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My Husband the Porn Addict; Caretakers from Hell?
Aired September 27, 2012 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST: What happens when a pastor living a double life reveals to his young, unsuspecting wife his addiction to porn and prostitutes? Was his secret sex addiction so well-hidden she missed the signs? And could your husband be surfing for sex?
And later, caught on camera. We`ll show you what sickened a mother and father. Two caregivers they had paid to look after their helpless son allegedly abusing this severely autistic young man. Could this happen to you?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: But first joining me is Julian and Michael Cusick.
Julianne stayed with Michael even after he had told her he`d been seeing prostitutes and using porn compulsively.
Julianne, I want to share your story. Now, take us back to the beginning when you and Michael begun dating and then take us through your marriage and ultimately this confession. How`d that go down?
JULIANNE CUSICK, HAD NO IDEA HUSBAND WAS USING PORN: Well, first, wow that`s a big question. Thank you, Dr. Drew for having us here.
And let`s see. We met -- we were living in different states when we met. So the backdrop would be he was living in Ohio, I was living in Florida. We met out here in Colorado. And it was love at first sight.
So I didn`t really believe in love at first sight until it actually happened to me. So our courtship, our engagement was long distance.
We got engaged about two months after we had met. Our viewing audience might be thinking she`s crazy. That`s what my boss told me. It was very unusual for me. I was a pretty methodical, thought out, well- planned individual. And just knew --
PINSKY: Julianne, my understanding was he made a confession to you at the time of your engagement yet you continued to follow through.
J. CUSICK: Yes. Actually, it was about two months after we were engaged and he said there`s something I need to tell you. I want you to know about this. He told me about some addiction issues he`d had since he was a teen. He told me he was in counseling, in therapy working on those.
He said I would understand if you wanted to break off -- if I wanted to break of the engagement. And I said no. If you`re dealing with this and you`re in therapy, I will stand by you. You know, I`ll go ahead and we can get married. But that`s it.
I mean, no more acting out, pornography or whatever after we`re married. I was uncomfortable with that and was very clear that that wasn`t something I would be interested in him doing after we were married.
PINSKY: Then what happened?
J. CUSICK: Well, fast forward, we got married, moved out to Colorado. The first year of our marriage, I worked while he was getting his masters degree. And, you know, it wasn`t until the third year of our marriage that I found out. So we had been married just celebrated three years of marriage when I did find his slip into his secret life in the second year of our marriage.
PINSKY: How did you find out?
J. CUSICK: The first year of our marriage -- well, he was out working. He had an on-call job. He`d get paged. He had to do clinical assessments.
And I was back at the apartment, got a call. He was out. He called me and he said I`ve got a second call that I`m going to stay out for. So, no problem -- until 20 minutes later he walked in the front door.
And I said, wait a minute. What are you doing home? And he said I was done with my call. I said, how could you be done with your call? You just told me you had a second call.
And he kind of stammered, ahh -- and he said well I said I maybe had a call. I knew that was a lie. I said, you don`t maybe have a call. You either have a call or you don`t.
PINSKY: Did you already have some sort of instinct that something was really wrong? I mean, to just nail him because of a sort of inconsistency in where he said he was going, but to really zero in you must have known something was up.
J. CUSICK: Well, actually, I never would have suspected and didn`t suspect that there was something sexual going on -- a sexual addiction, a secret life, lies. Absolutely not.
I am a stickler, though, on what you say. And so maybe I had a call didn`t cut it. And I did and then I`m home didn`t cut it. That had never happened. Just didn`t make sense to me.
So, now, if you want to know what the nature of our relationship was like. Were there clues, something was amiss? Absolutely. He would say that he loved me, but I didn`t feel loved. I felt like he was angry at me all the time. I felt like he hated me.
So in that way, yes, I knew something was wrong. I mean, our relationship, our married relationship for three years had not been easy. It had been difficult. It seemed like we disagreed on everything. If it was my way, it was a problem. If it was his way, I was a little resistant.
So we had to really work through things a lot. I think my only clue was I didn`t feel loved. I felt crazy that he would say he loved but I didn`t feel it. So --
PINSKY: And then you decided, once you did uncover this compulsion was active again, he was acting out, you decided to stay with him.
I want to go to Michael. You wrote a book about this. It`s called "Surfing for God." We`ve got a couple minutes here.
I want you to sort of sketch your story out for me, if you would, to start with this. How bad did it get?
MICHAEL CUSICK, SOLICITED PROSTITUTES WHILE MARRIED: It got really bad, Dr. Drew. I was -- the background quickly is I was born into an Irish/Catholic alcoholic family. My father didn`t get sober until the second grade.
And in that family, through an uncle, I was sexually abused. That profoundly confused me in terms of sexuality and intimacy, and shame was embedded deep inside of me. I was utterly ill equipped as I went through my adolescence and into early adulthood to have an intimate relationship with another human being.
The problem was I was relationally pretty skilled and relatively charming, and I was in ministry. And so I could relate to people. It looked like I was this great relational person, but I was really hiding behind a facade.
So, the deeper I slipped into the sexual addiction, it went from pornography to -- all the way to prostitutes and paying for sexual relationships.
PINSKY: Was there a bottom to this? I mean, give us -- paint a picture for us as to what you were doing at your worst.
M. CUSICK: The bottom really was the day that I was discovered. July 10th, 1994.
PINSKY: I guess that`s not my -- yes. What were you doing? Because people don`t understand where sexual addiction takes people. And it`s never -- if you`re comfortable telling us this.
Where did it go? Where did it take you so far from you actually were, where did it take you?
M. CUSICK: Sure. Yes, the double life looked like this. On the outside I was this minister and squeaky clean pastor by day. And pre- Internet, I would go to adult bookstores and video arcades where one would hope to encounter physical relationships. I would go to bars and I would drink excessively and abuse alcohol. I would go to strip clubs and massage parlors. It took me to escort services and alleys and back roads seeking prostitutes.
And one of the things about the addiction is I became more deceptive. I would take very, very long lunch hours and I would try to be deceptive as to where I was and I would have to drink on my lunch hour as a way of dealing with the shame and the anxiety. And I really became very out of control.
PINSKY: OK, guys. Thank you for sharing the story. We`re going to talk more about the story from Michael and Julianne`s perspective and take calls after the break.
And later, this is a new story we`re going to pick up -- what would you do if a hidden camera caught your helpless child or son being abused by his caregivers?
Be right back.
PINSKY: Now, Julianne Cusick decided after she discovered her husband was a sex addict, she decided she would not leave him, although he had been cruising for sex.
Joining me to discuss relationship expert Laura Baron.
Laura, what jumps out of you about this?
LAURA BARON, RELATIONSHIP EXPERT: Well, I`m just glad that God got a hold of them before I did. I would have taken that woman out of this relationship instead. I mean, after -- it doesn`t matter what is laid down in terms of what your morals are or what you`re preaching. If you`re out scoping around and out away from your marriage, that`s what you are.
PINSKY: Would you have gotten -- would you have taken her out of this at the engagement stage, when he was confessing he had an addiction?
BARON: Yes. Without addiction, whatever. The dude was cheating on her from the get-go. This is the important point. He was essentially saying to you -- to her I want to get married but I`m not willing to stay committed. Or I don`t have the tools to stay committed. That`s a problem.
PINSKY: And yet he had said -- he admitted he got a problem. He was in treatment. I`m going to work on this.
I mean, at what point do you give somebody a break?
Let me say to you guys, the couple, I`m sure you`re aware of this. That a significant percentage of couples where one is sexually addicted stay together and end up in a really good place through treatment. Have you both had treatment?
J. CUSICK: Yes.
M. CUSICK: Yes, absolutely. And I believe that a person can experience a kind of marriage and relationship and kind of intimacy actually as a result of staying committed and walking through something like this. Not despite.
And we both would say today that we`ve got something that we never could have imagined from having walked through this together.
PINSKY: Let me -- again, I`m trying to give people an understanding of where this thing takes someone. Again, you with the squeaky clean job and looking great on the outside and having this unbelievable life that was on the dark side, I still don`t have a picture. I`m imagining you in a back alley with your life in danger with a prostitute. I mean, how bad did it get?
M. CUSICK: I was really, really out of control. I had a job at the time in mental health because one of my degrees is in counseling psychology where I would be on call at local hospitals. So I had these large amounts of time where I could -- I didn`t have to account for anything. And I began to tell little white lies that grew into bigger lies that grew into a double life of deception.
One of the chief characteristics of every addiction is self-deception. Long before I deceived Julianne or anyone else, I deceived myself that what I was doing didn`t really have consequences. And I really wanted a marriage very much, I just didn`t know how to have intimacy.
BARON: But it did have consequences. And the consequences are sitting right next to you. The consequence is a broken down woman that is getting into a marriage that is not feeling any love. That`s consequences.
M. CUSICK: Oh, yes. I was saying that the addiction was telling me there were no consequences. That was the nature of the self-deception. I`m the first one to admit that I was absolutely self-absorbed, selfish, compulsive, deceptive.
And that`s all the nature of addiction. By no means am I abdicating responsibility or in anyway saying I didn`t not make any choices that were wrong. According to the faith, I would say that those choices -- go ahead.
BARON: I guess the issue I see in this is that, you know, it was almost as if you had asked your wife to stay with you while you were consistently disrespecting her.
PINSKY: Well, now, Julianne, you actually didn`t.
J. CUSICK: Hold on, hold on. Wait just a minute.
PINSKY: You actually did take consequence.
J. CUSICK: Thank you. Dr. Drew, let me make two points of clarification. The first being that prior to our marriage when we were engaged he was not acting out at that time. Yes. So he was sober, if you will. He was not healed, but he was in treatment. There may have been two or three slips, but it wasn`t a chronic -- this is the lifestyle that I want.
BARON: Slips? Honey, the slips -- these slips is what you --
J. CUSICK: Oh, I was naive. I was naive.
BARON: -- the back alleys of your marriage.
PINSKY: Let`s take a call here. Slow down, here.
J. CUSICK: What did I know?
PINSKY: Hi, Susan, what you got?
SUSAN, CALLER FROM CONNECTICUT: Hi, everybody.
I was involved in my marriage --
J. CUSICK: Hi, Susan.
SUSAN: Hi -- my husband was addicted to prostitution. I didn`t know. And he ended up getting busted in a sting. And I left. And people -- for all the people who are out there like I love him, I have to stay with him.
If you love him then you love him enough to let him go to get help.
BARON: And you love yourself enough too.
SUSAN: I`m sorry.
J. CUSICK: That`s right.
PINSKY: I want to give a contrary opinion. Here it is. It`s opposite of yours, Laura.
Which is, Susan, you picked that guy. You were attracted to him. There`s something in you that is still untreated, my dear, that attracted you to that guy. And you`re going to do it again.
If you`d stayed with that guy and worked through this, perhaps things could be different.
BARON: But, Drew. Here`s the thing. She got out. And that says she has more self-respect. This says that she has an opportunity for a healthy next relationship.
Right, Susan, are you in a healthy relationship now?
SUSAN: Yes. I got divorced right away. I said you`re going to be OK and I am going to be okay. He needed help. I couldn`t get him better.
PINSKY: But I`m saying there was a reason you were with him and you, too, need help as well. And I bet there`s things in this current marriage. Maybe you learned your lesson and maybe things are magically better.
But usually the way humans work is there`s a fittedness we have in our intimate relationships. Whatever attracted you to that guy who was a sex addict, is going to attracted to another guy with addiction or something of that order. It`s just how it works. Maybe it`s an exception.
Laura, hold on a second. I have to go on a break.
Later, a hidden camera reveal caretakers allegedly abusing a helpless young man with autism. His parents join more and, of course, more of your calls.
More discussion with Laura, Julianne and Michael after this. It`s 855-373-7395.
PINSKY: All right. Later on we`re going to -- welcome back, by the way. Later, we`ll hear from two parents who say their autistic son was allegedly abused by their caretakers after witnessing some horrible things on hidden camera.
Now, we`re back with Julianne and Michael. And I want to go to Twitter. Twitter`s reaction to this pretty strongly.
Michael, I`m sorry to say it`s mostly coming down on Julianne`s side.
"Dr. Drew, I`m sorry." This is from @lovecountryluv. "This is totally ridiculous. If the married man wanted to fool around behind her back, he should have been honest."
You know, part of the disease that people don`t understand is you can`t be honest when you`re an addict. If you weren`t lying, you wouldn`t be an addict.
BARON: That`s right, that`s right.
M. CUSICK: That`s true.
J. CUSICK: Absolutely true.
M. CUSICK: And people think that is a kind of scapegoat. We`re not taking responsibility.
PINSKY: Laura does.
BARON: I do.
M. CUSICK: As a psychotherapist myself, I know there are reasons a woman ought to leave her husband. There`s no question.
But we also believe in redemption. We believe in personally the God of the second chances and secular agnostic recovery programs believe in the opportunity for recovery and restoration and healing. And my wife, because of her courage and her strength and her self-respect, that`s in fact why she stayed.
PINSKY: Laura has a comment on that.
J. CUSICK: I wasn`t in love with him, I told him. I don`t love you, I don`t know if I ever will. But personally I felt a conviction that if I left him, I`d be turning my back on God and I was not going to give him the satisfaction of me turning my back on God. That`s the only reason I stayed in this marriage.
PINSKY: Do you love him now?
J. CUSICK: Absolutely. I have fallen in love with him multiple times of being married to him 21 years. Nineteen years of which have been redeemed. We renewed our vows. We have two beautiful children. Twenty- one years together, and we have walked through this same tragic situation with many other couples.
And because of staying, our story encourages couples who want to work it through, who want to get well, who want to save their marriage after 10, 20, 30 years.
PINSKY: How do you trust, Julianne? How do you trust after all you`ve been through?
J. CUSICK: Trust is the decision that I have to make each and every day. It really is not dependent on his choices or his behaviors.
I choose whether or not I`m going to be a trusting person. And with whom I put my trust.
PINSKY: Laura disagrees.
J. CUSICK: Trust is up to me.
BARON: Yes. I mean, first of all --
J. CUSICK: You`re welcome to disagree.
BARON: Well, thank you. First of all, to say that staying in the marriage is the sign of strength, I think is a huge disrespect to every woman that finds the courage to step up and say I will not take this any longer. It does not -- that is your own redemption and every woman deserves their own redemption.
J. CUSICK: Absolutely.
BARON: So to be able -- OK.
J. CUSICK: Absolutely. Absolutely. That`s for them. I was speaking for me. My self-respect was to honor what I felt was my -- and I feel it is today -- it was my conviction that I need to stay. I didn`t want to, but I felt like it was.
BARON: But just to clarify, that was your -- but that was your commitment to God. Not your commitment to your husband that was cheating on you.
J. CUSICK: Absolutely. Absolutely.
BARON: Well, there`s a big difference there.
J. CUSICK: Thank you, yes. Yes, there is. Absolutely. And I do not encourage all women to stay.
J. CUSICK: Why? Why stay? Why go? That`s my question.
M. CUSICK: We counsel couples all the time --
PINSKY: I`m trying to slip a quick call in. Sonya from California, go ahead, Sonya, very quickly.
SONYA, CALLER FROM CALIFORNIA: Hi, Dr. Drew, Julianne and Michael. My question is more --
J. CUSICK: Hi, Sonya.
My question is more about her health, Julianne. Are you concerned that you might have contracted a disease or did you in fact contract a disease during this?
PINSKY: Got about 30 seconds, Julianne.
J. CUSICK: Good question. Yes. No, I`m clean. My husband is clean. But that is a step that every couple needs to take is to have the proper medical care and attention and tests run.
PINSKY: And you`re clean really truly but for the grace of God.
J. CUSICK: Yes.
PINSKY: We`re going to take more of your calls. Again, the number is 855-373-7395. The panel continues after the break.
PINSKY: Laura Baron is here in a studio with me. We`ve been discussing sex addiction with Julianne and Michael Cusick. Michael got really bad into his sex addiction. In spite of being someone who was counseling people, someone who was being trusted by others. He was not honest with himself and it took him to some very bad places.
We were having conversation this tonight is this becoming increasingly a problem. We`ve come to a pandemic of abuse. So, a lot of people are acting out sexually in way -- with addictive passion, really is problematic.
And also, one of the things to raise awareness about, there`s a lot of women out there that don`t trust their instincts. It may not be addictive cheating going on out there, but you may not be getting what you need from a relationship. It may not be as dramatic a story is this.
Laura, I know you address that an awful. Women need to trust their instincts and take action.
BARON: Absolutely. As a matter of fact, I had a client who endured 10 years of constant cheating and felt very similar in the fact that she should stay in the relationship. It`s the right thing to do. And she is finally flourishing. She got out of there. We got her out of there. And you know what? He is with another woman and he is cheating -- one moment. He is cheating on his new bride.
PINSKY: And that may not be sexual addiction. That may just be a bad guy. You know what I`m saying?
BARON Sexual addiction and cheating, they`re both liars. They are both liars.
PINSKY: Julianne, go ahead. Julianne, go ahead.
CUSICK: I have a question. Someone who stays with a man for ten years while he continues to act out is very different from being married to a man choosing to stay and watching him transform his life right before my eyes. And he has been clean, no slips, no oops, no nothing out of 19 years, 19 out of 19 years.
PINSKY: Yes. Let me go to some calls, guys.
CUSICK: It`s a big, big difference.
PINSKY: I`m going to calls. Candice in Colorado -- Candice.
CANDICE, COLORADO: Hi, Dr. Drew.
CANDICE: Hi, everyone. Thanks for having me on the show.
PINSKY: You`re welcome.
CANDICE: My question is, is it normal for men to watch porn? Or I mean, will it turn in to cheating or is it something that women just start to feel insecure about, because I do feel insecure about it?
PINSKY: Laura, you want to address that?
BARON: Yes. First of all, you don`t need to feel insecure, unless, he is spending more time on the computer touching the keyboard than he is touching you. You know, you need to just keep those lines of communication open and if there`s something that he`s watching that you find offensive, let him know. But we all deserve our opportunity to explore our sexuality. There is nothing to be fearful of.
PINSKY: Yes, because someone is looking at porn does not mean they are porn addict. Margie in Oregon -- Margie.
MARGIE, OREGON: Yes, I have a comment. I was married to a wonderful man for 35 years. He got killed in a terrible accident. After two years, I started dating my old high school sweet heart. And I soon found out he was so hooked on porn that he couldn`t even perform.
I agreed to go to two psychologists with him, and they both told me privately that porn addiction was the hardest addiction to cure, worse than crystal meth, he said. And he asked if I didn`t love this man, run, don`t walk. You know, run don`t wake walk away from him.
PINSKY: Michael, you want to address that, Michael?
MICHAEL CUSICK, SOLICITED PROSTITUTES WHILE MARRIED: Yes. Absolutely. My book is about porn and sex addiction both through my own story and through a clinical lens. And, I would agree that porn addiction is one of the hardest addictions to overcome, and that`s because you can`t just shut off your sexuality. It`s a gift.
And yet, online pornography has profound addictive components related to the brain and our brain highways and the intensification of dopamine. And so, if a person really does not commit to treatment and a path of recovery, there`s actually a very low chance of them just being able to stop it because their spouse wants them to. It really does require a very intentional path.
PINSKY: For an extended period of time, often, there`s trauma history in the background. -- often trauma in the background. And two things I would say, some people believe that porn addiction is the most rapidly increasing diagnostic category in this country, number one.
And number two, imagine if you had an addiction, say, to crack cocaine and you had a crack pipe sitting on your work desk every day and a crack pipe sitting in your bedroom which is really what porn -- the computer is like for these people with porn addictions. Tory in Virginia -- Tory.
MICHAEL CUSICK: Yes, and --
TORY, VIRGINIA: Hey, Dr. Drew.
TORY: How are you?
PINSKY: Good. Well, what`s going on?
TORY: I had a friend when I was younger that her husband was doing the same thing and she could never -- Julianne said that she didn`t feel love, that she always, you know -- it was hard for her because she remembered the prostitution.
She could never -- my friend could never get to the point to where she felt loved again and the marriage dissolved. How did Julianne get to the point where she doesn`t remember that?
PINSKY: And Julianne, I`m going to add to that and say that I understand even in that first year that Michael got into recovery, he was still opening up more and more about the magnitude of his addiction. That must have been hard to find your way into love again.
JULIANNE CUSICK: Yes, absolutely. The first year was devastating. And, there was a process of disclosure of he would remember new things. Tory, my heart goes out to your friend. As far as love and feeling loved, that really changed in our relationship where before I really felt hated in the first few years of our marriage, there was a disconnect.
Afterwards, when the truth was really out in the light and Michael was really not holding anything back anymore and he was committed to telling me everything that he had done, he was also simultaneously pursuing me in a relationship. Things we`d never done before. We got mountain bikes and went mountain bike riding together.
We lived at a place where there was a hot tub for three years, and we finally went to the hot tub together. He was involved in the kitchen and cooking and we had special dessert that we made together all the time.
And so, there was -- those small things, those relational things that you build emotional intimacy on, those began to grow in our relationship. And that`s where the feeling of love came from and where it grew again.
PINSKY: Thank you. I`ve got to take a break. I`ve got to take a break, Julianne. Thank you to the Cusicks for joining us. Thank you, Laura Baron. The book is called "Surfing For God." Thank you, Laura, for being here. Appreciate it.
Next up, some disturbing video, a mom sets up a nanny cam after becoming suspicious that her autistic son`s caretakers were abusing him. We`ll show you more of what that hidden camera revealed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY (voice-over): Caught on camera. We`ll show you what sickened a mother and father. Two caregivers they had paid to look after their helpless son allegedly abusing this severely autistic young man. Could this happen to you?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY (on-camera): Now, I`m giving you a warning. We`re going to be showing you more of this disturbing video throughout these remaining segments. So, please keep in mind that if you have children in the room, think about it.
Joining me now, Mark and Kim Oakley whose son has severe autism. Kim, how did this happen? How did you get to this place?
KIM OAKLEY, SON`S CAREGIVERS ARRESTED FOR ABUSE: We -- my son was originally in a group home. We had had him at home for several years. And at one point, we decided to put him in a group home because our family was basically falling apart from the stress. He was injured in the group home, and so, we had to pull him out of the group home. We brought him home.
PINSKY: Was he a difficult, aggressive --
KIM OAKLEY: No, he`s not aggressive at all. He has autism and self- injurious behavior and epilepsy. Self-injurious behavior, he needs one to one protection. While he was in this group home, he was left behind a door to beat himself, suffered a hematoma to his ear. I got a call from the school that said, hey, you got to come to the school.
The group home (INAUDIBLE) school covered his injury with a helmet. And so, after that, I said that`s it. He`s coming home. We placed him for awhile and that`s it. He`s never going back to a group home again. We brought him home. I immediately started fighting for in-home nursing respite care (ph) and that was a fight that took us about a year to get.
We finally got nursing care, and I`m thinking, oh thank God. We have some respite now. You know, I can not stay up for 72 hours straight, you know, half-dead. And so, I`m all excited about this nursing care that we win through the state. We had disability rights attorneys who helped us, wonderful women that helped get us this nursing care. Then, were given this nursing care, and we`re basically not told at all where to get nurses.
Then, we find out through the San Diego Regional Center that we are able to only use nurses from a certain agency that are vendor approved with the government contract. So, we were restricted to like one or two agencies.
PINSKY: So, there`s no way really to go to the market and investigate who you were hiring. You were sort of being whittled down to a certain group and you just kind of took that. Is that accurate?
KIM OAKLEY: That`s correct.
PINSKY: Now, we`ve got more of this video. It`s difficult to watch. Let`s take a look at this. These are the people that she ended up with. Here we`re going to see Jaime actually getting punched. It`s unbelievable. I mean, what did you think when you saw this?
KIM OAKLEY: Heartbreaking. It`s just -- it`s really heartbreaking, because we worked so hard --
PINSKY: Work so hard to stabilize him.
KIM OAKLEY: Really hard. I worked really, really hard to protect my son for years.
KIM OAKLEY: For years and years ever since he`s been little. And then -- I was so excited about winning nursing care. I was bragging to all my friends this is great. We have all this care. I can finally -- maybe my husband and I can have a life. My other children can have a life. And then, we get these people in here that do this behind our backs.
PINSKY: Did you have any suspicions about it? You must have. That`s why you put the nanny cam out.
KIM OAKLEY: I did. But I could never catch them. I even had a baby monitor that I installed that would be like a live feed so you could episodically look at them like in the middle of the night and you know, kind of monitor them.
But never in my wildest dreams would I have dreamt they were doing this behind closed doors or when we weren`t home, because most of the abuse is caught when we`re not there. We`re, like, shopping, or sleeping. So, these were stealth abusers.
PINSKY: You know, most people watching this, I think, starts to think about their own kids in daycare or kindergarten or their elderly parents, perhaps, in care. Is there -- did you learn something that other people can take away so something like this doesn`t happen?
KIM OAKLEY: Yes. There is -- even if we would have hired a private investigator to follow these guys around, in the absence of the person that they`re actually abusing, how are you ever going to catch them? If I knew what I know now, I would have installed a video that recorded from day one.
PINSKY: So, Mark, do you agree with that? If you have somebody who needs care, don`t trust anything. Double check.
MARK OAKLEY, SON`S CAREGIVERS ARRESTED FOR ABUSE: Absolutely. If you have the slightest inclination that you think you need one, get one. Don`t wait.
OAKLEY: And don`t rely on other people`s assessment of them.
MARK OAKLEY: And it doesn`t have to be for the disables (ph).
PINSKY: So, these guys had good referrals?
KIM OAKLEY: Yes. I called a nursing agency where one of these guys worked, and I said, hey, I understand he works for you. Can you tell me about him? And they said, oh, he`s one of our best nurses. And you know, he had worked in neurology as an RN for years. So, you know, I`m thinking, oh, this is a great guy.
He`s got -- you know, he`s going to be compassionate because he`s an RN. And you just as parents, I have learned the hard way. it doesn`t matter what their background says even if it`s impeccable, because sometimes the sickest abusers are the hardest to catch. They`ll have an impeccable background.
PINSKY: You can`t blink a as a parent. No matter what -- you know, you can`t trust. You can`t blink.
MARK OAKLEY: Correct.
PINSKY: You got to stay vigilant.
KIM OAKLEY: No. You have to.
PINSKY: We asked the attorneys for the suspects for comment. No comment was the response. let`s see if we can get a quick call in here. Coming up at Cindy in Missouri. Cindy, you have a comment or question?
CINDY, MISSOURI: Yes. I have five children that are all autistic. They range in high functioning to low functioning, severe to very moderate. And I am all for videotaping everything for their safety, for the family`s safety.
KIM OAKLEY: Yes.
CINDY: Videoing is the only way you know for sure that your autistic individual is being cared for properly.
KIM OAKLEY: Yes. Fully agree.
PINSKY: Is this something that autistic kids are particularly at risk for? Is this something --
KIM OAKLEY: They`re extremely vulnerable, especially autistic people that have behavioral issues, because a manipulative caregiver knows very well that your autistic child maybe self-injurious, and so, any injury that I`ve ever, you know, asked about. You know, how did he get this bruise? Why is his eye infected here? Blame it all on his severe autism.
PINSKY: Got it. Next --
MARK OAKLEY: And if I may add, being non-verbal. My son can`t communicate. He can`t report it.
PINSKY: He can`t -- oh, my gosh. All right. Next, we`re going to speak to a woman who knows firsthand how difficult it is to raise a child with autism. And we`re getting more of your calls after this.
PINSKY: Areva Martin is a civil attorney who has been following the events in San Diego. Now, Areva, before I go to you, thank you for joining us, by the way. Mark, you were saying during the break, there are people didn`t hear this, that this experience affected you as a fireman, as a father in a very unique way.
MARK OAKLEY: Correct. When I first saw the videos, the rage that went through my body was unbearable. If it wasn`t for my wife stopping me, I wouldn`t have been here today. I`ve been a fireman for 28 years. The first day back on the floor, the support I got. I`m a captain with the fire department.
I`m in charge of a truck engine house. I broke down completely in front of them. But the love and support I got from them, from my wife, my sons, and the community around has been overwhelming.
PINSKY: You`re tearing up, too.
KIM OAKLEY: I`m just trying not to --
PINSKY: It`s nice to have that support. It helps to get through something like this.
MARK OAKLEY: Yes.
PINSKY: these guys are claiming not guilty. How do we prevent stuff like this?
AREVA MARTIN, ATTORNEY: You know, this is such a common problem, Dr. Drew, with children and adults who have autism. We heard Kim talk about the behaviors and the non-verbal nature of their son.
PINSKY: You have a personal experience with this.
MARTIN: Yes. I have a 13-year-old who has autism. My son happens to be verbal. But kids who have autism are on the spectrum. So, they go from really high functioning to kids who have no language and, you know, can`t take care of themselves at all. And so, they`re victims. They`re often preyed upon not just by caregivers in the home, but at school, on playgrounds, and the communities.
PINSKY: What do we do?
MARTIN: Well, I think they did the right thing. They install --
PINSKY: Put a camera.
MARTIN: Absolutely. And I just want parents around this country to know that you can install a camera in your home. All states allow --
PINSKY: Is it expensive? Is it something easy --
MARTIN: It`s not expensive. It`s very inexpensive. It`s very simple to do. And people working in their home, they don`t have a reasonable expectation of privacy. They have no privacy rights in your home. So, you have the right to tape them.
PINSKY: Is that video of something bad is discovered than admissible as evidence?
MARTIN: Absolutely. That video will be admissible in this case, and that video, hopefully, will cause these individuals to go to jail for a very long time. This is a real horrific story. The whole autism community is up and arms about it.
PINSKY: It`s so clearly an issue in autistic community. I`m just wondering if this doesn`t say something more global about helpless people with caretakers. I mean, kids, vulnerable populations. I mean, if, you know, our caretakers are not caretakers, we need to supervise them very, very carefully.
MARTIN: And we want to be careful, Dr. Drew, not to, you know, generalize and make it appear as if all caregivers are like the individuals involve in this case.
PINSKY: No, but it`s about protecting ourselves.
MARTIN: Absolutely. There are some wonderful caregivers. And even when you do what this family did which is do a background check, investigate these caregivers, sometimes, these incidents happen. All we can do is be vigilant about it, take immediate action as the OAKLEY family has done.
You know, the courage that they have to come on and talk about this, this is going to help so many other families. If you even have a suspicion that a caregiver in your home or at your school is in any way harming your child, take immediate action. That is the real takeaway from the story.
PINSKY: Terry in Florida -- Terry.
TERRY, FLORIDA: Drew, how are you doing tonight?
PINSKY: Good, Terry. Thank you.
TERRY: When I saw this video, like that man was saying, I was full of rage. It`s not my kid, but oh my God, I can`t believe this.
TERRY: If those are my kids, I mean, he held back. I would beat the living hell out of these guys then have them arrested and throw them to prison and let the prisoners get at the idiots, you know?
PINSKY: Yes. I think, Terry, that`s the feeling that any dad gets when you watch this. Mark, do you want to respond to that?
MARK OAKLEY: Yes, Terry. The reason I didn`t do what I did, my wife had called police. And, they were already en route. So, I wouldn`t be sitting here today. I`d be sitting probably in the same jail that these two abusers are in right now. So --
KIM OAKLEY: I actually had to -- I had to stop him from going out the door.
MARTIN: And again, we want to commend Mark to not stooping to the level of these perpetrators.
PINSKY: Do not take the law into your own hands.
MARK OAKLEY: It was very difficult not to walk out that door.
PINSKY: OK. Let`s talk to Kiersty in Ontario -- Kiersty.
KIERSTY, ONTARIO: Yes. Hi, Dr. Drew.
KIERSTY: My question is, you always talk about how child abuse and pedophilia and all of these offenses against our children, it seems to be an epidemic proportion. Do you have a reason why? Like, what`s going on out there nowadays?
PINSKY: You know, it`s probably more than I get into in the minute I have left, but there`s been an unraveling of the basic units that were there to protect children. We don`t -- we have had -- and we have people that have been increasingly exposed to this. And a certain percentage of people in childhood are exposed to trauma become victimizers.
And they don`t victimize on one, they victimize on many. So, it has an exponential growth that`s been just roaring through like a cancer through our society for the last 20 or 30 years. This is part of the pushback. Having these conversations, raising awareness, it will get better. It actually already is getting better.
But in the meantime, we have to protect ourselves against these horrible experiences. More calls, 855-373-7395. That`s DrDrew5. My panel stays with me. You stay with me. We`ll be right back.
PINSKY: Immediately back to calls. Blair in Texas -- Blair.
BLAIR, TEXAS: Yes, Dr. Drew. Thank you so much for taking my call. And to Mr. and Mrs. Oakley, my heart just goes out to you and this terrible, terrible situation. And I just wanted to know. What are you doing right now just to take care of the situation with your son and why would they do such things by beating up on your son like that? It`s ridiculous.
PINSKY: Why --
KIM OAKLEY: The first thing I see when I look at these videos is I see laziness. And, they are too busy texting, watching their movies, doing other things rather than implementing pro-active and acute positive behavioral support for our son. And that I find outrageous.
MARTIN: -- add to that two, Dr. Drew? One of the issues with kids who have autism and behavior issue, and particularly, non-verbal is the training. And you have to have specialize training to be a caregiver for a non-verbal autistic individual that has severe behaviors.
PINSKY: You need -- it takes a certain talent, a certain interest, ability, and a consistency that is unyielding.
KIM OAKLEY: And compassion. Compassion and love. And I do not see any love in any of these videos. This is not love. This is not even being firm. This is being abusive.
PINSKY: Well, guys, I`m out of time. Thank you, Kim, for sharing the story. I hope it gets people`s awareness up. And Areva, thank you for sharing as always. And get people to if they have any suspicion, Mark, to put a camera in there, right?
MARK OAKLEY: Absolutely. Do not wait.
PINSKY: Low threshold to -- trust but verify. Thanks to all my guests. Thank you all for watching. Of course, those of you that called, we`ll see you next time. Nancy Grace starts right now.