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11-Year-Old Celina Cass` Body Found
Aired August 1, 2011 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST: A little girl missing for exactly a week. Tonight, a body has been found. Do we now know the fate of 11-year-old Celina Cass?
And the man who calls himself the lord God of heaven stops his sexual assault trial in its tracks. Polygamist Warren Jeffs -- creepy, crazy, or what?
Let`s go figure it out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JANE YOUNG, NEW HAMPSHIRE SR. ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL: It`s with sadness that I report earlier today, we discovered the body of Celina Cass in the Connecticut River in Stewartstown. We are treating her death as a suspicious death at this time. The next step in this investigation is tomorrow. An autopsy is scheduled.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Breaking news tonight. A desperate search for a missing New Hampshire fifth grader ends in tragedy.
A female body discovered in the Connecticut River today is that of 11- year-old Celina Cass. And police, as you just heard, are treating her death as suspicious.
The body was found just one mile away from where the young girl disappeared last week. We do not know how Celina died or how she got into the river. However, Celina vanished from her very own bedroom.
Now, there was no sign of struggle, and her parents say the last time they saw her was about 9:00 p.m., when she was on her computer. When they went to wake her up the next morning, she was gone.
What happened to Celina? Could she have met up with an online killer?
Now, what somewhat struck me about this story is we`re obviously seeing more and more young people active on social media sites. You know, Facebook, Twitter, just to name a few. And Celina, no fault of her own, apparently looks quite a bit older -- there she is there -- than her 11 years of age.
This clearly represented in her Facebook photo. She looks older.
So my question is, could someone have lured this innocent child out of her bed to meet him in the middle of the night? Was she, because of her age and immaturity, the perfect target for online predators?
Psychotherapist Stacy Kaiser is here to help me figure this out. Attorney Stacey Honowitz joins us as well. And reporter Charlie Jordan, editor of "The Colebrook Chronicle," joins us by phone.
Charlie, can you bring us up to date? What do you know?
CHARLIE JORDAN, EDITOR, "COLEBROOK CHRONICLE": Well, Dr. Drew, this was a story we hoped wasn`t going to take this turn, but unfortunately -- I was at that conference -- that is exactly what has happened. It`s changed from a missing persons to very much a suspicious death.
And I think, unfortunately, all the cards are still on the table. We don`t know what happened to this little girl and exactly how she ended up at this spot.
There`s also a theory that she may have come down the Connecticut River and been quite a distance. I just saw authorities still searching upriver quite aways. But again, we all had hoped after one week that she was going to turn up alive. And that hasn`t happened.
PINSKY: Charlie, how is the family? How are they taking all this?
JORDAN: Well, you know, this is very much a blended family, Dr. Drew. The mother has children from various fathers. But everything I was hearing, again, they were very torn by this.
The biological father spoke yesterday to the press, and he had actually some medical issues, just came out of a hospital bed, and was very torn. You watch this gentleman speak and you know -- you could feel the pain.
On the maternal side, they`ve been more quiet. They`ve had mostly family spokespeople come up. But again, we`ve seen them at vigils. And this looks like a very distressed family.
PINSKY: And Charlie, while we heard that they are contemplating or considering this is suspicious death, who are they being suspicious of? Do we know?
JORDAN: Well, there`s been definitely some -- they`ve looked at some of the family members there. I guess we`re led in the press to really kind of wonder by movements of the press.
After about 48 hours into this case, they closed the house off and put police tape around it, and the whole family left. This is kind of like a multi-family complex on a main road in northern New Hampshire. Then, after 48 hours, the tape came down.
Now, what happened today was kind of a surprise. After the body was found, the tape went back up. When you ask authorities why, they say, well, again, we`re going back and looking again. This was the last spot she was seen.
But the biggest concern I think a lot of people have had is exactly what you`re saying, is about the Facebook. This is an 11-year-old girl who had an open Facebook. She definitely looked older, wanted to look older.
And I`m just worried about some of the friends I`ve seen on there. She may have not known what she was clicking on.
PINSKY: And one last thing, Charlie. We were looking at those pictures a moment ago of what you can called the multi-family complex. What do you mean by that?
JORDAN: Well, it`s an apartment building.
PINSKY: And they cordoned the whole thing off? Everyone had to leave the apartment building?
JORDAN: Completely. Yes, the entire building has been circled. And at some point, cars were circled. We tried to read into that, but again, they warn us this is part of the ongoing investigation.
PINSKY: And I`m going to ask you yet one more question. I keep having more thoughts and I`m sorry.
JORDAN: That`s OK.
PINSKY: But you said there were some suspicious types on Facebook. What did you see there?
JORDAN: Well, she has 35 friends, and I think like three or four of them are classmates. And some of them are -- they almost look like they`re borderline, I guess you would have to say, a pornographic site.
Like, you would get pictures of women in alluring poses. And these were among her friends.
They could have been a front for someone else behind that, but she also looked -- she looked -- just six months ago our newspaper ran a picture of her with her basketball team, and she looked like an 11-year- old. But I think in the past six months, something has changed that`s kind of sped that all up.
And I don`t know who she might have been reaching out to. But this is not -- you know, you say rural New Hampshire, but this is really on a main road. We`re one mile from the Canadian border, a mile from Vermont. So it`s very easy access.
This is a main highway through here. So it wouldn`t have been difficult for someone to come along, if that`s where that case turns.
PINSKY: Charlie, that that is sort of a chilling report to hear, that something was wrong with this child where she suddenly sort of sexualized herself, found an outlet through Facebook, and then found predators there eager to follow her.
JORDAN: That`s a possibility. I mean, I guess the message is to parents -- I mean, I don`t know how she got on to Facebook, because I believe you have to be 13 years old. And she`s only 11, but she had an open Facebook. Anybody can take a look at that.
If it does go outside the family circle, that`s what the frightening thing is, I think, for all of us. But they do have the body. They may be able to find the circumstances under which she was obviously killed, if that`s what it`s looking like at this stage.
PINSKY: Well, Charlie, thank you for being with us. I will definitely check back in with you. That was an excellent report.
Celina was last seen, as I said, on her computer. We have not heard what Web sites she had visited, but we do know, of course, as Charlie reported, the Facebook page is open and active. And there were people commenting there that she looks "hot."
Now, Stacey Honowitz, you are a sex crimes prosecutor. You heard that report. Does this seem like this may be a case of online sex predation?
STACEY HONOWITZ, PROSECUTOR: Well, nothing surprises me. I mean, first, we do have to see.
The investigation is being done to determine whether it`s a homicide or if it was something else. So, first, we have to see if it`s accidental and make a determination.
But certainly your audience has to know that so much of this goes on. We only see the high-profile cases, unfortunately cases like this, if in fact it is an online predator. I see these types of things every single day where these kids go on Facebook or go on another social media site.
They either look older or they lie about their age. They become friends with people. And they don`t think it`s ever going to happen to them. And they subsequently go out and they meet somebody.
And, thankfully, in a lot of my cases, it`s sex that has happened. But in a lot of these cases you have a situation like this.
If in fact it is a homicide, and it`s done by someone on a social media site, these kids are not aware that the people that they`re talking to, what their background is, and that kids at that age are very vulnerable. They want to be older. They act older. And things like this can happen.
So this is a lesson. If in fact it turns out that this was a predator online that took this child, and she died as a result of being with this individual, it is a lesson that I speak to parents all the time to tell them. You must, must teach your kids about what can go on, and even if it means you have to scare them.
In this case, we`re going to have to wait and see what happens. But I`m not shocked at all if that`s how it turns out to be.
PINSKY: Stacey, well said. Important for parents to hear this. It is scary enough just speculating about this, and an important reminder.
Now, Celina`s parents themselves are not speaking out, but reporters caught up with her step dad on his way to a vigil for the little girl. Please listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We saw you holding your head.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s so much scrutiny isn`t it, sir?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: All right. Now, reports have surfaced that that man himself, Celina`s stepfather, was arrested for threatening an ex-girlfriend eight years ago, and then later committed -- whatever that means, I`m not sure -- probably hospitalized for schizophrenia.
Now, Celina lives with that man and her mother.
Charlie, is -- I`m done with Charlie.
Stacy, do you think it`s possible that the schizophrenic step dad -- I mean, we know that schizophrenia can sometimes result in violence of various types. Should he be considered a suspect?
STACY KAISER, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: I absolutely think he should be. In addition to the schizophrenia, the fact that he has a history of violence concerns me.
We don`t even know if he`s been medicated in any way. So if he`s not containing his mental illness, he could lose track of reality. He could behave in violent ways, even towards people he`s close to.
PINSKY: Right. So, from your perspective -- and we know -- and by the way, schizophrenics can live flourishing lives, and we`re not isolating schizophrenics as murderers by any means. But the fact is, schizophrenics often don`t like to take their medicine.
PINSKY: It`s a fact. And when they don`t, certain sub-populations can become violent.
KAISER: Yes, that`s absolutely true.
PINSKY: And he, therefore, could be a suspect in this case.
KAISER: I think he could. And, you know, I always say you don`t know what`s going on in someone else`s home. So even though it appears to be that she seemingly has a normal childhood, it`s something I definitely would be concerned about.
PINSKY: All right.
Thank you, guys.
Coming up, a missing girl`s body found in the Connecticut River rocks the tiny town of Stewartstown, New Hampshire. What clues led detectives to that stretch of the river?
We will talk to a former detective next. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAULA DOYON, CELINA`S BASKETBALL COACH: They`re very sad. They`re very confused. They`re all 10 and 11 years old, and they don`t understand what`s happening right now.
I`m very confused. You know, I want answers just like the community does. And I hope that we can get some soon.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ADAM LARO, CELINA CASS` FATHER: I can`t believe that she`s walked off. I just can`t believe it. Somebody has had to kidnap her. That`s the only thing I can see has happened. She`s not the type to just walk off from somewhere.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Tragic news tonight. That little girl will not be coming home. That was her biological father we were just hearing from.
And a body found in the Connecticut River has been confirmed as New Hampshire fifth grader Celina Cass. The 11-year-old vanished from her very own bedroom in the middle of the night last week.
My guests are back with me. I have former police detective Steve Kardian who joins us.
Steve, I want to ask you this: How long does it take to investigate a computer history? And something must have led the cops to that specific site on the river, no?
STEVE KARDIAN, FMR. POLICE DETECTIVE: It`s very possible, Dr. Drew. I mean, because of the close proximity to the home, it may have been something they were planning on doing anyway. But I have to agree that it`s likely that something led them there.
The forensic experts at the FBI, the computer techs with the New Hampshire State Police, they`re going to go through that computer with a fine-tooth comb. And if in fact there was something or is something on there, that`s giving them a definitive lead. But they`re also going to look closely to those close to her, her parents and her family life, and the 800 residents that reside in her town.
PINSKY: And Steve, when do you think we`re going to know something more? Is it something that they`re going to include the press on, do you think? Or are they going to wait until they conclude their investigation and it could be months?
KARDIAN: Well, here`s the thing -- they have to determine if it`s an accident or if it`s a homicide. And they`re treating it as a homicide because it`s easier to investigate it as a homicide than backtrack from an accidental death.
So the investigators are going to delve into this deeply, and they`re going to continue to -- first we have to establish a cause of death, if in fact there is one. And they`re going to treat it like a homicide and use all the investigative measures that they would if in fact it was a homicide.
But the medical examiner`s report is going to be telling. And it`s very possible that they`re holding this close to the vest. Law enforcement does not have to reveal anything to the press. So they likely have information that they`re not revealing, and that`s the way the investigation should go.
PINSKY: And certainly we will await that medical examiner`s report.
Do you make anything of them putting the police tape up around the apartment complex, taking it down and putting it up again?
KARDIAN: Well, now they have a body. Again, they probably have a lot more information than they`re revealing to the press.
They`re going to treat it like a homicide investigation until it`s disputed. Otherwise, if in fact it was an accidental -- the way it`s looking right now, it certainly doesn`t appear accidental. So they`ve got to go with the percentages that this was a homicide, and they`re going to treat it as such.
PINSKY: Charlie Jordan is still with us from up there in New England.
Now, Charlie, Stacy Kaiser and I -- Stacy is my psychotherapist here next to me in the studio. Not my own personal one, but one who is joined me in the studio.
But I would be happy to have you as that.
And we were chatting a little bit. And one of the questions we thought to ourselves was, is there a history of family or social services being involved with that household? You sort of described the household in kind of a peculiar way. It was some sort of amalgamation of multiple families and multiple genetic fathers.
Has family services been there?
JORDAN: I can`t vouch for that, Dr. Drew. I`m not sure, but certainly this was a family that had many connections with that.
I mean, right after the disappearance, there were at least 15 people that were around the front porch, around the house. But when they speak to some of the teachers and the school nurse there, they seem to give us an impression that this was just a normal girl.
I mean, yes, you have to admit this was a dysfunctional situation she was living in. But she seemed to be coming through OK on that.
So I don`t know. There was no history of this, and this was not a girl that -- everyone has said, including friends, not just family, that she would not be a person to run away. But she vanished after 9:00 at night. So that`s unusual.
PINSKY: Very, very suspicious, as we were saying. Charlie, thank you for the report.
Stacy, let`s help people understand what it means when a child sort of starts to sexualize themselves. That`s really what we`re talking about. She`s either too mature, meaning she is sort of parentalized in that household, where there`s maybe some chaos, and she has to take on parental roles, or she`s sort of sexualizing herself.
Both not great signs. Help people understand what that means.
KAISER: Well, you know, what`s challenging nowadays is a lot of young girls are dressing like I did when I was 18 or 19 years old, in clothes that are more provocative. Not to say that I was that provocative, but clothes you`d imagine an older person in.
They`re wearing sexier things. They`re wearing tighter things. But that`s not really what we`re talking about.
We`re talking about somebody who once looked like the average normal girl and has suddenly taken a turn. She`s trying to be sexier. She`s posing sexier for pictures. She`s wearing more makeup. She`s trying to lure people in, in a way.
PINSKY: In a way it speaks of neediness, does it not? And oftentimes -- I`m making no accusations here, but often it`s traumatic repetition, huh?
KAISER: Yes, absolutely.
PINSKY: Tell people about that.
KAISER: Absolutely. And I think there`s a whole thing about wanting to lure in attention because you`ve gotten some level of inappropriate sexual attention. So what it questions for me is, is there possible sexual abuse that`s gone on with one of these people that are involved with the family?
PINSKY: Or neighbors or other --
PINSKY: Who knows? It could happen anywhere, and that might have sort of triggered this. And maybe that`s the same person, the killer. Who knows? I mean, they`ve got a lot of investigating here.
KAISER: Yes. It`s a mess.
PINSKY: And one last quick thing. This community is going to be highly traumatized, too.
In less than 30 seconds, how are they going to get through this? They`re not going to have any closure, are they, until really more is known?
KAISER: Everyone`s going to need some answers, but what I always tell communities in crisis is that they need to pull together. They need to support one another, help each other, and be there for each other.
PINSKY: Thank you, Stacy.
And thank you to Charlie and also to Steve for participating here tonight.
We will continue to follow this case very, very carefully.
Next, your questions and comments. We`re going to switch gears about Warren Jeffs.
And later, is he a pedophile or a prophet, or what the heck is this guy? We`re going to talk about it.
PINSKY: Many of you have expressed to us your very, very strong opinions about Warren Jeffs. We`ll be talking about tonight`s development in the case just a little bit later.
But first here, let`s get to your questions and calls.
Stacy in Ohio, what`s going on?
STACY, OHIO: Hi, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: Hi, Stacy.
STACY: I just want to say that I think Warren Jeffs has some sort of delusional disorder by him claiming that he`s the lord, God of heaven. And I was wondering, what can cause this sort of thing? Is it hereditary, or just brainwashing from an early age?
PINSKY: It`s an interesting question. There`s various sorts of delusional disorders and delusional thinking.
Let`s just find what delusions are. Delusions are disorders of thought. There are different kinds of delusions. Some of them are grandiose, some of them are ideas of reference. Basically, you think that somebody is beaming thoughts into your head, or you have some kind of grandiose power or identity.
I agree with you. There`s definitely delusional features here. Specifically, what the diagnosis is causing those delusions, no way for me to tell. But I think you`ll see in the reporting we`re going to get to after the break that, boy, the magnitude of his delusional thinking is really getting out of control.
I don`t see where it`s any different than him getting up and saying, I`m Napoleon, or I`m Jesus, or I`m anything else of a grandiose nature. He`s shrouding this delusional thought process in the cloak of religious freedom. And I don`t think it`s OK.
Scott on Facebook writes, "Could it be entirely possible that leaders of these polygamous communities don`t realize they have a sexual addiction that they refuse to acknowledge?"
Well, I understand what you`re saying there, Scott. It could be a sexual addiction.
Certainly we`re hearing now -- if you remember Flora (ph), who had spoke to us last Friday, that in fact not only is Jeffs raping 12-and-15- year-olds, but he is surrounded by people from the community, and leaders and clergy from the community support, watch and participate in this thing. And I agree with you, that kind of thing sounds like sexual addiction.
But, you know, look, I`m not going to pass judgment on what`s going on diagnostically there. I`ve just got a problem with the behavior.
Nicole on the line there from Florida.
What`s your comment?
NICOLE, FLORIDA: Hi, Dr. Drew. I just want to make a comment.
If Warren Jeffs is convicted, his solutions (ph) will result in his appeal. The judge allowed a mentally unstable man to represent himself. Now, I`m all for upholding the law and the Constitution; however, I`m also for the rights of the accused and the victims.
PINSKY: Yes, I think you have an interesting point there. I think that may come back around -- in fact, I`m going to speak to an attorney later today who has some feelings about this.
In fact, he thinks that perhaps it was not appropriate to allow him to defend himself. And you may be right, there may be grounds for something there.
One more Facebook question quickly. This one is from Christine. She says, "These mothers were no doubt raped as young girls and abused by their moms, and it will continue on with their girls. Your thoughts?"
That really goes to the core of the issue of this case, which is that there`s an entire community that seems to be -- seems to be -- the evidence suggests being traumatized and indoctrinated from cradle to grave. And what do we do about that when it`s all built on abuse and trauma? That`s what we`ve got to try to figure out here.
Now, before we go to break, I want you to check out a new feature we posted on our Facebook page. We are calling it OnCallOnline.com. So go to Facebook.com/DrDrewHLN, and watch as I answer your questions about anything. I`ll answer your questions here. That`s right.
Now, we`ll be back in just a minute with the latest on the Warren Jeffs case after this quick break.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY (voice-over): Warren Jeffs, litigating or lecturing? The polygamous sect leader acting as his own lawyer again launching into fire and brimstone, demands (ph), and the word of god according to the self- proclaimed prophet.
And later, defending the seemingly indefensible. Allegations of child sexual assault sickening and true, but our justice system mandates representation for all. So, what is it like defending these cases? I`m asking an attorney who specializes in it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY (on-camera): More twists and turns tonight in the trial of polygamous, Warren Jeffs. Jeffs is accused of marrying and sexually assaulting two underage girls, one 12, and the other 15. Jeffs wants presiding Judge Barbara Walther removed from his case. He says God warned him that her life is in danger. She better get off the bench.
Back with us, former prosecutor and criminal defense attorney, Mark Eiglarsh, joining us former FLDS member, Flora Jessop, author of "Church of Lies," and HLN "In-Session" host, Christi Paul. Now, the motion from Jeffs read, quote, "I am to now rescue you from this case. Now sign order to recuse thyself and allow this proceeding to stop."
And an attached affidavit just claims God has numbered the judge`s days. Quote, "Let also Barbara Walthers" -- that`s not exactly her name -- "be of a humbling to know I have sent a crippling disease upon her which shall take her life soon." Apocs (ph), I tell you. Christi, what is this tactic?
CHRISTI PAUL, HOST, HLN`S "IN-SESSION": That`s a good question. I think -- I just talked to Deric Walpole who is still advising Warren Jeffs, by the way. First and foremost, we need to let you know that a judge in midland had to look at this recusal motion. He denied it. So, court has gone back in the session and has been in session all day. But, at the end of the day, Deric Walpole told me, you know what, Warren Jeffs believes that he is the prophet.
What we are seeing from this man, he says, is not an act. And he seems to get more agitated than any time else when the prosecution starts to submit evidences in the case. Evidence including marriage records, birth records, photos of his home, and he gets very agitated saying this is sacred ground. You are trampling on it. And, basically, at one point, saying, you will release more harm upon yourselves than you can imagine if you do not cease these proceedings.
PINSKY: Mark, I want to go to you. So what? What if he says I`m napoleon? And you have no right to talk about my generals that way. I mean, why is this different?
MARK EIGLARSH, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I agree with you. I mean, ultimately, the question is whether he`s competent to stand trial, and the answer is, obviously, yes, you just have to know right from wrong, understand that the person up there in the black polyester robe is the person who`s the judge. He meets that threshold. And then, the judge asked enough questions of him prior to allowing him to represent himself to feel comfortable legally that he can represent himself.
The gull and the hoot spa (ph) to say that, you know, hey, judge, I spoke with my higher power, the person I call God, and my higher power is telling me that you need to get off this case. And wait, wait, by the way, he thinks that black robe is very unflattering, doesn`t do anything for your smoking hot body. I mean, at some point, how far does he go?
PINSKY: You know, that`s exactly the point. I mean, I just tuned in and he told me that Jeffs guy not the prophet turns out. And Judge Walther, apparently, not the only one who`d been threatened by Jeffs. In court, on Friday, Jeffs also threatened the Tom Green County prosecutors and anyone else who might bring charges against him.
Saying, quote, "I will send a scourge upon the counties of prosecutorial zeal to make humbled by sickness and death." Mark, help me understand why the court allows this nonsense to go on. Why the judge doesn`t somehow, you know, silence some of this?
EIGLARSH: Well, let me explain to you. They have to give him some leeway. This is, by the way, typically a circuit judge`s nightmare to have someone representing themselves, because they`re all over the place, and the judges are worried about reversal.
They have to give enough latitude to make sure that they have their day in court, that they don`t, you know, step on their first amendment right of freedom of speech, but at some point, as long as he`s not disturbing the proceedings in front of the jury, the judge can take this while they`re outside, you know, having a smoke or taking a break. The judge can give him the latitude to spew this garbage, and then, ultimately, determine, did he rape this children.
PINSKY: All right. Flora, I`m going to go out to you. You were one time within this community. What do they hear when they hear this stuff being spewed by the so-called prophet? They`re completely on board with this, aren`t they?
FLORA JESSOP, FORMER FLDS MEMBER: You know, Warren has ordered the followers to stay away from the trial. And, in fact, some of his followers are here at the trial. But, they`re staying in the hallways. There is one enforcer that remains in the courtroom. But for the most part, the rest of them sit in the hallway. So, they aren`t hearing what Warren Jeffs is saying.
PINSKY: And flora, of course, I was meaning sort of figuratively what would they hear if they were to hear this kind of stuff. The rest of us hear kind of like rambling delusional nonsense. They hear the truth. But let me ask you this. You were in the courtroom today, is that correct? And if so, did you make eye contact with Jeffs? What was that like? What happened there?
JESSOP: Yes, I did. And warren`s brother, Lyle Jeffs, is here as well. And Lyle is the stand-in, I guess, you could call, the stand-in prophet or Warren Jeffs enforcer while Warren`s been in jail. And, several of the other men and I`ve gone up and shook their hands. They are my family and said hi to them. They don`t react very well to that, as you can imagine.
But, you know, I don`t run from them. I have nothing to hide. One of the interesting things, though, that you need to take note of in that document that Warren filed today was that he called not only death by disease down upon anyone associated with this case but death by accident as well, which is very, very concerning for us.
PINSKY: People aren`t allowed to make threats on the telephone and via the internet. I don`t quite understand why it`s OK to make threats that somebody -- what you think you`re doing is going to kill somebody that that`s OK, but let`s get past that. I want to go to something else, Flora, that you brought up last week that absolutely stunned me.
You told us that this tape that they`re likely to play in the courtroom is of Jeffs having his first sexual encounter with this child surrounded by other clergy in this temple bed. Please, Flora, describe what we`re talking about here. That was just stunning to me.
JESSOP: Well, first of all, you have to understand that his first sexual encounter whether on that temple bed or whether off that temple bed which wherever that occurred at, there are others in the room present. And from what I understand of it, it was multiple of his wives with the possibility of them holding her down while the act occurred.
PINSKY: And is it not the case that there are other sort of clergy types, too? I mean, other sort of authority figures from the community are sitting in this room? His wives -- his other clergy -- this is why I get crazy about this is why we can`t hold the community responsible for this. These are the leaders in the community standing around, getting off on watching a child being raped. I mean, come on now. Right? Is that it?
JESSOP: And the women, the wives, the mothers. Yes.
PINSKY: It`s just disgusting.
JESSOP: And the mothers standing around, watching.
PINSKY: Mark, I`m going to go out to you. How come that part of this isn`t being emphasized? You know, it`s so apparent if you just look at it for a second.
EIGLARSH: Well, I`m saddened. I mean, I have that image now of people standing around and assisting him in raping children. I`m sick. And as I was hoping for as I articulated last week, I`m hoping that prosecutors who I refer to as prioritizers because they`re so busy typically prioritize this matter, and that they don`t take at face value what they`re alleging.
Oh, there`s nothing going on here. It`s random acts of violence. It`s not. From everything that I`ve heard, this appears to be a systematic raping of children, and I truly hope that they prioritize this matter.
PINSKY: All right. Christi, I want to finish up with you. You`re reporting on this case. Did you understand the depths of -- let`s call what it is -- the depravity of this situation? Are we reporting enough on the details of how disgusting this circumstance is? Or is this the first time you`re hearing this, too, because when Flora told me on Friday, that was the first time I`d heard those details.
PAUL: You know, I think one of the most disturbing things I heard was when Flora and I were having a conversation earlier today and another gal who escaped a similar polygamous sect, not FLDS, but about infants being water boarded. They`re held under running water when they cry, and this is how they teach them not to cry. And it can go on for an hour until that child finally gets so exhausted that they fall asleep. It is stomach turning. There`s no doubt about it.
And one of the things that is very evident to me in that courtroom is whenever we hear from Warren Jeffs and we are hearing from him a lot more than we were that first day, the one thing that is markedly absent in his conversations or his diatribes, I should say, is, I never hear him say I am not guilty of what you`re trying to convict me of. I did not do what you alleged I did. What he says is, I have a right to my religion. You`re trampling on it, and you`re going to be in trouble if you don`t stop, basically.
PINSKY: Christi, that`s right.
PINSKY: He`s saying, what I`m doing is a sacred act, magical sacred act, and I`m going to kill you for thinking, otherwise. That`s what he said or God is going to kill you, my god (ph) anyway. But, Christi, I want to go back one more time around. Don`t you think we need to emphasize in the reporting of this case the depths of the depravity or is it just too much to even be reported on?
PAUL: No, no. My goodness. If it`s happening, absolutely we need to get out there and report it. And I think that we`re a step closer to that this week. If it`s going to get out, it`s got to get out now when he is in that courtroom, because if these things are happening behind closed doors, we have a responsibility to save these children. Absolute responsibility. And as horrific as it might sound, you can imagine how horrific it is for them behind the gates.
PINSKY: That`s exactly right. we have an obligation to step in here. Christi, thank you so much. Flora, thank you as always for joining us. Of course, Mark, you never cease to disappoint. You never disappoint, I beg your pardon.
So, everyone deserves a defense including polygamists and pedophiles, apparently. So, next, we`re going to talk to an attorney who defends them. I`m going to ask how does he do it and how does he sleep at night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TARA ISAACSON, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Did Warren Jeffs ever tell you directly that you had to submit to Allen for sex against your will? Again, yes or no?
VOICE OF ELISSA WALL, VICTIM: To say the full truth, I cannot answer that with a yes or no.
ISAACSON: Did he ever tell you directly? Simple question. Did he directly say to you, you must submit to Allen in sexual matters whether you want to or not against your will?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Now, there are some crimes so heinous we often ask ourselves, how can anyone defense the people accused of committing them? Do you ever wonder how somebody attorneys sleep at night? Well, joining me now is criminal defense attorney, Jim Bradshaw, who can help us answer the question. He specializes in rape and sodomy cases. His clients have included the FLDS and polygamists.
Now, Jim, I think everyone understands that we all deserve a defense. How do you respond to those who become critical and say not that person? That`s too heinous. That`s too much.
JIM BRADSHAW, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, the system breaks down because we judge someone harshly they don`t get a defense. The way our system is set up it`s adversarial for someone to make the determination of whether someone is guilty or innocence has to be a process, and for that process to work, the lawyer can`t make the decision. It has to be a judge or a jury. And, if anyone still believes in that system, that`s the way it has to happen.
PINSKY: And I understand that, you know, obviously, we`ve just come off the heels of this Casey Anthony case, and so, everyone is all up in arms about how our system works. Let me ask you this, you have, apparently, been critical of the judge and this case in the Jeffs trial. Can you tell me about that?
BRADSHAW: I don`t believe I`ve been critical. I think there`s been - - they`ve been in a hurry in this case for reasons that aren`t apparent to me. If you`ll recall, when this case started, they did a motion to suppress the evidence the day that the jury was called, which is very unusual. That`s not the way the process works. And, obviously, the judge decided in advance that the motion was going to be denied by the fact she called the jury the same day.
Typically, a motion to suppress would be held weeks, months in advance, and the judge would then make a determination, usually, a written determination, as to whether or not the evidence would be suppressed. This case has been in a hurry as it`s moved along, and I think there are risks in that, risks that the process is not working correctly. This case -- go ahead.
PINSKY: Go ahead. You please finish.
BRADSHAW: What I was going to say is that this case may make good theater and maybe good for television ratings, but it`s not the best face of the criminal justice system. This is not the system working at its most efficient and best.
PINSKY: Tell me why. Other than the fact that issue of suppressing evidence maybe went a little too quickly, what else is wrong here?
BRADSHAW: Well, I haven`t been in the courtroom. I`m not able to see proceedings first hand, but just reading about it, hearing about it, it doesn`t appear to me that it`s a very evenly matched battle in terms of two legal adversaries fighting each other and a search to get to the right result.
There are real questions, I believe, about the propriety and whether or not Mr. Jeffs should be representing himself. And, you know, how that took place and whether he was, in fact, in a position to be able to waive his right to counsel and proceed.
PINSKY: You mean his mental health issues were so severe that he should have been considered somebody who was capable of defending himself?
BRADSHAW: I mean, that`s your feel, not mine. But, in most situations where there`s a determination that someone is, in fact, in a position to be able to waive rights such as that, there`s an evaluative process to take place. Examiners that will do a thorough examination, make a determination as to whether or not someone is capable of actually waiving those rights. I think we`re seeing the result of proceeding without such process.
PINSKY: Let me ask you a question, which is, you know, we`re sort of holding the entire community responsible for the behavior of its leaders. I`m hearing about reprehensible behavior, evidence of reprehensible behavior, on the part of the clergy leadership watching and participating in the rape of a young adolescent. If in fact that is true why can`t we hold a community responsible for that that has been infected in this way?
BRADSHAW: Because it`s extremely dangerous anytime that you start talking about those people and judging across the board an entire faith by the acts of one person. Each person should be judged individually. And if it`s all of the clergy, they should all be judged. I don`t think that`s the case with the evidence.
I will tell you from my experience in working this community, there are many, many very good people, hard-working, honest people who are absolutely appalled at the notion of child abuse. You can`t judge an entire community by the allegations against one person. It`s unfair, and it`s really very dangerous.
PINSKY: Well, what I keep hearing, though, is the entire community supports the prophet`s desire to anoint and participate and do what he wants to do with these young children. Is that just inaccurate at that community or just certain members of that community, and we should judge each and every one of the ones that has that illicit view?
BRADSHAW: I think we should judge a community or an individual by evidence that comes out in a courtroom. And we shouldn`t be judging either of those based upon some rumor or unfounded allegation, some unproved assertion that comes out in the course of some television show. That`s not evidence. And that`s not a basis to make a judgment about an individual or a people or a faith.
PINSKY: Well, thank you, Mr. Bradshaw. I appreciate the point of view.
Next, if the phone rang and it was Mr. Jeffs, if Warren Jeffs says, represent me, would our next guest say yes or no? I do not know his answer, but you will know the lawyer.
PINSKY: Well, we just heard from an attorney who defends the FLDS and Warren Jeffs. Back with me is criminal defense attorney, Mark Eiglarsh. He needs to explain to me how defense attorneys represent these people. And Mark, I want to ask you one question that I tease before the break. If Warren called you and said, I need you to defend me, what`s your answer?
EIGLARSH: Probably not, for a number of reasons not necessarily the reasons that you might think. I have a family here in South Florida. I`m not going to go to Texas. Number two, based on the facts that I`m hearing, I have three very young children. I`m extraordinarily disturbed, and I don`t know that I would, somehow, benefit the defense and be able to give them 100 percent, because I`m human. So, no, I don`t necessarily take every single case.
PINSKY: OK. And you just heard what Mr. Bradshaw was saying. I`m trying to be the good host here and be a gentleman and give this thoughtful, careful attorney --
EIGLARSH: That`s who you are. Yes.
PINSKY: A chance to speak his mind. You know, he stays consistent within his framework. I`m outside the framework going this is ridiculous. There`s a sick guy here with a community that`s ill, why can`t we do something about this?
EIGLARSH: Somebody sounds a little judgmental.
PINSKY: Yes, I am. Yes, I am.
PINSKY: He says go to every person in that community and judge each and every one of them. At some point, as a country, as a community, don`t we have an obligation to disrupt some of this?
EIGLARSH: OK. The answer is yes if there are people systematically involved in raping small children. If it`s isolated, I agree with him, but that doesn`t seem to be what the evidence is suggesting. So far, what we`re hearing from people who have lived there is that it`s systematic. If that`s the case, then I disagree with what he`s saying, but I do agree with him that you can`t just throw out a blanket net and see who just fits into the net.
You`ve got to go individually. And if, you know, you determine that it`s systematic, well, then, everyone should be held responsible if they`re involved and playing a role.
PINSKY: How do we proceed, though? I mean, this is a paranoid closed system where people are systematically raised with a belief system from the cradle. We hear about water boarding of infants where there`s, you know, this level of collusion and enmeshment that is almost impenetrable. Is this about getting social services in there and collecting the evidence and allowing social services to do their job? Or is there a remedy through the justice system? What do you think?
EIGLARSH: Law enforcement, I mean, they infiltrate numerous organizations whether it be drug trafficking, empires, whether it`d be, you know, the Armenian power, committing crimes throughout this world. You know, they know how to penetrate. They know how to get in there, and they know how to do it. They just need to prioritize it. And by the way, regarding defending him, I would defend everyone`s right to defend him.
We have to understand that it`s not necessarily him or a particular defendant. It`s about defending the system, and the system is about do prosecutors have enough evidence to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt? In this case, assuming they have DNA showing that it`s his child inside a child, then yes, it`s clear, but it`s not about him.
It`s about every defendant knowing that no matter how heinous the crime, there will be someone there to defend them and hold the government or the state to the highest burden under the law. And for that, I defend that concept.
PINSKY: And of course, according to the Eiglarsh school of law that I have attended, even Mr. Jeffs won`t be guilty, he`ll just be proven, proven to have had sex with the young girl. Yes?
EIGLARSH: Well there`s one option of guilty which means they did prove it, and the other option if they somehow find him not guilty under these facts, then that would mean either they didn`t prove it and/or he`s innocent.
PINSKY: Thank you, Mark, for joining me. Thanks all of you for watching. I`ll see you next time.