bodies over and over again.


JAZZY: Virginity wasn`t an option where I came from. You know, it was taken from you. So when you -- when you get into the game or when you have somebody telling you, you can sleep with me for money and you`ve already lost your virginity, it`s like why not? Like, you know, like, why not?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: There are an estimated 100,000 to 300,000 though American girls being sold for sex. The Justice Department says there are just 50 -- that`s right -- 50 beds available in facilities dedicated to helping these victims of child prostitution.

Straight out to Amber Lyon, whose incredible year-long investigation will be featured on the CNN Special "SELLING THE GIRL NEXT DOOR", it airs Sunday at 8:00 p.m. Eastern. Amber incredible job; you`ve talked to these young girls who really are lured into sexual slavery.

Paint a picture of what they go through because I don`t think people really understand that they are often forced to sleep with not just one or two guys a night. Tell us about it.

AMBER LYON, CNN SPECIAL INVESTIGATIONS CORRESPONDENT: well, oftentimes, Jane, we talk to some of these girls, and they say when their pimps tell them to go out on the street they tell them you know what, "go out tonight and you need to get me 500 bucks or you can`t come home or I`m going to" -- excuse my language -- "beat the crap out of you." And that`s just the reality of this.

And as you said, it`s happening to hundreds of thousands of American girls across the U.S. And we traveled to -- we went to Maryland; St. Louis, Missouri; Las Vegas; Tennessee, and in all of those locations we found American girls being sold as sex slaves by pimps on the Internet. Jane, the Internet has made it so easy for pimps to sell these girls that we`re seeing more and more pimps switch from drug dealing to selling girls because they can sell them over and over again.

And our most vulnerable girls, the girls that run away but not necessarily girls that are homeless living out on the streets but girls that maybe get in a fight with their parents and get mad, so they leave the house and run away. And oftentimes within 72 hours -- excuse me -- 72 hours they`re picked up by a pimp.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re absolutely right. I just attended a sex trafficking conference this past week in Portland, Oregon, and Sheila Houston, the director of outreach services who is a survivor of sex trafficking, was there with me.

I learned so much, Sheila. I learned that these girls are often chronic runaways. When they meet their pimp it`s at a bus stop, they offer them food and lodging and the next thing you know they shoot them up with drugs. Now they`re drug addicts, they can`t say no, and then they are forced to sleep with sometimes -- I couldn`t believe -- 40 or 50 men a night in some cases.

Tell us what you experienced, what you were forced to do, Sheila, when you were out there in sexual slavery.

SHEILA HOUSTON, DIRECTOR, OUTREACH SERVICES, SEX TRAFFICKING CONFERENCE: When I was out there, I had actually married a guy at 16 and I had married him, and so I got involved with someone. It wasn`t through drugs but what it was through was the guys that you love me, so since you love me that you would do this for me.

So for me what I think too is that it`s not so much that the girls that we see are hooked on drugs but what I do see is girls that might not have a high self-esteem about themselves or they may not have their needs met in their households when they were growing up, which causes them to believe the lie that as they get involved in this lifestyle that they can make it rich and that we can build something together.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And then they are forced to sleep with sometimes 12, sometimes 15, sometimes more Johns a night? That`s a yes or no.

HOUSTON: That`s a yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. Now, here`s my big issue. Johns? Well, they`re the average Joes. Let`s forget that myth that Johns are these mysterious men in trench coats and fedoras lurking around the corner. Unfortunately, they`re your dads, your sons; they`re doctors, lawyers, priests. We have to ask why average American men have become so hooked on prostitutes, especially young ones.

Is this the result, Dr. Reef Karim, psychiatrist, of the explosion of online porn where men get hooked on illicit sex and al of a sudden regular sex with their life partner is just not going to do it anymore?

DR. REEF KARIM, PSYCHIATRIST: Yes, Jane, I think you hit on something very important here. Online porn has created this -- it`s brought fantasy into reality. And we`re seeing more and more men addicted to porn, becoming sex addicts, having problems with sexual objectification of women whereby they`re not complete. They`re not happy with just regular sexual encounters with their wives or their girlfriends.

You know, I`ve treated sex trafficking victims before. And here`s the thing, you know, on Craigslist we see all these ads. You know, about a third to more than a third of these women are underage. This is in our country right here.

And these women, they may physically look like women, but they`re girls. They`re young girls that are not mentally ready for all of this stuff that they`re encountering. So what they do is they numb out with drugs and alcohol and act out in self-destructive ways. It`s an incredibly sad cycle that I`m really happy we`re talking about here because it needs to be broken.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, it actually does. And I talk about this in my upcoming book "Addict Nation" in depth. Some of the stuff that`s happening on the Internet as far as sexual exploitation of women is just jaw- droppingly awful.

Patrick, Michigan, your question or thought, sir.

PATRICK, MICHIGAN (via telephone): I`ve got a couple comments. One, I believe our system is all messed up because these pimps can`t be prosecuted but instead they`re patted on the shoulder saying, well, this is a good job, keep up the good work.

And the other is I think these girls need safety instead of our judicial system jailing them. They need to be put into a safe home and counseled. And once they`re shown love, then they can -- the system hopefully put them out on the street to find them a job, get them hooked up and get a new life.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Patrick of Michigan, you make incredible points. And we do need to look at the underlying causes of all this. You know, it`s easy to say oh, these pimps are evil people, lock them up and throw away the key.

Well, after attending the conference in Portland and hearing a whole bunch of experts, here`s my call to action. My call to action is in some way, shape, or form these pimps are victims as well. We need to look at long-term solutions, like vocational training for young men so they can learn another skill aside from being a pimp.

These pimps come from very low-income backgrounds, broken homes. They most often have no skills and no direction. They see their choices as selling drugs, flipping burgers, or becoming a pimp. You cannot fix this problem without treating the root cause.

And Sheila Houston, we were talking about this at the conference. You were there, and I was there. And we could say all these young men are evil. But the fact is that we could spend money creating vocational programs that would teach these young men when they`re in their early teens how to be plumbers and cement layers and carpenters instead of becoming pimps, Sheila.

HOUSTON: I think also one of the things that he just said too, he did mention the violence of the Johns as well. See, we put it all on the pimps, but I work directly with girls, and there`s a lot of violence on the streets with Johns. And we can say that even with the Green River murders that we had here in Washington State.

And so I think when we look at the pimps we need not only just to look at locking them up. We need, as Jane said, we need to rehabilitate them, but also we need to deal with the Johns and they need to go to jail for all the violent crimes and murders that they commit. We don`t talk about that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. You are right. Lock up the Johns.

Now, Amber Lyon, is there any move to start locking up the Johns?

LYON: Well, you saw that the girls are the ones being locked up right now, unfortunately, Jane. That`s all we really found in this documentary as far as locking people up. Because our federal government doesn`t give any money to help domestic -- you`re seeing the handcuffs right now -- domestic sex trafficking victims.

We give all the money to foreign girls -- not to say anyone`s case is more important than the other -- but we don`t give money to our own girls to help them. So in our documentary what we found, the people we found being locked up aren`t the Johns, aren`t the pimps, it`s these poor underage sex trafficking victims, Jane.

KARIM: Yes, Jane, Jane --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hold on a second. Stacey Honowitz, Florida prosecutor. We`ve got an upside down world here, where we spend all this money locking people up, especially these young girls who are victims, and yet we are not putting the money as a society into the programs that would prevent these girls from becoming the chronic runaways and drug users and prevent the pimps from becoming pimps and become product members of society.

STACEY HONOWITZ, FLORIDA PROSECUTOR: Well, I can`t argue with you because you`re 100 percent right. There`s no -- I can`t argue (ph) with that argument for you. It`s true. I mean, the system is kind of backwards.

I mean the only thing that I can tell you is, in seeing some of these cases, when the victims, when these girls are sometimes arrested, sometimes it`s a good wake-up call. I know that sounds funny. But when you`re incarcerated, sometimes that`s when a program is found for you -- so kind of backwards. Sometimes it works that you`re locking up these girls that get themselves involved in the sex trade.

But you`re right. I mean we`re -- you know --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Got to leave it there. Watch Amber Lyon`s incredible documentary. Way to go, Amber. You rock.

Thank you, fabulous panel.

Up next, a rapist whining, crying in court; you do not want to miss what this convicted guy now has to say.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are your own lawyer. You make your own decisions. You ask the questions --



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did this person at any time ever show you a badge?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, he did not show me a badge. I didn`t know if the -- he was going to kill me or not.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, pathetic behavior in a Tampa courtroom as a jury convicts a man of raping a woman while posing as a cop. This is the very same guy who was allowed to question the rape victim on the stand because he fired his legal team and served as his own attorney. Poorly, I might add -- very poorly.

Take a look at what happened when the judge announced the guilty verdict. He cried. Like a baby. Watch.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We the jury find as follows as to count one of the charge the defendant is guilty of sexual battery as charged.

We the jury find as follows as to count three on the charge. The defendant is guilty of falsely impersonating an officer.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Give me a break. Like this was a surprise? Luis Harris was accused of using a flashing blue light on his car to get a total stranger, a female, to pull over. He pretended to be a cop, and then he raped her. And then he had the audacity to question his own rape victim on the stand about the attack. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was pushed up against the window, and you were having sex with me from behind me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With your handcuffs?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Behind your back. Was that painful?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t remember the pain.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were your hands in the way?



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Unbelievable. This guy`s trial is being called one of the most chaotic, bizarre proceedings in the history of this courthouse. At one point this creep, who was caught with the victim`s ATM card, tried to blame the victim.

You know what, LUIS HARRIS? Grow up and take responsibility for your actions. And in fact, he might have plenty of time to contemplate all this behind bars, possibly for the rest of your life. Sentencing is coming up in February.

Straight out to Vinnie Politan, host of "PRIME NEWS"; Vinnie, this is such a pathetic case. This guy was his own worst enemy when he acted as his own lawyer, right?

VINNIE POLITIAN, HLN HOST, "PRIME NEWS": Absolutely. And he got under the skin of everyone in that courthouse, including the judge, the one who`s going to sentence him, Jane. So I think he`s in big, big trouble here.

Obviously, the judge had -- gave as much patience as he could to this guy. But I mean he kept pushing the envelope, pushing the envelope. And he sits there in the courtroom crying. And you know why he`s crying, Jane? Because the last time he was in court accused of rape he was found not guilty, when he had a lawyer -- much different result.

I think it empowered this man. And now this time he is in fact found guilty. The jury saw through it. They deliberated, found him guilty. Now it`s all in the hands of the judge. And that`s worst case scenario for this guy.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So you`re saying that he got away with it once and he thought oh, I`m going to get away with it again and he didn`t, and that`s why he is crying?

POLITAN: Absolutely. I`ve seen it before. I`ve seen defendants that go into court -- and you remember the Dapper Don. Right? The mobster who would go into court and be found not guilty -- he was so like eh, this is no problem, no big deal. Well, eventually, you have enough trials; you`re going to be found guilty. That`s what happened here.

And the thing is I love the irony of this because this is a guy who was pushing the judge, pushing the judge as much as he could. And now finally it`s in the judge`s hands the rest of this guy`s life.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Luis Harris told his own mother he was going to try to get a mistrial because he didn`t like the jury. And then he tried to discredit the victim in front of the jury. Listen to this outburst.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What they`re not telling you is she --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sit down. Take him out of the courtroom right now. Take him out of the courtroom right now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get him out right now. Don`t say another word, Mr. Harris. Get him out right now.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: So he`s yelling in front of the jury that oh, the victim had four DUIs.

Stacey Honowitz, that was inadmissible in the trial. Now, the judge chose to ignore that outburst and proceed with the trial. Was that risky in terms of possible, I don`t know -- does it present risks legally?

HONOWITZ: Well, I mean, realistically, what the judge would have normally done -- I don`t know if he did it in this case -- is you read a cautionary instruction. Everything you just heard you`re supposed to disregard. I mean that`s kind of difficult to do because you hear that stuff and you can`t take it back in the jury room with you.

And the bottom line was I think this guy was so over the top. I mean the judge kind of knew it`s really not going to make a difference in this case. He can say whatever he wants about the victim. We know what happened in this case. So I think the judge probably thought in sitting here watching the proceeding --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me jump in. Stacey, I guess my question to you is if a defendant says something that`s harmful to himself can he use his own comments as a basis for an appeal?

HONOWITZ: That`s a very interesting question. I don`t know. I really don`t know. I mean in this case he could certainly try. He might be struck down. But I don`t know. That is a great question. Maybe he can.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. I mean, you can file an appeal about anything. The question is, is a higher court going to consider it? And that`s the problem.

HONOWITZ: Exactly.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And the answer`s probably no to that.

Here`s my big issue tonight. You heard about all the waterworks and this guy crying. You saw some of the crying. My big issue tonight is boo- hoo-hoo. Ok. You know what, Luis Harris? You weren`t crying when you raped that woman on the side of the road. And all these tears, nobody is impressed by any of them.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We the jury find as follows as to count one of the charge; the defendant is guilty of sexual battery as charged. We the jury find as follows as to count three of the charge; the defendant is guilty of falsely impersonating an officer.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Vinnie Politan, the time for tears is before a person decides to commit a crime, not after.

POLITAN: Yes, he knows what the future is because his whole game here, Jane, was trying to get a mistrial. That`s why he represented himself, got his opportunity to cross-examine and do what he did to the victim again inside the courtroom, then tried to get a lawyer.

He`s trying to do anything he can. He`s probably seen it on television. If I jump up and scream enough, the judge will just declare a mistrial. Well, the judge didn`t. A lot of those judges are careful in the way they protect the record to make sure this thing holds up on appeal.

HONOWITZ: And that`s going to be the issue --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client. Thank you. Got to leave it right there. Fantastic panel.

Is Texas banning pit bulls? It`s an outrage. We`ll discuss it.


SONYA DIAS, PIT BULL OWNER: Any dog can bite. Any dog can cause damage. Why should we be paying for those actions of those people? And it comes down to owner responsibility.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Look at these precious dogs. They are innocent, just doing what dogs do. But if some Texans have their way, all pit bulls will be banned in the state of Texas. That means any existing pit bulls could be put to death.

Tonight, building outrage over this really hateful plan that could systematically kill hundreds of thousands of dogs and devastate all of their human companions. A group in east Texas is fighting for the ban because of two tragic deaths that were blamed on pit bulls.

It`s a tragedy, I agree, but I have a better idea. How about proposing a ban on the breeding of all pit bulls and all other animals for profit? How about requiring dogs to be spayed and neutered? That`s the real problem.

Straight out to animal rights activist and pit bull advocate Matt Miner. Matt, I know you have a pit bull yourself. Doesn`t it all boil down to pet owner responsibility? One of the pit bulls involved in this deadly attack in Texas was reportedly tethered to a tree by a chain or rope. We know that makes pit bulls more aggressive. How would you describe how you feel about this proposed ban?

MATT MINER, ANIMAL RIGHTS ACTIVIST: Jane, this ban is an absolute travesty. We are talking about the systematic murder of over 300,000 dogs. We`re talking about ripping families apart and destroying their lives. We are talking about just a dog holocaust, the likes of which this country has never seen before. It`s an absolute travesty.

Now programs to protect the public from dangerous dogs must be fair and effective and breed specific legislation like this does not work.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Absolutely. A third of the 21,000 dogs in Dallas animal shelters are pit bulls or pit bull mixes and that`s because of two reasons. One, people are breeding them to make a lazy buck. Or two, people are too lazy and too cheap to get their dogs spayed and neutered. If you think all pit bulls are bad check out what this family has to say.


ROBERTA SHOEMAKER, PIT BULL OWNER: All pits are not bad. I mean, just because of the breed of the dog doesn`t mean that they are bad.

We love him. We`re grateful to have him in our lives. He`s not going nowhere. That`s my protector.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Their pit bull, named D-Boy, got the Humane Society`s dog of valor award for saving his family from an intruder. That intruder shot D-Boy three times. But they`re not considering those stories; they`re only considering the dog attacks and the dog fights. Those attacks are tragic, I agree. But there are better solutions than banning the pit bulls. Ban the breeders.

Go ahead. Go ahead.

MINER: No I was going to say, you are absolutely right, Jane. Ban the breeders. Put a moratorium on breeding and stop this nonsense. There are too many dogs in our shelters and we need to give our rescues time to catch up with the sheer enormity of the problem.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And apparently they have this second bill if the extreme one doesn`t pass they have another one that they`re going to try to propose. It`s almost as terrible. Tell us in ten seconds.

MINER: Absolutely. The second proposal is almost as -- almost as bad as the first. We`re talking about putting such expensive restrictions on pit bull ownership that the medium to low-income family couldn`t possibly hope --



VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell. Thanks so much for being part of our ISSUES debate. Check out

Now, investigators searching a canal after a witness claims he saw a car plunge into the water shortly after a 4-year-old boy was allegedly ripped out of his grandma`s arms. Nancy Grace has it all starting now.