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Jodi`s Men Testify
Aired January 29, 2013 - 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 (voice-over): Explosive testimony as sparks fly in front of a packed courtroom --
GUS SEARCY, WITNESS: I understand English pretty well.
PINSKY: Jodi Arias` defense has taken center stage. Is she mirroring her lawyer`s every move and expression? I`ll break that down for you.
Plus, who is this guy?
SEARCY: I`m what`s called a $100,000 ringer here.
PINSKY: And later, more allegations of child sex abuse in the same school district that was the center of last year`s scandal. Who is protecting our children? We`re looking for solutions.
Let`s get started.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Thank you for joining us.
Joining me tonight, my co-host Laura Baron.
We`re going to have an exclusive tonight with one of Jodi`s ex- boyfriends. But, first, another all-star panel, defense attorney Mike Eiglarsh, he`s at speaktomark.com; Cheryl Arutt, psychologist; Casey Jordan, criminal profiler and consultant on Discovery ID "Scorned."
And I almost got away with this. But, first, I almost got away with this -- there were fireworks in the courtroom between defense witness Gus Searcy -- who is this guy? -- and the prosecutor. Take a look at what he did.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUAN MARTINEZ, PROSECUTOR: Those are the people that have to ring, those are the people that go to the executive ball, right?
SEARCY: It`s more like a circle if you want to get into geometry.
MARTINEZ: Sir, that`s not my question to you, is it? I`m asking who is making the money, aren`t I?
You don`t know where you met her the second time. That`s what you`re telling me, right?
SEARCY: I know approximately.
MARTINEZ: Approximately means you don`t know, right?
SEARCY: If that makes you happy.
MARTINEZ: Nothing here is to make the prosecutor happy, do you understand that? Why don`t you want to answer my question?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Yes, I think it`s pretty obvious that guy doesn`t make anybody happy, all that sanctimonious.
We`re going straight to "In Session" correspondent Beth Karas.
Beth, who is this guy? Why do they put him up there for the defense and then, what else happened in court today?
BETH KARAS, "IN SESSION" CORRESPONDENT: Well, this guy, Gus Searcy, who testified on a hearing yesterday, was on the stand twice today, once in front of the jury, and once again in the hearing outside the presence of the jury.
He works for this company that the victim Travis Alexander worked at, even Jodi Arias worked at also. So, he knew them and he had some contact with Jodi Arias not that long before she killed Travis Alexander.
So, he was called to show she was always professional. She was -- you know, she wasn`t dressed provocatively whenever he saw her. And also, you know, it was like she was trying to get away from him and Travis was calling her and upsetting her. So maybe Travis was the one who was obsessed and not Jodi Arias. That`s kind of where they were going with him.
He didn`t want to answer even the simplest questions that Juan Martinez was asking him on cross examination, as you just showed. So, he`s just antagonistic. The prosecution never called him when he offered his assistance to help the prosecution not long after the death of Travis Alexander.
For whatever reason, Juan Martinez said, I don`t want to get involved with this guy. I don`t need this guy as a witness.
And now, Gus Searcy is making him pay for it, one could argue.
PINSKY: What else happened in court today besides the Gus affair?
KARAS: We saw a former boyfriend of Jodi Arias, a guy who is 20 years older than she is. Nice guy, they bought a house together, they were together for four years before she met Travis Alexander. Darryl Brewer said they were in love.
But then in the fall of 2006, she started to change. That`s when she got involved with Pre-Paid Legal, and she started getting involved in the Mormon faith. And missionaries were coming to the house, and she was laying down different rules at the house. No more swearing, no more sex between the two of them.
And the prosecution did get a little bit out of him, because he`s the guy who actually helped her -- gave her some gas cans for her road trip that ultimately ended in the death of Travis Alexander. A little evidence of premeditation for the state came in.
But on redirect, the defense attorney stood up and said, when you had sex with her, did you ever ask her to wear pigtails? Did you ask her to wear a little schoolgirl outfit or boys` underwear? Did you ejaculate on her face? Did you call her a whore, a slut, and a three-hole wonder? And, of course, he said no to all these things.
KARAS: And now, the jury understands that apparently Travis Alexander did all those things.
OK. Now, hang on there. That sort of -- Laura, are you surprised about all that? I`m sort of finding that --
LAURA BARON, CO-HOST: It`s so extensive. I mean, first of all, they`re trying to make Travis into this ridiculously over-sexualized guy. But yet at the same point, they`re saying she wore the pigtails, she liked getting called a whore, and she bent over for this. I do not get this woman.
PINSKY: Casey Jordan, I`m going out to you. You`re a profiler. Can we put this all together?
As I kind of put this together, she was sort of a love-addicted stalker who was hypersexual and got in with a guy who was hypersexual, a trauma survivor, and they found each other. And then she became violent.
Is that about the sketch?
CASEY JORDAN, PH.D., CRIMINOLOGIST AND BEHAVIORAL ANALYST: Well, that`s what the defense is going for here. And they`re using a very classic technique. If you can`t prove anything definitively, use the power of suggestion. Sneak it in there.
We certainly saw that happen in the Casey Anthony case, and I think they`re using that as their playbook. Let`s get in there and talk about pigtails, because, of course, we know that when the last photograph is taken of Jodi Arias just before Travis was murdered was her naked with her little pigtails.
And what they`re trying to do, obviously, is implant the idea that she was just the brainwashed sex toy of Travis Alexander, unable to say no to him until that moment when she snapped.
And again, the only other person who knows what happened that day is dead. So, they are using a very clever defense technique, which is just the power of suggestion, hoping it will leave an indelible mark on those jurors` memories when the time comes to deliberate.
MARK EIGLARSH, ATTORNEY: Drew --
PINSKY: Now, Mark, I know you always say you got to take the gloves off and get as much of a defense as any -- I mean, just do whatever you got to do to defend a patient. Is this a strategy you`d be likely to follow, those kind of language you use in court?
EIGLARSH: Well, let me just say this, when I`m defending a client, I will do whatever it takes to get the best possible outcome. It`s not like on TV, everybody expects a home run witness every time someone comes up there. The defense can only work with what they`ve got.
Obviously, there`s nobody who`s going to say that Travis beat the heck out of her, was violent with her and thus she had to kill him in self- defense. That`s not going to happen. We`re not going to see any of those witnesses.
So, little by little, they`re putting witnesses on that offer something. Maybe they humanize her. Maybe that will just carry over into the penalty phase. They`re doing little by little.
But what I would do is everything I possibly can, and if I`m the prosecutor, I stay cool. Don`t lose it when you have a witness who offers just a little bit for the defense like Searcy did. He`s losing it.
It only takes one juror to get turned off by the prosecutor`s antics. You don`t want that.
PINSKY: Cheryl, I`m going to let you ring in here. Am I the only one that`s shocked by all this? Not that I have such delicate sensibilities. But it doesn`t sound like courtroom fare to me, Cheryl. Help me out.
CHERYL ARUTT, PSY.D., PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, Drew, part of it may be the language. But don`t you think, Drew, that the notion she seems to be kind of a chameleon who transforms herself depending on the situation might come into play here.
I mean, if you think about it, she has -- certainly, she`s used sex quite a bit to try to get to people and manipulate people. Anybody who has seen the interrogation tape can see she`s doing these yoga poses and stretching and doing all these things to flirt with the interrogator, even. I think that transforming herself into whatever her lover wanted her to be was part of this whole thing. And poor Travis can`t defend himself.
But, you know, don`t you think there is something to her kind of remaking herself in the image of the person she`s with?
PINSKY: Cheryl, I absolutely agree, and we`re going to get into that in great detail coming up.
But the jury is in, as far as my panel goes. I`m the prude here. I`m a little disturbed by the language, of course. Whatever. I guess I`m going to spend time in the court these days. Things have changed since the last time I was in a courtroom.
Thank you to Beth. I appreciate that report.
So, as Cheryl said, we`re going to get into this mirroring and this chameleon-like quality. Look at her with her attorney. There`s a million different looks, and yet when you look at her with her attorney side by side, I`m going to have you notice the affect, the facial expressions, even the clothing. We`ll look at that.
And later, this gentleman dated Jodi Arias and testified in court today. He is our exclusive guest, Abe Abdelhadi. He will be back with us to fill us in exclusively.
PINSKY: Back with my co-host for the week, Laura Baron.
We`re looking in a moment at a video of Jodi at the defense table next to her attorney. There they are. Two peas in a pod, as it were. Strangely enough, she doesn`t look like the guy in the green shirt.
She appears to sort of adapt her affect. I mean, it`s -- if you really look at her in motion, it becomes rather extraordinary.
And, Cheryl Arutt, you brought that up. What did you see?
ARUTT: I saw somebody who is transforming herself into whoever is the most important person in her life at the moment. She seems to be so dependent upon her defense attorney right now. I wonder what you make of it, Drew. What do you think this is about?
PINSKY: Well, I`ve been -- I`ve been saying from the beginning that one of the key sort of moments in this, and, Laura, I`m going to ask you to ring in on this, too -- is this is the part that astonishes you about her behavior. As we know and heard, she has sex with the guy, takes pictures of him and then flips into this murderous, maniacal rage, and that`s really hard thing for a normal person to get their head around, what flips somebody into that.
I`ve always wondered if there`s some sort of dissociative quality to her where she is so empty inside that she takes on the characteristics of, as you say, Cheryl, whoever the most important person around her, and if it becomes so sort of -- so much of a bodily-based experience, she starts moving, and looking and facial expressions just like the person she is preoccupied with.
And you can only imagine if she -- go ahead.
ARUTT: If we take a look at her outfit, I mean -- we know this from Sarah Palin. This isn`t the first time a woman has thrown on glasses to look smarter than she actually is, you know? I mean, I don`t -- is it the lawyer that`s dressing her, or is she in her jail cell getting the Kardashian collection out?
PINSKY: Well, that`s right, and now we hear she -- Nancy has been reporting she has a girlfriend in jail, too.
Mark, if you were a defense attorney, would you tell someone to dress a certain way and it just so happened to look the way one of your team looked?
EIGLARSH: Yes, because I told you earlier, I would do whatever it takes. I mean, this is theater for the jurors. As much as that makes everybody nauseous, her life is on the line. And if wearing a pair of glasses makes her look a certain way or her dress is arguably less consistent with the heinous, cruel and atrocious acts they`re accusing her of, then so be it.
But you know what? It`s so little. It`s not going to make a difference. With a bloody hand print on the wall, with all her change in testimony and her stories, the dress is really not going to somehow change these jurors` view of what this case is about.
PINSKY: And, Casey, you get where I`m going with this?
JORDAN: I absolutely do.
PINSKY: You agree me with me, Cheryl?
JORDAN: Yes, I absolutely do.
PINSKY: Yes, go ahead. Tell us.
JORDAN: She was always addressed as a chameleon by her friends, eager to please and always trying to gain people`s trust by being exactly what they wanted. And what`s interesting is, it`s almost like a single white female phenomenon. The whole idea that she`s almost merging with her attorney.
It would send a message to the jury not only that she`s this prim and proper and now not even nun-like or librarian-like, but now, lawyer-like. It makes her look smarter than she is to have the glasses on.
But I want to know from you, Drew, is whether you think, on a scale of one to 10, how conscious is this transition? Is it completely subconscious or does she plan it? How manipulative do you think she is? Is she doing it on purpose?
PINSKY: My bet, it`s completely subconscious. Again, thinking in terms of how she is overtaken by a rage, murderous rage, seemingly, and there is no evidence of psychopathy lifelong. You more hear of things about her being empty, as you said chameleon-like. That sort of thing.
It`s a difficult thing to get your head around, isn`t it, how someone could behave like this, how someone could be so emptied and need to sort of become like the person they`re around, but that seems to be what`s going on here.
Casey, let me ask you a follow-up. We`re hearing that she has a girlfriend behind bars. That`s what Nancy is reporting.
PINSKY: You know, she`s a love addict/stalker with hypersexuality. That kind of fits for me. She probably does have another lady behind bars, doesn`t she?
JORDAN: Drew, I hate to burst your bubble, but women hook up behind bars all the time from pure loneliness. I won`t even shook it up to hypersexuality. They create entire families in women`s prison. It doesn`t mean they become lesbian. Usually when they get out, if they get out, they go back to relationships with men.
But while they`re in prison, for almost emotional self-preservation, if somebody shows them affection and attention, they will form an emotional and often sexual bond with another female while in prison. And to be honest, the prisons don`t really -- I mean, there are rules against sexual contact, but they`re not too worried about it. If anything, it makes the women very often happier and more easy to deal with, less combative with the correctional guards. So they very often turn the other way.
PINSKY: Once again, I`m discovering that my panel apparently lives in a world that I didn`t know I lived in where this is just the way it goes in jail. Who doesn`t? And, by the way, in courtrooms, we talk about explicit sexual material all the time.
Anyway, next, we`ll hear from one of Jodi`s ex-boyfriends exclusively.
And later, two separate child sex -- there`s Abe right there -- two child sex abuse scandals have rocked the same school district. We`re going to look at what`s happening to that community, talking to a reporter who has talked to the people on the ground there. Some inside look at what`s going on where these kids live.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARTINEZ: She would take pictures of you sleeping a couple times, right?
DARRYL BREWER, JODI`S EX: I believe there were a couple shots like that, yes.
MARTINEZ: She also took nudes of you at some point, right?
BREWER: There was one incident in the shower, she took a picture, yes. One.
MARTINEZ: So she took a picture of you while you were in the shower, correct?
MARTINEZ: You didn`t ask her to take that picture, she took that picture of you, right?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: You guys see what I saw there? She develops sometimes, Laura, a sort of trance-like state where she stops blinking and she`s looking at -- whoever is on the stand. I feel like that`s where I see that kind of disassociation going on there.
Again, we`re talking about today`s developments --
BARON: I thought more seductive.
PINSKY: Well --
BARON: It was, it was like whoever was on that stand she was ready to gnaw on. Her ex-boyfriend was on the stand. It looked like she was ready to eat him.
PINSKY: Fair enough. As a woman, as you always say, maybe you see things the male brain can`t quite pick up. I`m still trying to deal with Casey`s revelations about what goes on with women`s jails these days. I thought that was in `70s movies of the weeks.
BARON: The woman on woman thing?
BARON: Did that freak you out, the woman on woman thing?
BARON: No, I thought that was all `70s movie of the week stuff, that`s all I`m saying. Now --
BARON: What woman wants to be with another woman that just slashed a dude? Like, we like sensitive types.
PINSKY: Well, maybe you get pretty desperate. As Casey was saying, desperate and lonely in jail.
Now, we were watching a video of Jodi`s ex-boyfriend. And I think there was another video which I think we`re going to see later of another ex-boyfriend, somebody she dated, who joins us now exclusively, Abe Abdelhadi.
Abe, you actually testified by phone, right, because of having to appear on this court -- on this program?
ABE ABDELHADI, DATED JODI: Actually, it was more in relation to Gus Searcy.
And just one clarification, Drew, I wasn`t her ex-boyfriend. We dated a little bit and hung out, but we didn`t get to that point, just for clarity`s sake.
PINSKY: Yes. Right.
No, no, we remember -- I think your story about the magic thong or something is what caught everyone`s attention, right?
ABDELHADI: I found that out later. I have to watch what I say, yes.
PINSKY: OK. So tell us about court. What happened?
ABDELHADI: Well, I was asked to testify because Mr. Searcy was going to testify, and today was interesting only in that I was expecting questions on what I knew and when I knew it.
The defense seemed today to be more interested in impugning the prosecution, and frankly, I don`t really understand what the questioning was about. We talked for maybe 10 minutes, and it was more about when the prosecution asked me things or when I talked to them. It had nothing to do with what I thought or when I talked to Jodi or anything of that nature.
And so, it was a real hard job on the defense to maybe win a day with an acquittal or something. It just seemed really desperate. I got really angry with the testimony, and for that I`m a little regretful. But I didn`t call him any names, so that`s good on me, I guess.
PINSKY: Let`s go to a call. It`s Trish in Massachusetts. Trish, are you out there? Trish?
TRISH, CALLER FROM MASSACHUSETTS: Yes.
PINSKY: What do you have for us, Trish? You had a comment?
TRISH: Oh, hi, Dr. Drew. Yes, I`m a little outraged after watching all this case on different shows that no one brings up the fact that women are batterers, too? It`s an equal employer, if you will. It takes all your emotional and physical energy? That`s all you think about.
PINSKY: Trish, I have to interrupt you. I, unfortunately, cannot make out anything you`re saying, so let`s put you back on hold.
Let`s go to Kathy in Texas. Kathy?
KATHY, CALLER FROM TEXAS: Hi.
PINSKY: Hi, Kathy.
KATHY: Big fan, Dr. Drew. Hi.
PINSKY: Thanks, Kathy. What`s going on?
KATHY: Can you hear me?
PINSKY: I do. There`s a little -- lots of delays tonight between the satellite and the phone, so I ask everyone to bear with me both on the lines and watching. You go, Kathy. You tell us what you want.
KATHY: OK. I`m a big fan, Dr. Drew. I just believe that this woman is guilty and I think with the glasses and the colored hair, it`s all put on. Of course, she has -- is seeing somebody in jail. They`re reaching.
BARON: I agree, Kathy. I agree. And I think women have the best pulse on other women who are trying to B.S. their way through something. I mean, men might not get it because we`ve got a couple other assets that we`re kind of distracting about, but a woman to a woman, you know when it`s going down. I agree.
EIGLARSH: Drew, can I jump in?
PINSKY: Yes, Mark, go.
EIGLARSH: I`ve got to ask Abe something. He left out something and we want to know. He said he was frustrated that he wasn`t asked about certain things. I`m dying to know what is it that he knows, what is it he wishes they asked him about?
ABDELHADI: Well, specifically they could have asked me questions about the next day when I got back from the trip and I had called her -- our conversation pertaining to that. About two weeks later --
EIGLARSH: What? Tell us.
ABDELHADI: Well, frankly, I had called her grilling her. I had a feeling she did it as soon as I got the text, and when we got back from the vacation. And so, I called her the next day.
EIGLARSH: What led you to believe that? What led you to conclude that?
ABDELHADI: Because the previous year, year and a half, we had been talking on the phone, she had made comments of, I don`t know what I`ll do if I can`t have him, he`d be such a great father. You know, if I can`t have him -- that kind of thing is what would come up when we would talk in expressing her frustration with Travis.
PINSKY: Mr. Counselor, I have to interrupt the cross examination for a brief recess. Please approach the bench.
EIGLARSH: This is good stuff, Drew.
PINSKY: And we`ll be right back with more. I`m going to let you loose on him in a second. I`ll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You said the interview that I watched. What interview are you referring to?
ABDELHADI: The one that you had made mentioned of when I was on the phone waiting, the headline or the Dr. drew show that I had participated in.
I made a little reach to find out, candidly speaking, if she was wearing thong panties or not. So, you know, we all have our peccadilloes. And so, when I realized that she was, I made a little joke and said, this isn`t magic underwear. And she said, but there`s magic in them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: And I`m back with my co-host, Laura Baron. And that, of course, was Abe Abdelhadi testifying by phone today. And Abe was back with us exclusively tonight. And Abe, we do appreciate you joining us and for, you know, mentioning that you`re (ph) on this program.
Now, Mark, before the break, you were sort of breaking Abe down, doing little cross examination. What did you want to ask?
MARK EIGLARSH, ATTORNEY: Well, it`s extraordinary. Abe opined that she was guilty, and he said it was based upon things that she had said to him in telephone calls. He told us some of those things. What else did she say and what else would you have testified to had that been brought out?
ABDELHADI: Well, first of all, my only reason for existing in this entire matter is what I knew and when I knew it. We had a date, we hung out a little bit. She lied about when she became a Mormon. She told me she was dabbling in it when, in fact, she was baptized in that faith two months prior. When she called me a couple days later --
ABDELHADI: Hang on, hang on. Well, I`ll tell you. If you want me to treat you like the defense attorney today, great, but hear me out for a second.
EIGLARSH: Go ahead.
ABDELHADI: OK. Yes. Well, my point is this. So, two days later when she told me she was getting back together with her boyfriend, the only guy I knew of was the gentleman she lived with in Palm Springs for four years. I didn`t even know she dated Travis. So then, she felt like she was cheating on him, I thought that was weird (ph).
They weren`t even together at that point. And then, over the subsequent year and a half or so before the murder and the arrest, we would be on the phone together maybe every six weeks or couple of months, initially catching up on the business, but then, it would always devolve into a conversation about Travis and how it was or was not going.
And the feeling I got off of that apparently was interesting, because I had nothing to do with their social life. I just was getting this feeling that things weren`t completely right --
EIGLARSH: Did she ever say that he was violent to her in any respect?
ABDELHADI: No. She never brought that up. And he didn`t have a reputation for that. We`re a small business. It`s like a company. It`s - - you know, everyone knows everybody and knows of everybody. He didn`t have that kind of reputation. That wasn`t him.
And the two things that bothered me about the defense this afternoon, number one, their entire defense has been hinging on defending -- or I`m sorry, discrediting Travis, who`s dead and discrediting the prosecution. They keep ignoring the laws of physics and logic. She drove 15 hours one way. I mean, I`m reading off the police report. This is not chess, this is checkers. This is evidence --
LAURA BARON, RELATIONSHIP COACH: Abe, as a woman, we always like to know why men are attracted to bad girls and psycho women. And the fact that you kept a friendship when it seemed like -- she was unraveling in those phone conversations. You thought she was guilty, right?
ABDELHADI: Well, after the fact, I didn`t know she was going to do anything. She never told me she was going to do anything. Unless --
ABDELHADI: Hang on one second, there`s no mystery to this. She was hot. I was older. I wanted to go out with her. There`s no big --
PINSKY: Laura, that`s it. Laura -- there you go, Laura. You asked the question and you got it.
ABDELHADI: No. This isn`t like some 1970s TV movie with Robbie Benson. Let`s make this really clear. She was cute. I liked her. She spoke well. She dressed well. I thought it would be fun. I don`t see the harm in that, and obviously in hindsight, I was wrong. But at the time, there was no big mystique.
I didn`t even want to like get married or anything. That was it. And the friendship was literally just being friends with somebody. We weren`t going out anymore. We weren`t going to ever go out anymore. She wanted back to Travis.
PINSKY: Who did I hear there?
CASEY JORDAN, PH.D., CRIMINOLOGIST AND BEHAVIOR ANALYST: Abe -- it`s Casey Jordan in New York, and Abe, I so appreciate your insight and your candor. I think you`re telling us stuff we really haven`t heard elsewhere. But what I love about what you said is that you`re older and you`re not interested in getting married. You knew what you wanted from her. After a while, you really weren`t getting it.
So, my question to you is, do you really think that -- I hate to use the word gold digger, but was she single minded that she wanted to find a husband and set up a family, and clearly, it wasn`t you? I mean, she dated a guy 22 years older than her. You`re older than her. And did she just kind of use you guys while she was whiling away the time to get the catch, which was, of course, Travis? Do you think that?
ABDELHADI: I have no idea. I think if you`re looking at it in terms of a long-term relationship, if she`s doing the math, she`d be 50 and I would have been 65 or something. Maybe she wanted to have kids. I made mention that I didn`t want to have children. I certainly wasn`t Mormon. That was obviously important to her at that time.
She was looking at the spiritual future. I had done my time in church. The way I looked at it was I had early release for time served. I wasn`t going to go back. We talked about that on our dates.
PINSKY: Abe, and who knew -- little did you know, you`re going to be serving your time in front of attorneys like this. I feel a very codependent to you, my friend. You`re a great guy. You didn`t mean to get into this. I feel like we got you into it here. I apologize that you`re in the middle of all this.
EIGLARSH: He`s a big boy. You don`t have to apologize for him.
ABDELHADI: -- I`m not shopping cancer cures. That could be worse.
EIGLARSH: We`re all friends here, Drew. You don`t have to apologize for him.
PINSKY: All right. But I just want to tell Abe we appreciate it. He`s been honest, he`s been straightforward, and he`s giving us information that I think is interesting and important. And, I apologize mostly for my friend, Mark.
ABDELHADI: That`s OK. If he wants to ask me more questions, I`ll gladly take them.
PINSKY: It`s all good. I want to thank -- mostly, I want to thank the panel. I want to thank Abe for being here. I want to thank the panel. You guys are great. I`ll bring you back as this case continues to unfold. I think we`ll all be together again talking about this.
I`ve got to switch gears to yet another child sex abuse scandal. The new allegations when we come back.
And later, don`t panic about the norovirus. You heard about it on CNN and you hear about it out on the press. I`ll tell you what you really need to know.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY (voice-over): Another child sex abuse scandal rocks the Los Angeles Unified School District as this fourth grade teacher is accused of inappropriately touching as many as 19 children. It was just one year ago that this former Los Angeles elementary schoolteacher was charged with 23 counts of lewd acts with a child, including accusations he fed students cookies tainted with his own DNA. Alleged predators in the classroom, and why does this continue to happen?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY (on-camera): I`m back with my co-host, Laura Baron, and we`re talking about the latest child sex abuse scandal plaguing the LAUSD. Also, joining me to discuss, psychologist, Wendy Walsh, CNN Espanol reporter, Jacqueline Hurtado, and Brian Claypool, he is an attorney representing 12 children and the 19 parents in the Miramonte Elementary School child sex abuse scandal.
Now, Brian, you held a press conference today. What happened?
BRIAN CLAYPOOL, ATTORNEY, CLIENTS CLAIM SEX ABUSE BY TEACHERS: Drew, we`re suing now five former superintendents of LAUSD and the current superintendent and we`re suing them for punitive damages, because they are personally responsible for 20 years of a time bomb ticking within this unified school district.
They have created a culture in this school district that harbors child predators. Every day, those kids go to school in LAUSD. It`s like walking into a land mine, and you don`t know when another bomb is going to blow up.
PINSKY: Wow. And now Jacqueline, you`re out there in the community talking to the parents, talking to the people who are actually living with this. When I hear Brian talk about it being a treacherous place, I just wonder how the parents and the children for whom this is their school and their community, how did they react to this?
JACQUELINE HURTADO, CORRESPONDENT, CNN ESPANOL: Dr. Drew, I had the chance to go to Wilmington, the city where this teacher is being charged, and a lot of these parents were surprised. They say, how does this keep happening in the school district? And a lot of these parents are worried. They don`t know when another teacher is allegedly going to abuse of these children.
So, a lot of the parents say they don`t even know where to send their kids anymore, because every day, they fear that something is going to happen to their children, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: Now, we reached out to the L.A. Unified School District. Hang on, Wendy. One second -- regarding -- we have to read this. We reached out to them regarding the sexual abuse scandal. If you guys roll it, I can read their statement. Thank you.
These conduct charges made by Brian Claypool today, the statement reads in part, quote, "Appropriately addressing misconduct continues to remain a top priority. That is why we have continually engaged in extensive internal and external reviews of our policies and practices. While we can`t comment on the specifics of the Dela Torre case given the active criminal investigation, we have and will continue to work to make our schools even safer."
Jacqueline, I`ve got to go back to you. Now, this is a largely Hispanic community, as I understand. I understand there are fears about -- is it issues about immigration fears? There`s also reverence for teachers so parents are afraid to speak up to teachers or they have great reverence for them so they`re confused when these kinds of things happen. Take us inside that cultural point of view.
HURTADO: Yes, I had a chance to talk to a lot of these parents, and this area in Wilmington is predominantly Hispanic. A lot of these parents are immigrants from different countries like Mexico, Salvador, other parts here, and their children are going to school. And I know that when I talked to them I said, why is this happening or why do you think this is happening?
And a lot of the parents say that they`re scared that their children may tell them something, they may not put a lot of attention, or they just fear that if they speak out, then, there`s going to be repercussions, because a large amount of these parents are in this country illegally. They`re not here. They don`t have a Social Security.
They`re not able to be in this country legally. So, a lot of these parents say that they`re scared, but a lot of these parents have also reached out to pro-immigrant communities organizations to kind of help them out, let them know what advice they can give them. But I know a lot of these parents also respect the teachers.
Usually, they tell their children whatever the teacher tells you to do, you do, because a lot of these parents are not educated and a lot of the parents that they come from, they respect these teachers, Dr. Drew.
WENDY WALSH, PH.D., PSYCHOLOGIST: If I can add something, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: Go ahead, Wendy, please.
WALSH: OK. It`s that when we`re talking about the culture, it`s not that -- I mean, it`s sort of unfair to say that the parents are uneducated, because in some ways, this is a culture of learning to respect authority and comply. Now, not every Latino culture has that, but certainly, what we`re seeing is some of the immigrants from the areas that come to Los Angeles.
And even if the parents, themselves, are undocumented workers or may not be undocumented workers, they may live in a culture of some undocumented relatives. And so, therefore, the sort of idea is to keep your head low and don`t cause any problems. They feel very, very fortunate to be here and be educating their kids.
And Dr. Drew, you know I have two kids in LAUSD myself. So, this news was not happy for me to receive, either, because I worry about these time bombs.
BARON: But there are real signs of sexual abuse. There are solid signs that these parents could see. Drew, can you name some of those signs for us?
PINSKY: You know, what I`m going to do, because I have to break, is show you an interview I had with a teen whose former third grade teacher at the Miramonte School was accused of feeding his children students tainted DNA, and it was really sort of -- really, unsavory story.
These were -- I`m not sure there would have been explicit signs per se, especially when kids are taught to revere teachers so much they just get confused, and they may not know to tell their parents, but we`ll talk about that when we get back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
"Alex", Alleged Sex Abuse Victim: On Fridays, like, you have little prizes for the kids who were good, and like, the good kids were blindfolded and give them prizes. On several occasions, like the cookies I tasted like it`s kind of funky like they had a weird taste to them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: I`m back with my co-host, Laura Baron, and we`re talking about another child sex abuse scandal involving a teacher for the Los Angeles Unified School District. It was just one year ago that I interviewed a former student from Miramonte Elementary School. His teacher was accused of blindfolding and then feeding students tainted cookies. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Was there anything peculiar about these cookies, again, in retrospect?
"ALEX": Well, yes, like, in some occasions, like the cookies I tasted like it was kind of funky, like they had a weird taste to them.
PINSKY: And now, are you concerned that you might have been exposed to some of those terrible allegations, those horrible behaviors?
"ALEX": I`m very concerned about it. Hopefully, like, I wasn`t exposed to it, but we have to see what`s happening.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Brian, how is Alex doing today?
CLAYPOOL: Drew, he has a lot of unresolved anger. He worries that something as bad or worse is going to happen to him in the future again. And he has a lot of anxiety, and the biggest problem he`s facing right now is he can`t trust anybody. Hello. I mean, that shouldn`t be a surprise, right? He has a major trust issue now.
PINSKY: Yes. Laura, this is the first time you and I have talked about this story. Is this -- does this get under your skin the way it does for me?
BARON: It is haunting. It is haunting. I cannot even imagine these monsters going after children like this. And I actually wanted to ask you, Drew, is there just a psychological, disgusting difference of these people`s makeup when they are predators to children? Is there a difference between a child sex offender and an adult? It`s disgusting.
PINSKY: Yes. I mean, listen, we are going through -- Wendy, you`re going to back me up on this, but we`ve gone through almost a pandemic of childhood sexual abuse, and the really confusing, difficult, sad thing is that a certain percentage of child sex abuse survivors become perpetrators and then they work in circuses and schools when there are kids around -- Wendy.
WALSH: Right. It just becomes a cycle, you`re absolutely right. And Dr. Drew, I`ve got a question for you. So, you know, Laura asked earlier, well, wouldn`t there be signs that parents would see? But let me ask you this.
What is the difference if you`re looking at signs of a child who`s been sexualized and taught to act maybe provocatively and a child that might be exposed to highly sexual media, which we`re seeing more and more younger students acting out a kind of adult-like sexuality, if you will. How could --
PINSKY: It would be very difficult for a parent to tell, but I think the fundamental issue is how badly are boundaries violated in kids who`ve had the basic boundary of their body violated will often inadvertently violate the boundaries of other kids.
Let`s go to a phone call. Rochelle in Florida -- Rochelle. Again, our delay problems. Rochelle, are you with me?
ROCHELLE, FLORIDA: Yes.
PINSKY: I`m going to go right on to -- there you are. Go ahead.
PINSKY: We`re going to have to go on. Let`s go to Rhonda in Wisconsin. Rhonda, there`s a big delay. As soon as you hear the end of my voice, I want you to ask your question.
RHONDA, WISCONSIN: OK. I actually want to make a comment. As a public speaker and survivor, I just wanted to say the abuse, obviously, is awful, but what the worst part of this is is the secrecy. And that accounts for almost all the damage that victims face in adult life, and I think that`s really important for your viewers to understand is that the victim needs to be acknowledged and believed.
PINSKY: Wendy --
WALSH: What do we do to blow the lid off the secrecy? Well, here`s the thing that`s important to keep in mind. When children lie, they lie to either protect themselves or they lie so that they can get a reward. So, what happens is, in the household, children might lie about, yes, I did my homework, yes, I cleaned my room, because they want to get that reward or they want to get that praise.
But the kind of lying that they`re forced to do because they`ve been threatened by an adult, that kind of secrecy can be very damaging to them. And I really think that it`s important that parents believe kids. If they say this is happening, remember, kids have these perfect stomachs.
Remember, Dr. Drew, we call the stomach the second brain, right? And if somebody feels creepy to them to their stomach, they`ll tell you if you`re open to it. But if you`re quick to dismiss them, then it becomes this secret that they can`t explain.
PINSKY: That is a great point. We can all take home that as a parenting message. I`ve got to say goodbye to you guys. Thank you to Wendy, Thank you to Brian, and thank you to Jacqueline. I do appreciate your reporting. Well, I`m sure this is a story that`s not going to go away quickly.
Next up, I`ve got to tell you about the norovirus. That`s right. It`s not just influenza this year. Now, we got norovirus. The press is panicking you all. I`m going to sort of set the record straight. Be right back.
PINSKY: I`m back with my co-host, Laura Baron, and I want to talk about norovirus. And Laura, I want you to help me make this digestible for people. I saw Sanjay and Anderson --
BARON: There`s all of these myths out there, Drew. There are all of these crazy myths about hand sanitizer and this. Can you just debunk these for me?
PINSKY: Yes. Well, some of us have reason, but I just want to say that I saw Sanjay and Anderson talking about it, and if you listened, you could get scared hearing about what they were talking about. But the fact is --
PINSKY: -- the same thing about the influenza, that there was a horrible pandemic. No, no. We just had an early peak and it was kind of nasty, and it was a nasty thing this year. Norovirus actually not even really related to the flu virus, but people call it the stomach flu is what it does. It causes diarrhea and vomiting. It lasts about two to three days.
Young people, very old, people with HIV, cancer, really, can be very, very serious infection, and even for a healthy person, particularly, a very young person. You can get dehydrated. So, it`s very important to keep your fluids up and you take medicine to control the vomiting.
There isn`t anything to treat it. Not like with the flu, you can take anti-viral medicines like Tamiflu were great, shortened the course very much so, but with this, there really isn`t any treatment other than what we call supportive care. There`s also nothing you can do -
BARON: I was reading like you`re supposed to hand wash your dishes, that you can only use hand sanitizer. Like, there`s all of these crazy things out there as preventative measures. Is that true?
PINSKY: Yes. I have one word for you. Those things are good to do and make sure your hands don`t go to your face like with every virus, but I have one word that does clean up the surfaces and can potentially help out the hands as well. Bleach. Clorox. Clorox hand sanitizers. Bleach.
BARON: On yourself?
PINSKY: Particularly, on surfaces. On surfaces, that`s the main thing. Washing hands the next best thing and then these hand sanitizers, OK, it reduces the risk. There`s all ways of reducing risks, but most importantly, don`t handle food if you`ve been exposed to it, and it`s in the vomit we think that it really gets around.
And then, don`t let your hands get to your face if you think you`ve been exposed. And this is good for all viruses.
PINSKY: I`m just saying. You know, that`s harsh on the skin, but it`s the bleach and the Clorox that really does get the virus like this. Laura, I want to thank you. I also want to thank all of my guests. The most important thing about the norovirus is I want everyone to calm down about it. It is basically kind of the stomach flu. It`s not going to be terribly harmful.
"Nancy Grace" starts right now.