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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL

Paterno to Retire in Wake of Sex Abuse Scandal

Aired November 9, 2011 - 19:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CARLOS DIAZ, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, stunning developments in the alleged Penn State child sex scandal. Legendary head football coach, Joe Paterno, announces he will retire at the end of the season. This after former assistant Jerry Sandusky is charged with sexually abusing eight boys over a 15-year period, allegedly raping boys as young as 8 years old.

Paterno now says he wishes he had done more. Was he part of a university-wide cover-up? So why didn`t he contact police when he first heard the claims of abuse nearly ten years ago? And will even more victims come forward?

And, more people come out of the woodwork in the case of missing Baby Lisa. The woman who received a mystery phone call from one of Lisa`s parents` cell phones claims another man had her phone that night. The parents say their cell phones were taken along with little Lisa. So what is the connection between all these people? And will they lead police to Baby Lisa? We`re on the ground where the desperate search is going on, and we`re taking your calls.

ISSUES starts now.

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(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was indicted on some 40 counts of sexually abusing young boys, charges that spanned more than 15 years.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t think it would be beyond the realm of possibility that there are other victims that exist here.

JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He would then allegedly sexual assault them in various places, whether it be in the locker room at the football stadium, at his home in the basement, or at a school. It was very graphic, very disturbing to read this 23-page report.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is not a case about football. It`s not a case about universities. It`s a case about children who have had their innocence stolen from them and a culture that did nothing to stop it or prevent it from happening to others.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Where were the police? Where were the authorities? Why was no one calling them when all of these things were coming out year after year?

JOE PATERNO, HEAD FOOTBALL COACH, PENN STATE: We`re going to pray for those kids that were involved with some of the problems that were talked about. All right? They don`t deserve it. We owe to it them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DIAZ: The sex abuse scandal at Penn State is ripping the university apart, and no one may be safe from the short fallout.

Good evening. I`m Carlos Diaz sitting in for Jane Velez-Mitchell.

And tonight, we have breaking news out of Pennsylvania. Penn State legend, head coach Joe Paterno, has announced he will retire at the end of this season. We`re also hearing reports that the president of the university could be fired at any moment.

And just minutes ago, the Department of Education announced it will open an investigation into how the school handled the allegations. All of this -- all of this fallout from the disgusting child sexual abuse scandal involving this man, ex-assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.

I must warn you some of the details we`ve been talking about are very disturbing. Sandusky is facing 40 counts of sex crimes against young boys. According to the grand jury testimony, Sandusky allegedly raped or sexually assaulted boys as young as 8 years old, repeatedly, over a 15-year span.

And as if that wasn`t shocking enough and sickening enough, we`ve also learned that on two separate occasions, these actions were brought to the attention of officials, but nothing was done. Instead, it looks like certain members of Penn State tried to keep things quiet, presumably to not hurt the powerhouse football program.

Here`s what we know. In 2002 a graduate assistant told Coach Paterno that he saw Sandusky having sex with a 10-year-old boy in the locker-room shower on campus in the football facilities. Paterno then told the athletic director, Tim Curley. But Curley and Vice President Gary Schultz did not go to police. Curley and Schultz are now facing perjury charges, and calls are growing louder for the immediate resignation or firing of Coach Paterno and university president Graham Spanier.

It is the calls for Paterno`s immediate dismissal that are dividing the campus. Take a listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don`t really see what he did wrong. He legally went to the athletic director like you`re supposed to. And, you know, maybe morally he didn`t go the police, so some people are kind of against him for that. But legally, he did what he was supposed to.

CORY GIGER, SNAP: If it were your 10-year-old son who was raped, or if you were the 10-year-old you were raped, would you be OK with the way Joe Paterno handled this? I find it baffling that anyone could go to bat, the way so many people seem to be. And just ask yourself that -- just that question.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DIAZ: I completely agree with Cory Giger and what he said. I completely disagree with all of these students at Penn State, a place that is called the Ivy Leagues for State Colleges, where students are supposed to be trying to find out the truth as much as they can. The students there rallying around Joe Paterno, saying that he did nothing wrong, that he should be allowed to coach this weekend.

here was even an impromptu rally last night in support of Paterno, and Joepa spoke to the crowd.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We want Joe. We want Joe.

PATERNO: I want you. And I want you guys. It`s hard for me to tell you how much this means to me. You know, with the kids that are victims. Whatever they want to say, I think we ought to say a prayer for them. Because you know, tough life when people do certain things to you, but anyway, you`ve been great.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DIAZ: Tough life. It`s a tough life when people do certain things to you. I got news for you, Coach Paterno. It`s a lot tougher when people do things to you in a shower, and no one reports it to police. I have a very big problem with people saying that Coach Paterno should be allowed to coach this weekend, for Penn State against Nebraska.

I want to hear from you on this one. Call me: 1-877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877-586-7297 if you agree with me, or more importantly, if you disagree with me. I want you to call right now.

We`re on top of this story. It is moving fast. Let`s go right out to my colleague, Mike Galanos, who is at Penn State. He`s on the campus.

Mike, I cannot believe that the students, every student that you`re talking to is 100 percent behind Joe Paterno.

MIKE GALANOS, ANCHOR, "HLN NEWS NOW": That`s the way it is, Carlos. I mean this is a revered figure. We know that. Certainly, the students that I`ve talked to wish he would have done more. Joe Paterno said the same thing.

But when you get down to that brass tacks question, should Joe Paterno go or not, in State College the answer is no, that he coaches the rest of the season and then he resigns, and that is that. Outside of State College, obviously, the chorus is a whole lot different, Carlos.

DIAZ: Yes, and I`ve got news for you. I`m a huge college football fan. Last Sunday, I was checking out the games, and I marked noon, Penn State/Nebraska, No. 12 against No. 19. Can`t wait to see that game. But I`ve got news for you. This is bigger than a football game.

And for everyone out there that says that Joe Paterno did everything he could, let me just say this to you. In March of 2002 it was brought to his attention, not by a parent or somebody he didn`t know, by a graduate student who is now his wide receivers coach who used to be his starting quarterback. Mike McQueary came to him and said, "I saw Jerry Sandusky, our former defensive coordinator, having relations, sexual relations, basically raping a 10-year-old boy in the showers on campus."

Paterno goes to the athletic director and tells him. Doesn`t tell police. Nothing is done about it. And Jerry Sandusky, for all intents and purposes, all they did was take away the keys from Jerry Sandusky and say, "Don`t come back to the campus with kids any more." In other words, "We don`t care what you do off campus. Just don`t do it on campus."

And you know what Jerry Sandusky did off campus, according to this report, third grand jury report? Over a year and a half span, he physically attacked a 13-year-old boy, and according to these allegations, forced himself on that 13-year-old boy on 20 different occasions, and we`re talking about sexual activities with a 13-year-old boy. Joe Paterno did nothing wrong in that situation?

The power that Joe Paterno had to stop that is amazing. He`s the most powerful person in Pennsylvania. He did nothing. He did nothing to call police to stop Jerry Sandusky from doing this in the future.

Here`s part of Joe Paterno`s statement. "I`ve decided to announce my retirement, effective at the end of the season. At this moment, the board of trustees should not spend a single minute discussing my status." Then he goes on to say, "This is a tragedy. It`s one of the great sorrows of my life. With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I would have done more."

You can`t have it both ways, Joe. You can`t say this a tragedy and you have great sorrow, this is one of the darkest moments of your life, but the board of trustees, "Hey, leave me alone. Let me coach out the rest of the season."

By wishing you had done more, you`re acknowledging you did something wrong. You didn`t follow your moral compass.

I want to go out to Drew Sharp, sport columnist for the "Detroit Free Press." Drew, what are your thoughts on this?

DREW SHARP, SPORTS COLUMNIST, "DETROIT FREE PRESS": Well, clearly, you know, at its core, this is -- first and foremost, it is an allegation of child sex abuse, just a horrifying episode here, and anyone who read the grand jury report is just sickened by it.

But because of the institution`s inactivity for almost ten years, staying quiet about this, it then became a football issue and an institutional issue. And because of that, yes, Joe Paterno should not coach another second for Penn State. They`re giving him the opportunity to retire on his own terms.

I wrote today that, you know, Penn State should actually forfeit this game Saturday against Nebraska, because it is absolutely ridiculous now that this institution can think that, OK, for three hours we can still live in this bubble Saturday that everything is fine, get 100,000 people, you know, there cheering on their Penn State team and say good-bye to Joepa, and then after that everything is back to normal. It`s never going to be the same again at Penn State.

DIAZ: And I agree, Drew. I completely agree. We`re going to have more on this on the other side of the break. We`re taking your phone calls right now. Give us a call: 1-877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877-586-7297. You think I`m crazy? Call me. Tell me about it.

A child sex scandal involving a former assistant football coach forces the legendary Joe Paterno into retirement. Now players and former players are left to pick up the pieces.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just an honor to be able to actually say that I played under Joe Paterno, and the news is obviously really sad. There were some tears, and -- and this was sad. But it was definitely an honor to be able to play under him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He knows. He knows what he`s doing.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I kind of knew him. I talked to him a few times in the weight room. We would see him, and I thought he was always the nicest guy. He was always really, really nice. Seemed really, really sincere. So when I heard the news, it was obviously really shocking.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DIAZ: That young man is a football player at Penn State, and while he was shocked at the allegations against Jerry Sandusky, I have to think that others were not, because there were incidents that were witnessed, yet no one acted on them, at least in a way that would prevent Sandusky from repeating these terrible acts he`s accused of.

Let`s go right back out to Penn State University. Mike Galanos is on the campus.

And Mike, you have students there with you who believe that Joe Paterno, even though he was told about his former coach, Jerry Sandusky, having sex with a 10-year-old boy in the shower, these -- and did not call the cops, these students think that Joe Paterno should coach this weekend?

GALANOS: Yes. And I chatted with them before. They`re well spoken. And I think they speak for a lot of the students. It`s Jen, Corey, Drew. And basically, he should have done more, Joe Paterno, right? We all agree on that. But you guys are all of like mind that he should be able to coach and go out and finish the season, correct? All right. Why?

OK. When you think -- and you know what`s coming. Joe Paterno is the leader. I`ll start with you, Drew. He is the guy that should, if anybody takes the bullet on this and say, "I should have done more. I will step down." What would that mean -- would you be upset if he did that? Or would you say, "All right, that`s a leader. I respect him that much more."

DREW JACKSON, SENIOR AT PENN STATE: I feel as though, given the circumstances, that Joe followed the proper channels. I think that, as human beings, as students, as people of the nation, we expect that human element to be exposed and for him to have done more.

But him given the circumstances and having what he has on his plate, his focus is on the team, on Penn State football, he can only hope that, given the circumstances, if he gives information to who he needs to give it to, his supervisor, that they`re going to handle it as best as they can. Him just getting a story from the graduate assistant, you know, he can only take...

GALANOS: In your mind, you were hoping the higher-ups would have done more. Again that gets you back, Corey, to who is Joe Paterno. There is nobody higher at Penn State than Joepa, right?

COREY LONBERGER, SOPHOMORE AT PENN STATE: You`re asking -- Joe Paterno is an icon here at Penn State. I mean, everybody holds him in great admiration and respect. I mean, and of course, he could have done more. He`s facing a tough situation. And I think, given his career and everything that he`s -- how he`s handled the situation so far, he should be actually allowed to finish out the season.

GALANOS: OK. I heard just a moment ago right here on ISSUES, Jen, one of the -- and it`s a hard-edge question. It`s like, if that was your 10-year-old or 12-year-old little brother, would you be OK with Joe Paterno`s response? That`s a hard one to answer. Can you answer that one?

JENN KNOWLTON, JUNIOR AT PENN STATE: I mean, it`s definitely a hard one. I mean, I don`t have any kids. I don`t really know. I mean, I think it`s a difficult one to think about.

But from my stance, I really think Joe Paterno did what he was, you know, supposed to do, went to the higher-ups, and I think that the higher- ups it was their job to take care of it, not Joe Paterno`s.

DIAZ: Mike, I`ve got -- I have a request.

GALANOS: Knew you`d jump in.

DIAZ: I`m sorry, because I`m about to throw up. Ask these three students if they have -- ask them this very simple question, yes or no. Have they read the 23-page grand jury report? Yes or no.

GALANOS: Have you guys -- this is from Carlos, hosting tonight. Have you guys read the 23-page report?

You have?

Corey? You have?

All three have. OK.

With that said, and it is horrific, did that change you at all? I mean, when you go back, because that just lights the fire of anger with so many. But you guys are standing by Joe Paterno that he should be able to coach. Why after you read that?

JACKSON: I mean just given his history, I mean, what it means to me is I grew up in this community. Ever since I can remember he`s been a prominent figure. Just his pedigree has been something that`s been iconic. I mean, that actually added to his iconic figure, having a strong integrity in doing what`s right. I can only imagine that he thought he did what he thought was right.

GALANOS: It`s a history and all he`s done good should allow him to have -- to be able to finish the season. Carlos, you got a follow up?

DIAZ: We have to wrap. I`m going to come back to you after the break. I just want to say...

GALANOS: OK.

DIAZ: And I want to say to that student, just very quickly, and the students there watching right now, I do -- I agree. Joe Paterno is a great coach. But there`s a 13-year-old boy in 1997 who wishes that he didn`t have to -- that he didn`t have to perform oral acts on Jerry Sandusky because of the fact that Joe Paterno didn`t go to police.

All right. Let`s go to Dr. Drew. He`s got a great show tonight, as well.

Dr. Drew Pinsky says he`s disgusted by the Penn State scandal. You can read his comments on HLN.com -- HLNTV.com. How he can`t believe no one came forward to report these alleged crimes against children. You can watch Dr. Drew tonight at 9.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t think it would be beyond the realm of possibility that there are other victims that exist here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DIAZ: There are eight victims in the grand jury report. We know that a ninth has come forward. There are reports that the number is almost double. We have yet to confirm that. We do know that Jerry Sandusky had access to hundreds of vulnerable young boys through his charity. Who knows how many victims may still be out there?

Jerry Sandusky, former assistant coach at Penn State University for the football program, everyone is asking now, even though Joe Paterno has said he will now retire at the end of the season, should Joe Paterno step down or be fired immediately?

Let`s go to the phone lines right now. Tynecia from Florida. Tynecia, what do you have to say?

CALLER: Hey, first of all, I cannot understand and I would not expect the fact that Paterno feels that he did everything right. That`s in no way. This sex scandal case has really bothered me. I mean, just to know that so many innocent kids have been taken advantage of for so many years. You know all of this has been just swept under the rug. It`s immoral. I`m disturbed. And I really, really want justice.

DIAZ: Tynecia, I think a lot of people agree with you.

Holly Hughes, former prosecutor, criminal defense attorney. What are your thoughts on this? Is Joe Paterno -- because there was a report that came out today that said Joe Paterno is not out of the woods legally just yet.

HOLLY HUGHES, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, and he shouldn`t be. Carlos, I`m so incensed about this whole thing. Part of the Penn State alma mater reads. And I`m going to look down for a second, because I want to get this line exactly right. It says, "May no act of ours bring shame." Well, guess what? You have failed miserably.

When you hear that a little boy, a 7-, 8-, 9-year-old, is being raped in a shower by one of your former coaches, and you don`t immediately call the police, and you don`t call that coach out? Do you realize, Carlos, that Jerry Sandusky, the main defendant here had six adopted children? He`s got grandchildren. He took in foster children. What was Paterno thinking? That he wasn`t going to do it to his own kids, that they were safe somehow? No, he`s not out of the woods.

And as a teacher and a coach, there is mandatory reporting when you become aware of a child being abused. And because he did nothing --and Paterno came out to a cheering crowd on Tuesday night.

DIAZ: Oh, yes.

HUGHES: And said, "I understand that there have been some criticisms about the way we handled some of the poor victims." Are you kidding me? Poor victims? That didn`t have to be plural. If this man had called the police...

DIAZ: Yes.

HUGHES: ...and reported what he saw...

DIAZ: Yes.

HUGHES: ... he could have stopped at one, Carlos. Victim, not victims.

DIAZ: And -- and I completely agree. And the fact that his son was out there saying, "Let`s pray for the victims, "I got news for you. Joe Paterno, what if it was your son in that shower?"

HUGHES: That`s exactly right.

DIAZ: Would you have called the cops then?

Really quickly out to Drew Sharp. Drew, Mike McQueary, the grad assistant at the time, who saw this act taking place in the shower didn`t report to it the police, didn`t break up that act, and he will be on the sidelines as the receivers` coach this weekend. Should he be out, as well?

SHARP: Absolutely he should be. The whole coaching staff should be out right now. Again, this is a systematic breakdown of the entire institution. It`s because the football program got too powerful and felt that they were above what should be considered the moral responsibility of that university.

DIAZ: All right. More issues coming up right after this. Drew Sharp, Holly Hughes, Mike Galanos, thank you so much, guys.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This man is a legend in this community, a legend at Penn State... * (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This man is a legend in this community, a legend at Penn State so it`s no surprise that you would see some outpouring of support for this man.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We want Joe. We want Joe.

JOE PATERNO, COACH, PENNSYLVANIA STATE COLLEGE: I want you. I want you guys. It`s hard for me to tell you how much this means to me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If he doesn`t have the decency and courage to call 911 with a credible sexual abuse allegation how can we expect lower level employees to do that? Take that simple step.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This has been a very, very tough day for everybody involved; the courage of (INAUDIBLE) that are going through this. Please make sure the first ones you remember keep the victims in your thoughts.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLOS DIAZ: There would have been less victims if Joe Paterno would have called the police when he was alerted the activities that were going on in the shower on campus between his ex-coach and a 10-year-old boy back in 2002.

We`re following this terrible sexual abuse scandal out of Penn State. I`ve got to warn you, the details of this case are disturbing and graphic. Ex-assistant coach Jerry Sandusky is facing 40 counts of sex crimes against young boys. He allegedly raped and sexually-assaulted young boys on and off Penn State campuses for 15 years.

And there are signs that point to a Penn State cover-up. That is leading to calls for the university president, for school officials and even for beloved coach Joe Paterno to lose their jobs immediately.

I want to bring in somebody who really knows about the effects of these terrible actions. Sheldon Kennedy was a professional hockey player in the NHL for eight years. But his road to the NHL was especially difficult. Kennedy was sexually abused by his Minor League coach for five years.

I first met Sheldon when he skated across Canada to raise awareness for abuse issues. He is also the author of the book, "Why I didn`t say anything".

Sheldon Kennedy, thank you for talking to us. And first off, I want to say good to see you again, my friend. You were the first story that I ever did for ESPN about 14 years ago. And it`s good to see that you`re still fighting for this cause. Tell me what you thought when you first heard about these allegations on the Penn State campus?

SHELDON KENNEDY, FORMER NHL PLAYER ABUSED BY COACH: It`s good to see you too. And well, I`m not surprised. You know, as you know, we`ve been pushing for the awareness of these issues for 14 years here in Canada. So we have recognized that a lot of times in these situations, this, or scouts or whatever it may be that they become institutionalized. And Penn State is a high-profile college, the football with a high-profile individual.

So the institutionalization of these issues is not unique. It`s not just Penn State. It does happen. It happens a lot. My first concern whenever this happens is with the victims. I mean these kids, these young boys; we need to make sure we`re doing everything in our power to support them.

DIAZ: Sheldon, you have a unique perspective about this. And I spent some time with you. I can tell people out there that Sheldon although his story is horrific has battled through it and is an amazing young man now. And the question I have for you, Sheldon, when you hear about the fact in 2002 that Joe Paterno was made aware of this and he didn`t call 911 and he didn`t call authorities. And then later in 2007 a young boy was attacked by Jerry Sandusky numerous times during sleepovers and Jerry Sandusky forced oral sex on the young boy. What are your thoughts about that that could it have been prevented?

KENNEDY: Well, absolutely. And I think that, you know, we have an individual, Paterno, that declares himself to be this super leader within Penn State. And to me the leaders of organizations need to do the right thing. You need to lead. You need to walk the walk. And to me --

DIAZ: Yes.

Kennedy: -- there was no walking of the walk here. I think, you know, there was a choice that was made and the choice was to, you know, try to have this go away and try to turn the other way. So to me I think that there was a legal and moral obligation, you know, from the coach and all adults that knew about this to report it to the authorities. Not so much to the university but to the authorities, the proper authorities.

DIAZ: And you made a great point. It`s like, you know, it will just go away. And I honestly think they are still stuck in that cloud, it will just go away. If we win against Nebraska this weekend it will just go away.

Are you kidding me? No one is even thinking about the fact that what`s going to happen in the post-game press conference. If they do beat Nebraska, Joe Paterno is going to be out there taking questions about the game. Every question is going to be about this case.

I want to go to Dale Archer, clinical psychologist. Dale, is the entire university in denial right now?

DALE ARCHER, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: I tell you, it`s stunning to me. I feel like I`m on another planet when I hear people say it`s such a hard decision; it`s such a hard, tough spot to be in. Are you kidding me? There`s nothing tough about this. This is a slam dunk.

If anyone, anyone of those people had gone forward back in 2002 then how many young boys would have been saved going forward? That`s really the only thing that you have to ask going forward is how many boys would you have saved? And by thinking in those terms the answer is easy.

I think Penn State needs to take an ethics course, the entire university on morals and ethics because I`m stunned that anyone out there could support what transpired.

DIAZ: And I was watching a former athlete give his opinion earlier this evening and he`ll remain unnamed. But the point that he made was let`s think about those players -- let`s think about the football players at Penn State and how much they`ve gone through this year and how they have to get a big victory because they are undefeated in big ten play.

It`s going to be really tough, you know, because if they lose on Sunday they`ve lost a football game. A 13-year-old boy, he`s lost his life, he`s lost his innocence and we don`t even know about the 10-year-old boy in the shower. All we know him is victim two. We don`t even know if he`s alive today because we don`t know his name. Because when Mike McQueary the red-headed guy that you`ll see on the sideline this weekend, coaching the wide receivers. When he saw that 10-year-old boy being raped in the shower by a man in his 50s, he walked away. And he`ll be on the sidelines this weekend coaching up the Nittany Lions.

I want to go to David Epstein, senior writer for "Sports Illustrated". David, am I overreacting?

DAVID EPSTEIN, SENIOR WRITER, "SPORTS ILLUSTRATED": No, I don`t think you`re overreacting. Look, no one who read the grand jury documents, I think, has had an easy or unemotional time. We all know the cliche kind of innocent until proven guilty. But I think most people feel what they`ve seen so far is sort of overwhelming and disappointing and sort of symptomatic. People who really (INAUDIBLE) getting away with it.

And every turn, every kind of strategy that`s come out of Penn State on the PR front seems to not to work very well. And the president used the word "unconditional", that I can remember when the report was out (INAUDIBLE) and Joe Paterno who`s obviously trying to work out retirement on his own terms. But that doesn`t look real likely. So, you know, it`s just getting worse and worse.

DIAZ: You know -- and David, you bring up some great points.

I want to go back out to Mike Galanos who is on the campus right there in Penn State. Mike, you`re there. If tomorrow -- because there`s breaking news every day in this case -- if tomorrow the subcommittee that`s been brought together, if the committee says we`ve come to the conclusion that Joe Paterno should no longer be the coach at Penn State university, what do you think the reaction will be on campus?

MIKE GALANOS, HLN CORRESPONDENT: I think you would see the rallies. Think Bobby Knight, Carlos, when that student body rose up, you would see that again. Although -- and you know, if Joe Paterno, again, he`s the leader and you would love for him to be the one to say, you know, I was the one who should have stepped up. Because of that I`ll now step down. And what a message that would be.

And, you know, what a lesson it would be for this student body. Think again, Carlos, besides Joe Paterno, I count six adults, six adults: McQueary saw it, told his dad -- two adults; told coach Paterno, three; told the AD, four; told the vice president, five; told the president of the university, six adults. Joe Paterno is the greatest leader there. He`s number one but six adults could have stood up for an abused, assaulted young boy and did not.

DIAZ: And I love when they compare this to Bobby Knight. I went to Indiana University. Bobby Knight was let go because he grabbed a student by the arm who addressed him as "Hey Knight" and he said "It`s Coach Knight". He grabbed him by the arm. Of course, there was an earlier incident when he grabbed one of his players by the throat during practice. We`re talking grabbing by the arm and throat.

We`re talking about in Joe Paterno`s case not reporting to police a sex act between one of his former assistant coaches and a 10-year-old boy.

I want to go to Dennis in Connecticut right now. Dennis, what are your thoughts?

DENNIS, CONNECTICUT (via telephone): hi. My thoughts are as a 60- year-old man from Connecticut, I endured sexual abuse as a child and how Joe Paterno can stand up in his brief, his brief statement saying that I`m going to do everything to help this -- I`ve made some mistakes but I`m going to do everything to help this university. You know, Joe, how about the victims? Do you give a crap about the victims?

DIAZ: Dennis let me ask you a question. You were sexual abused as a child, and by the way thank you for coming forward to say that on the air. Was your life ever the same?

DENNIS: I`m sorry?

DIAZ: Was your life ever the same after you were sexually abused?

DENNIS: My life has been a torment. I served in Vietnam. My Vietnam experience was easier than the sexual abuse that I endured. And I`ve lived with it.

So I look at these people, these powerful people that can make decisions through educators, through guiding the lives of young people --

More ISSUES coming up; Dennis we`ve got to cut you off. More ISSUES coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALEX BUTTERWORTH, SOPHOMORE, PENN STATE PUNTER: Just an honor to be able to actually say I played under Joe Paterno. And sure the news is obviously really sad, there were some tears.

DAKOTA ROYER, SOPHOMORE, PENN STATE LINEBACKER: Think, I know, his standpoint he did what he thought was right and, you know, I think in the end you can`t really fault someone for something like that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DIAZ: There were two incidences that should have brought an end to all of this. In 1998 a mother told University police that Jerry Sandusky showered with her 11-year-old son. This resulted in a warning to not to do that again. And then in 2002 a graduate assistant allegedly saw Sandusky in the shower with a young man. The grand jury testimony reads like this. "A naked boy, whose age he estimated to be about 10 years old, with his hands held up against the wall and a naked Sandusky forcing him to have sex."

This was reported to Joe Paterno the head coach of the football program at Penn State. He told the athletic director and the vice president but the police were never called. The details of this case are horrific, so graphic that we won`t tell the worst of it on the air.

I do tell you go to hlntv.com and download this 23-page report and read it for yourself. Let me warn you, it`s very, very graphic.

Let`s go out to Ernie in Texas on the phone lines. Ernie, what do you have to say?

ERNIE, TEXAS (via telephone): Well I think the whole thing is a witch-hunt because the first thing they did was jump on Joe Paterno. It was Joe`s responsibility probably in his contract what he could do. More than likely he was to report to his supervisors.

(CROSSTALK)

DIAZ: Ernie do you have any kids? Do you have any kids?

ERNIE: Yes, I do.

DIAZ: How would you feel if Joe Paterno, if your son was in that shower?

ERNIE: If my son was in that shower, Joe had nothing to do with it. He wasn`t in the shower.

DIAZ: Joe who`s the most powerful person in Pennsylvania did not call police, did not follow up.

ERNIE: Oh, I think it was probably part of his contract he wasn`t allowed to do that.

DIAZ: Wait. Wait. Joe Paterno wasn`t allowed to do something? Joe Paterno is the most powerful man at Penn State University. No one tells you --

ERNIE: If you did something that your boss didn`t like --

DIAZ: Joe Paterno is the boss. He is more powerful than the --

ERNIE: No he`s not.

DIAZ: -- president of the university.

ERNIE: No he`s not.

DIAZ: Really?

ERNIE: Really.

DIAZ: All right. Ernie, you`re of the mind --

ERNIE: He`s more though of -- more people like him but he`s not the boss.

DIAZ: All right. Well, I value your opinion. But Joe Paterno --

ERNIE: That`s something everybody needs to take into account is that in that same position what would they have done? And we can all say we would have done better but maybe not.

DIAZ: But Joe Paterno is supposed to be doing better. He`s entrusted -- these parents have entrusted their kids to Joe Paterno to protect their kids. That`s the problem that I have.

I want to go out to David Epstein. Ernie -- David Epstein is no longer with us. Who do I have? Let`s go Holly Hughes. Holly -- let`s go out to Holly -- I know that, you know, you follow sports a little bit. But after seeing this case, do you get the feeling that Joe Paterno is the most powerful man on campus?

HOLLY HUGHES, LEGAL ANALYST: Of course he is. They are holding pep rallies for him. I can guarantee you nobody is holding a pep rally for the president, get real. And let me tell you something from a legal standpoint, you cannot contract to do something illegal.

People who are in positions of power at a school are supposed to report. It`s called mandatory reporting. You know what? He`s breaking the law by not reporting it.

No university can tell you if you see a crime happening, you`re not allowed to tell anybody. You certainly can`t call 911. That is an absolute crock, ok.

So, let`s just get rid of that right now. Joe -- there`s a statue of him at Penn State and it says educator, coach, humanitarian. Well guess what? When they ask him what do you want written about you about he said, "What I want them to say about me is that I made this a better place, not that I was a good football coach."

Well guess what? You have failed miserably as an educator and as a humanitarian because you had a duty to report that to the police. I would like to see Rico (ph) charges for criminal conspiracy here, ongoing criminal conspiracy that he allowed Jerry Sandusky to continue to abuse children.

DIAZ: I want to go out the Sheldon Kennedy for the last words. Sheldon, you were abused as a young man. When you hear about these allegations what comes to your mind?

KENNEDY: Well first and foremost, it`s the victims and then it`s all the adults that are around the situation. It`s the abuse of power. And, you know it`s sick and (INAUDIBLE) --

DIAZ: More ISSUES coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DEBORAH BRADLEY, MOTHER OF MISSING BABY LISA IRWIN: The only thing I can think of is maybe somebody wanted baby and she -- I hope that`s what it is.

MEGAN WRIGHT: Where is the baby? Apparently there was a 50-second phone call made from one of the family`s phone to my cell phone.

A guy named Dane supposedly had my phone all of Monday and Tuesday night.

JIM SPELLMAN, CNN ALL PLATFORM JOURNALIST: We have another person on the scene here as well as Dane. We have a man named Shane.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you want to tell them about Lisa?

BRADLEY: She`s everything. She`s our little girl. She`s completed our family and she means everything to my boys, and we -- we need her home.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DIAZ: Shocking new details in the missing Baby Lisa case. Her mom Deborah Bradley says the beautiful 11-month-old was stolen from her crib over a month ago, along with three cell phones.

There is a constant expanding cast of characters in the mystery, and we now have new information updates on the timeline of that night. We`ve heard that a neighbor, Shane, stopped by to visit Deborah and her drinking buddy that night. He arrived at around 7:00 p.m. and left between 8:30 and 9:00 p.m. This is the same possible time frame that the mystery call between one of Deborah`s stolen phones and the cell phone of Megan Wright, the ex-girlfriend of the local homeless handy man Jersey was made.

Megan says that she didn`t have her phone that night. Instead a guy named Dane living at the house had the phone.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WRIGHT: A guy named Dane supposedly had my phone all of Monday and Tuesday night, the 3rd and 4th of October, to the point where nobody else could have used my phone.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DIAZ: But Last night on ISSUES we heard that Dane might have a skeleton or two in his closet, too.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LEVI PAGE, INTERNET CRIME BLOGGER: He says he`s a party boy. He says that his occupation is a "street chemist" and it says his expertise, he says, quote, "I wish it was being a dad. All I`m really good at is being a cracker. Damn right. Oh, and my name is Dane and I do drugs to deal with my problems. Anyways, later."

So this is not a very savory individual here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DIAZ: Straight out to CNN correspondent Jim Spellman and HLN law enforcement analyst, Mike Brooks, on the ground in Kansas City. Jim, we heard you have more information about the relationship between Megan and Jersey?

SPELLMAN: Well, we know that they were dating for several months and they broke up only about two weeks before this incident happened. They would even walk these very streets together as Dane looked for odd jobs through the neighborhood. Even cutting through one of the homes that leads right between where a man was sighted with a baby that night and a dumpster that was later reported on fire that same night.

DIAZ: Well, Megan Wright says that her phone received the 50-second mystery call the night Baby Lisa went missing.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WRIGHT: I didn`t have my phone at the time, but apparently there was a 50-second phone call made from one of the family`s phones to my cell phone. It was about 50 seconds in length. I don`t know what was said or who call or who answered my phone.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DIAZ: Mike Brooks, very quickly, Megan seems to now be flip-flopping on that 50-second phone call. Thirty seconds.

MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, I`ll tell you what. What role this Dane played, we don`t know. That`s what we`re trying to find out. What exactly was said, if anything in that call, we really don`t know; that`s what we`re trying to get to the bottom of, Carlos.

DIAZ: All right. Coming up next, more details about missing Baby Lisa; last night we heard that a possible suspect could be in the works. You don`t want to miss that coming up next right here on ISSUES on HLN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DIAZ: Mike Brooks is on the ground in Kansas City. Mike what can you tell me about Megan`s car and the fact that it caught on fire?

BROOKS: Well, Megan says that this guy Jersey, John Tanko, allegedly set her car on fire. Now, she didn`t give a description of the car. Found out from sources here at Kansas City that on September 16th, it`s a Friday night at 11:48 p.m. There was, in fact, a car fire; her car was fully engulfed in fire.

Now, in fact, it burned the car next to her, Carlos; what relationship if any does that have to this case? That`s what we`re trying to figure out. It`s in the same complex as that dumpster.

DIAZ: All right. Mike Brooks, Jim Spellman, thank you so much. Great job from Kansas City.

That`s going to do it for us here at ISSUES with Jane Velez-Mitchell. I`m Carlos Diaz.

Coming up next, Nancy Grace, off of "Dancing with the Stars and back on her show; "NANCY GRACE coming up right now on HLN.

END