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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT

Interview With Rep. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota; Deal Or No Deal?; Will The Senate Deal Pass?; Al Qaeda Suspect Brought To New York; What Tea Party?; Banksy Brings Art to the Masses; Mental Patients Being Bused Out of Town?; Break In Madeleine McCann's Disappearance

Aired October 14, 2013 - 19:00   ET

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


ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: "OUTFRONT" next, on the verge of a deal. The Senate says an end to the shutdown is in sight. But is the president on board?

Plus patient dumping for years considered an urban legend. Now, though, we know it's true. An OUTFRONT investigation tonight.

And a teenage girl raped by a high school football player. She says her community turned against her and her family. She and her mother are here tonight.

Let's go "OUTFRONT."

BURNETT: And good evening, everyone. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, deal or no deal? Tonight it appears, appears that a deal on the debt ceiling and the government shutdown may finally be in sight. Have to emphasize those words. Vice President Joe Biden for one was mum.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there a deal?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: But he may look very cool in those aviators. So the Majority Leader Harry Reid and his Republican counterpart though Mitch McConnell made their positive feelings loud and clear.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SENATOR HARRY REID (D), MAJORITY LEADER: I'm very optimistic.

SENATOR MITCH MCCONNELL (R), MINORITY LEADER: I share his optimism.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: It's not just the word optimism. I think the thing to hone in on is the word "share." All right, here's what we know about the deal that those two men are crafting. It would keep the government funded until January 15th, create a December 13th deadline for a budget deal and raise the debt ceiling until February 15th. Now there are lots of problems with those dates, but we'll get to that in a minute. I want to get now to Dana Bash in Capitol Hill although she is the one who broke the terms of the deal. I guess, Dana, the first question is, and I know, you know, a few days ago, we thought we were close to a deal and then there was no deal. So this time, can you tell how close to done this deal is?

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Just like you, I'm very reluctant to predict anything, but it seems a lot closer, a lot more real than we've gotten, primarily because you are talking about the Democratic leader in the Senate and the Republican leader in the Senate. The terms that you just put up on the screen are interesting with regard to who has given what.

Democrats were very reluctant to open the government and to fund it through next year and the reason is because after January 15th, the new forced spending cuts even deeper cuts than they are now kick in. Democrats don't want those to happen. So they sort of won with regard to only keeping the government open until January 15th and forcing budget negotiators to come up with a deal by the middle of December.

But Republicans got something big too and that is not extends the debt ceiling for an entire year through the next election as Democrats wanted. They want to use the debt ceiling once again as leverage to force discussions on entitlement reform on tax reform, on the big issues that they have been really focused on with regard to dealing with the broader and long-term debt and deficit so that's why they sort of had a win there.

Now Republicans in the Senate, Erin, have to have a discussion about it. They're going to do so tomorrow morning at 11:00 and the hope is that the ball will start to roll with that deal. The Senate is going to do it and then, of course, the big question is what happens with the House?

BURNETT: And obviously that is the huge question. And I know part of the reason why it's impossible for you to gauge, you know, success or failure. But you know, Dana, I'm curious, obviously from the House, right, there was this, take it or leave it on Obamacare. And now it's really we're not hearing much about Obamacare at all and it seems that from your reporting it's on the table in kind of a token way.

BASH: That's a great way to put it, Erin. It does seem to be a token way. In some respects it's a way that helps Democrats. If you look at what appeared to be the Obamacare provisions that are part of this deal, first of all, it would make sure, verify that individuals who are getting subsidies for Obamacare, that they actually verify what their income level is to make sure there is no fraud. That is something that is a bipartisan idea.

But look at the second thing delay a fee on employees receiving health insurance. That is a huge issue and has been for unions who are Democrats constituencies. So yes, there are sort of this tweaking around the edges at best with Obamacare, but on the other hand, the president has said many times as have Democratic leaders, we are not going to do anything to Obamacare if it means holding that ransom in exchange for raising the debt ceiling or opening the government. So Republicans are going to argue that that is a get that they got with regard to this, the framework of this deal.

BURNETT: All right, well, thank you very much, Dana. Again, she is the one who broke the parameters of that deal.

And I want to get to the second story OUTFRONT, which is whether this is a plan that actually is going to go anywhere. Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota is part of a group of about a dozen moderate bipartisan senators who lay the groundwork for this deal out that Leaders Reid and McConnell are working on right now.

Senator, good to have you with us and really appreciate you're taking the time. So what more can you tell us about what's in the current deal? Because obviously there are a lot of details, but these dates seem to be the fundamental pieces of data that we have. Debt ceiling to February 15th, budget deal by the middle of December and the government stays open until January 15th. What else can you tell us?

SEN. HEIDI HEITKAMP (D), NORTH DAKOTA: Well, I think when you look at the whole package it's not yet resolved. I think there's still a lot of wordsmithing going on, a lot of details, the devil's always in the details. But I think overall the parameters are doing three important things. Number one, they are opening up government. Number two, they are extending the debt limit so we don't default and three, they are a setting a framework for a broader deal into the future without making that too far into the future so that we can begin immediately to deal with debt and deficit issues that I think are bipartisan concern.

BURNETT: So how close to done is this deal? Say you get this through the Senate, right? OK, that's great then you'd have to go through the House and obviously the House did something that wouldn't go through the Senate. I mean, you know, I'm nervous to say there's a deal because they've fallen apart time and time again. Are you confident?

HEITKAMP: Well, I'm confident that we've made the case that we can't default on the debt and that date is on Thursday. And so if we do that, we will reap the whirlwind of American opinion. That problem will result in one of our witnesses during the banking committee said it would increase the mortgage interest rate 1 percent. I mean, these are real consequences.

And I am convinced that we've made the case and that everybody understands that we can't play Russian roulette with this fragile economy, with the American recovery. So I'm confident that we've set a deadline for getting a deal. What that deal's going to look like, ultimately I think will continue to evolve over the next 24 hours.

BURNETT: I hear you when you say you've gotten to the seriousness of the issue here. But you know, on the show, we track how many days since the last time this happened, when the U.S. lost its top credit rating. It's been 800 days since that happened. Now, you know, obviously the reporting tonight is this deal would extend the debt ceiling until February 15th.

You know, when I talk to senior CEOs in the world of finance and I talked to some today, they still see this as a joke. I mean, Congress has had I think 13 times since then to do a deal, and there's never been a deal. Super committee and there's this terrible sequester that happens. So I'm confused as to why we should be celebrating delaying this another couple months?

HEITKAMP: Well, one of the things that I've been adamant about is that the longest we can possibly get is the best. But I think we have to at some point understand that for a lot of members, especially some really good folks on the other side who say we're willing to do this deal, but we can't extend this out too far because we want to have that tough conversation.

So I think one of the things that we've been through is embarrassing to every member of Congress and hopefully we've learned the lesson. We're not going to put the American economy on the brink once again. I know. I can just see your cynicism. But I think there is a committed group including the 12 or now 13 that met in Susan Collins' office who know that this needs to be taken care of. So as we bring in more people, as more and more moderates speak out, I'm encouraged in the future.

BURNETT: Obviously I am cynical. You're right about that. But, you know, there are moderates like you who -- and I don't want to in any way under minor demean those efforts, but you have been stymied by radicals of both parties. There's no question about that. You have been. Do you really think you can get this done? I mean, and this is a big deal. This is a big deal with cutting entitlements, dealing with taxes. That's what it's going to take.

HEITKAMP: I would tell you, Erin, that one of the things that's in this deal is getting back to regular order. Hopefully if we can get that done, if the appropriators do what they're supposed to do, we can get the budget committee, which we've been stymied by the most radical elements. We can get back to a process that actually works again. We've tried super committees. We've tried Bowles Simpson.

It hasn't worked. So that's another process piece that I think, would argue that we're headed in the right direction by actually working within the framework of the United States Congress to resolve these conflicts.

BURNETT: Senator Heitkamp, thank you very much. Appreciate you taking the time. By the way, the president was supposed to have a meeting today, but it didn't happen. It's been indefinitely postponed. So is that an ominous sign or not? We're going to be talking about that later on in the program and whether he should be more involved or not.

Still to come, that terrorist in New York, a week after he was captured in Libya, Abu Al Libi is in the United States, here in New York City. Is it too soon? Is it safe?

Plus patient dumping, an urban legend that has now been proven to be true, workers shipping the mentally ill, one way ticket to leave the state rather than treating them. We have an OUTFRONT investigation. And a teenager reports being raped by a high school football player. Her mother says what happened after that was another horrifying crime. The teenager and her mother exclusively OUTFRONT.

And you love zombies. You might really love zombies. We have proof.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: Our third story, OUTFRONT, a major terror suspect arrives in New York for trial. Abu Anas al-Libi is the alleged al Qaeda operative captured by the United States in Libya about a week ago. He's been held on a Navy ship for days of interrogation. Something many criticized because they thought Kelly Ayotte it should be months of interrogation. Al-Libi is accused of playing a role in the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings, which took place in Kenya and Tanzania, and considered a very senior and trusted member of al Qaeda by some intelligence operatives.

Susan Candiotti is OUTFRONT tonight with the latest. Susan, Al-Libi heads to court tomorrow. So we're going to see him. What are you learning about his interrogation, which as I indicated there's a lot of tension around whether it was enough?

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, naturally there is and he was only on board that Navy ship we know for around nine days or so. Not really clear if he was taken anywhere else. But certainly, they used that special team. He was treated as a high- valued detainee. Of course, they would have asked him questions about whether he has any current information about any planned al Qaeda attacks against the United States.

But I'm told that finally -- and of course, he didn't have an attorney present for that -- when he was arrested outside the United States, and that's according to the U.S. attorney here in New York, he of course, before then did not have a lawyer. We know that he was brought here in part because of a pre-existing medical condition. He had to be treated here in a New York area facility. We don't know exactly which one.

BURNETT: I'm not saying it's not true. I always hear about it.

CANDIOTTI: In this case, we have word that's what happened. In any case, he will be in court tomorrow. He will have a lawyer for the first time. He of course, was read his Miranda Rights after he was officially arrested outside the United States. So if he did decide to talk after that, those statements could be used against him.

BURNETT: Right. So he can be interrogated more, but he will have the --

CANDIOTTI: Protections of the law.

BURNETT: All right, Susan Candiotti, thank you very much. And we'll be watching that tomorrow, obviously significant in the United States and in New York. And our fourth story OUTFRONT is this sickening trend called greyhound therapy, translation, states wiping their hands of mental patients that they don't want by putting them on a bus headed -- well, anywhere else. Washing their hands of them. Just like that.

The practice was long thought to be an urban myth. But in a massive class action lawsuit the city of San Francisco says hundreds of patients have been sent from the state of Nevada to San Francisco.

Kyung Lah has this OUTFRONT investigation.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KYUNG LAH, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): David Theisen never planned to live in this cramped San Francisco low-income rental. He never planned to be here at all.

DAVID THEISEN, MENTAL PATIENT SENT FROM NEVADA ON BUS: So I was going to commit suicide, that I had a knife.

LAH: That was the call he made to Nevada Emergency Services three years ago. Living in Las Vegas, he was broke, jobless, homeless. He ended up at the (INAUDIBLE) Neil Psychiatric Center where medical records show his doctor noted Theisen was depressed and suicidal. When Theisen said he wanted to live anywhere but Vegas --

THEISEN: The young woman suggested San Francisco.

LAH (on camera): Why did they choose San Francisco for you?

THEISEN: I don't know. She -- because I explained that's what I was doing. I was a cook. She was trying to be helpful, saying San Francisco has got a lot of restaurants. I said, really? I didn't even follow it until next day.

LAH (voice-over): They staff gave Theisen five bags of snacks, directions to a San Francisco homeless shelter and sent him packing on a Greyhound bus to the city where he knew no one, 560 miles away. His doctors in Nevada, he says he never heard from them again.

(On camera): Did you feel like you were the first person that they had done this with?

THEISEN: No. Are you kidding? I think it's a fairly common practice.

LAH (voice-over): It's called Greyhound therapy. Bus patients to another state and out of your state budget. Theisen's one-way ticket cost just $85.50. Far cheaper than actually treating him.

DAVID HERRERA, SAN FRANCISCO CITY ATTORNEY: I think it's reprehensible.

LAH: David Herrera is San Francisco's city attorney.

HERRERA: It's been urban myth or urban legend for decades that this kind of conduct was occurring, but this is the first instance of which I'm aware where we've been able to document a state-supported practice that was not only encouraged, but facilitated by state actors.

LAH (on camera): The city attorney estimates 1500 patients were bussed out of this one hospital in Nevada. Five hundred of them came here to the state of California. San Francisco's cost? $500,000 and counting.

(Voice-over): San Francisco has filed a class action lawsuit against the state of Nevada, demanding it pay the city for taking care of the 24 patients bussed here over a five-year period. The city says Nevada should also pay back the numerous other cities across the southwest it's dumped patients in.

The Nevada Department of Health and Human Services admits to CNN that there were 10 instances where staff did not confirm sufficient shelter and services for transferred patients. But it maintains Nevada's Client Back to Home Communities program was property conducted.

Theisen's life has improved since he arrived in his new city. San Francisco subsidizes his room and he still has $100 for food each month. But even he says it's Nevada who should foot the bill.

THEISEN: They should. They really should. Because they want to get rid of me, yes, they should be responsible for me.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BURNETT: Kyung, I mean, this is unbelievable. My question to you is, is this more widespread than Nevada to San Francisco?

LAH: Well, that's a suspicion. Now if you talk to advocates for the homeless and mentally ill, this is something that they have been complaining about for years nationwide. Not just in the warm weather state of California and Arizona, but in states like Florida that have long suspecting that people from the northern part of the East Coast have been shipped to them.

But the difficulty, Erin, is that these cases are so hard to prove because you're dealing with a transient population. What the San Francisco city attorney is hoping that by making an example out of this case which is why it filed a lawsuit that this will help stop this practice.

BURNETT: Kyung Lah, thank you very much for that investigation.

Well, still to come, a possible break in a case gone cold. Six years after little Madeleine McCann disappeared on a trip to Europe with her family. Police have two unrelated witnesses pointing to the same man.

Plus tragedy on a cruise ship. How a 6-year-old lost his life.

And one of the most dramatic videos of this Columbus Day. A near miss at a thousand feet between a plane and a man. And we're going to show you how it went down. Here's a shout out.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: Our fifth story OUTFRONT,, a promising break in the case of Madeleine McCann. You probably remember her. She's the British toddler who disappeared in 2007 while on vacation with her parents in Portugal. Tonight the lead investigator says two different people have come up with the same name in response to a computer generated sketch of a man police now say they want to question.

The man was seen by witnesses carrying a child matching Madeleine McCann's description on the night she vanished. McCann went missing just a few days before she turned 4.

OUTFRONT tonight is John Walsh. He's an adviser to the McCann family, has profiled the case several times in "America's Most Wanted."

Good to have you with us, John. Let me just ask you, I guess, first of all, the family's reaction to this? Are they excited? Reading more into this than things in the past? Or how are they feeling?

JOHN WALSH, FORMER HOST, "AMERICA'S MOST WANTED": I think they've got to be excited. I know they're excited. You know, you never give up hope. The not knowing is what has killed Jerry and Kate all these years, the not knowing what happened to Maddy.

And this may give them some closure. And Scotland Yard has come up with some new technology they're featuring -- they've already featured tonight on "Crime Watch U.K." in England which a show that we modeled ourselves after "America's Most Wanted" was modeled after this show. And they're hoping that this person of interest will end their pain and tell them what happened to Maddy.

BURNETT: And in terms of what might come out of this, John, it's been six years. I mean, is it possible that they really could find this person? Is it possible that the child is alive in your view?

WALSH: Well, absolutely. We're -- you know, remember Elizabeth Smart. She was gone for eight months. Everybody gave up, and we were lucky enough to not give up on "America's Most Wanted." Elizabeth's mother and father were convinced that she was still alive, and she was. Look at Jaycee Dugard. She was kept in the backyard by a level three convicted pedophile for 18 years and fathered two children by this guy, this creep.

BURNETT: Yes.

WALSH: And Maddy could be alive. It would be wonderful if Maddy was alive. And I tell parents all the time, especially Kate and Jerry who Reve and I, my wife and I went to see in England when they were being brutalized by the British press and the Portuguese police had pointed the finger back at them and almost destroyed their lives.

BURNETT: Yes.

WALSH: To never give up hope. So they're hoping that Maddy will be alive. It would be a wonderful end to this story.

BURNETT: It certainly would. It'd be a miracle watched around the world.

John, thank you.

Still to come, a young girl accuses an older boy of raping her. Now she says his family's political connection has gotten him off the hook. No charges. The teenager and her mother OUTFRONT.

Plus the latest from the government shutdown. A deal in the Senate might be just a few details away, so you've heard. But why is the president silent? Why did he cancel a meeting today?

And it's one of the most anticipated movies in production. So why did the film star of "50 Shades" sort of guaranteed to make you a household name you think just quit?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: Welcome back to the second half of OUTFRONT.

Police are investigating the accidental drowning of a 6-year-old boy aboard Carnival's Victory cruise ship. A witness tells CNN that people were dancing when a deejay discovered the boy struggling in the water and stopped the music. Carnival tell us that they don't have lifeguards at any of their pools. They say parental supervision is required for children 13 and under. In this case, the family was nearby. Earlier this year a four-year-old nearly drowned on Disney cruise ship which also does not require lifeguards.

Well, a win for the Pentagon. In the midst of the shutdown and the sequester and all the problems for the Pentagon, they actually won a big order today for their really troubled fighter jet program the F- 35. It's a big deal for the Pentagon. Norway's 2014 defense budget released today calls for the purchase of six F-35s. Norway wants to modernize their force. It's deal worth $1.2 billion. It's great for the Pentagon. But we guess it was very smart to hold this announcement until the Monday after awarding the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo. Anyway, it is proof of the truth -- Norway loves its bombers.

Well, how could zombies outperforming Sunday night football? AMC has a record 16.1 million viewers tuned in for the season four premiere of "The Walking Dead", outdoing all shows in the coveted 18 to 49 demographer, including primetime NFL football, where I watched my Redskins get slogged.

The excitement extended to Twitter where in the first minute of the premiere, viewers posted nearly 40,000 tweets. The much loved "Breaking Bad" by comparison ended its run last month, drawing a series record of 10.3 million viewers.

Also in Hollywood, "Sons of Anarchy" actor Charlie Hunt has bowed out of the film adaptation of "50 Shades of Gray." Supposedly, he was too busy with his TV schedule to adequately prepare for the male lead. The film, of course, is based on E.L. James erotic trilogy, which has sold more than 70 million copies worldwide.

We're told that adapting a well-loved book is always a gamble, casting will be crucial. The Harry Potter movies, for example, raked in nearly $2.4 billion. Wizards obviously sell on the page and on- screen, but will sex?

Well, our sixth story OUTFRONT: what Tea Party?

Top Senate leaders say they're optimistic a deal is in sight. And they seem to do it without the help of House Republicans. Although, by the way, once this passes the Senate, it does need to go over to that pesky Congress.

OUTFRONT tonight, Tea Party Express chairman Amy Kremer, executive editor of "The Daily Best", John Avlon, and Democratic strategist, Hilary Rosen.

All right. Great to have all of you with us.

Amy, CNN reporting that the proposal under consideration would basically kick the can down the road a couple months. So, essentially, that's what it's doing. But only with some slight provisions to Obamacare, all right? Nothing like delaying, repealing defunding, nothing like that.

Was it worth shutting down the government if that's the deal that ends up happening?

AMY KREMER, TEA PARTY EXPRESS CHAIRMAN: Well, Erin, I don't believe that the Republicans shut down the government, even on "CROSSFIRE" earlier, Newt was talking about Harry Reid and the president threatening to shut down the government over the sequester. That came out of the White House in July. July was when that first came out.

Obamacare is a job-killing program that we can't afford. We're $17 trillion in debt and now they're going to kick the can down the road and they're not going to do anything about it. It is not acceptable. And we cannot continue to function this way.

BURNETT: Go ahead, John.

JOHN AVLON, THE DAILY BEAST: Amy, Amy, God bless you, didn't answer the question.

No, of course, this wasn't about -- this isn't a win. This shutdown wasn't about adjusting the reinsurance rate. And the shutdown was compelled by House Republicans listening to the Tea Party, afraid of getting primaried from the right and running into a suicidal strategy that even "The Wall Street Journal" and other conservative organizations realized it was suicidal from the get go.

So, the result will be good for the country if we avoid this completely idiotic, self-defeating debt ceiling, but to pretend it's a win or to pass the other buck and say this was Harry Reid's plot all along isn't dealing with reality.

BURNETT: Well, Hilary, what the other side with the president? Because he's -- you know, he was the one using ransom and hostage. He was going to have a meeting today. And it got abruptly canceled. So, now, he's kind of out of the discussions.

Is that smart? Or is that abdicating the leadership role that the president of the United States should have?

HILARY ROSEN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, the president's been a stalwart that's forced this deal as it's happening right now. He has basically said I'm not going to undermine my health care program, and I'm not going to let the Republicans hold the economy hostage. And actually, the fact that he held firm is why we're in this place we're in now and why Amy's constituents are going to be unhappy.

But I hear something else when I hear Amy talking, and that is that this deal that's coming up with some, you know, folks in the Senate, Republicans and Democrats talking to each other may not pass the House so easily. John Boehner's going to have this problem all over again if this deal gets to the House tomorrow or Wednesday, and that's going to be -- you know, it's going to feel like Groundhog Day if we just keep going with the feelings of Amy's constituency.

BURNETT: And, Amy, would you think that the House, if they have the votes would shoot this down right on the eve of a technical default? You know, without getting into all the details and the arguments of when's a default a default? Would they really do that?

KREMER: Well, Erin, I don't know. But I know that the members in the House are representing their constituents, and I think all of us would agree here that our government cannot keep functioning this way.

And what, we're going to be back here in three or four months doing this all over again? We're tired of this. And if what we heard earlier is accurate, the Republicans are going to get the income verification. Well, that was a standard in Obamacare anyway. So, now, we're going to get a fraud prevention piece thrown at us. And now the unions are going to be fixed?

This is not right. I mean, we have a $17 trillion debt and it's not acceptable. We cannot continue to live this way. And we want something done about it.

And when Obamacare is one sixth of our economy, another huge entitlement program -- I mean, when are we going to address that?

BURNETT: Well, health care is 20 percent of the economy.

AVLON: Right. Look, I think we can all agree as Amy said, members of the Senate I think agree that we need to deal with the deficit and the debt in particular.

BURNETT: Right.

AVLON: But the point is that this whole kamikaze kabuki has actually increased costs. It has not helped deal with the deficit and debt. If we're serious about that, that's when you go to conference, that's when they you start getting people working across the aisle for long- term plans. But everything we've been through has been a fool's errand. It has done nothing ultimately to deal with reducing the long term deficit and debt in a constructive way.

BURNETT: Go ahead, Hilary.

ROSEN: It's been kind of a fool's error politically, obviously, but also substantively. You know, the deficit has been cut in half since President Obama's taken office. The Republicans had a huge victory over this last year because the government is now funded at sequestration levels, which is almost a hundred billion dollar cut over what the president asked for.

And so, rather sort of than declaring some victories, saying we've made a lot of progress on the budget, the Republicans are going after something that is just not doable, and that I think is going to finally dawn of some members of the Republican Senate. The question is whether the House is going to go along with it.

BURNETT: This is going to be a fascinating 48 hours or 72.

All right. Thanks to all three.

Well, the money and power of nerds. This weekend, the New York Comic Con was held at the Javits Center here in Manhattan. And for four days, fans, many of them in costume, I drove by, I saw them, attended panels, lined up for autographs, got a sneak peek at the comics, toys of TV shows and movies set to be released next year.

Yes, that's our production team. They said they need to cover this for the good of the show. That's all right, guys. You're nerds and we love you.

This year's event had 700 exhibitors, stretching over four miles. Fans spent $20 million on tee shirts, posters, toys and swords. When you factor in of hotels and restaurants, $70 million was pumped into the New York's economy. That sounds pretty good until you consider this. A lot of the sales were cash transactions for autographs and photo ops, with some fans spending hundreds of dollars to meet their favorite stars.

So, the IRS probably isn't going to see a lot of that. But $70 million is still pretty good, even though the IRS got bilked, New York's comic con has only been going for seven years, but it is now the event for fans. The San Diego Comic Con used to be the most important pop culture event of the year. And New York actually tied for the first time with 130,000 people attending.

By the way, you saw that screen. There's one guy not bilking the IRS, one guy that you know can stand up for you. And that was cookie monster.

All right. More on Comic Con go to CNN.com/OutFront. They'll be more pictures of our staff.

Still to come, a young girl said she was raped by an older boy. So, why does she now say members of her community turned on her and her family? She's OUTFRONT next with the story.

And one of the most secretive and celebrated artists in the world -- did he just play a massive prank on the U.S.?

And a shout-out tonight, a near miss. This video is of Sweden. It shows a paraglider in the air when a small plane comes perilously close to the paragliders -- God -- towline, which is connected on the ground. So, you could see how that would have ended.

Local media say the paraglider was about 1,000 feet on the air when the incident occur. He did land safely. The shout-out goes to the paraglider for keeping his cool throughout the incident. We're assuming everybody had all the permits that they were supposed to have to be in the airspace. Otherwise, of course, the shout-out could change.

We'll be back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURENTT: And we are back with tonight's outer circle.

And we go tonight to Syria where stunning video shows a pair of car booms exploding just outside a state run TV station in central Damascus.

Mohammed Jamjoom is OUTFRONT.

And, Mohammed, who are they saying did these explosions?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MOHAMMED JAMJOOM, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Erin, dramatic video showcasing just how volatile the situation has become in Syria's capital. Two car bombings captured during a live TV broadcast Sunday night. This was an Iraqi television station interviewing a Syrian political analyst. The first bomb went off behind the political analyst. He was then saying to the broadcaster that he was OK. That he would go on. What is your question?

Just a few seconds after that, there was another loud explosion, and you could see the blast behind him as well. After that, the political analyst left his seat from the studio there. This happened at the headquarters for Syrian state television near Umayyad Square. The Syrian state television blamed this on armed terrorists, really showcasing how bad the situation has become in Damascus -- Erin.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: Thank you very much, Mohammed.

Our seventh story OUTFRONT: was it a retaliation for rape accusation?

A young woman accuses her classmate of sexual assault. He happens to be a very popular football player who is from a prominent political family. And then the charges were quickly dropped. Now, she and her family say they've been forced to move out of their small town because the community attacked them. Here's their story.

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BURNETT (voice-over): It was supposed to be the beginning of a new life. Melinda Coleman and her kids moved to a small town of Maryville, Missouri, to start fresh after a tragic car accident killed Melinda's husband and the children's father.

But instead, their nightmare began early on January 8, 2012. Fourteen-year-old Daisy Coleman was hosting a sleep over with the girlfriend of the Coleman's home. Daisy had been texting with a football player, a senior, who was 17.

Soon after, the teen girls snuck out of Daisy's home to meet up with the football player and his friends. It happened in his parents' basement. According to investigators' documents her mother provided OUTFRONT, Daisy had a lot more to drink that night, thanks to the football player. According to the documents, Daisy had a big glass of clear stuff. That was the last Daisy Coleman remembers about that night. The next morning, daisy was found outside her front door with no shoes, sox or coat, despite below freezing temperatures. Coleman says she tried to give her daughter a warm bath and noticed signs of sexual assault.

She immediately called 911. According to the police report, Melinda Coleman released to OUTFRONT, the boys who were there that night had a conversation about calling one of Ms. Coleman's brothers and telling him they had found his sister drunk at a party and brought her home and dropped her off. The goal was to keep anybody from finding out they had sex.

The football player, from a prominent political family in Missouri was arrested and charged with sexual assault. His friend was also charged with allegedly recording the incident on an iPhone. Yet about two months later, all of the charges were dropped, except for a misdemeanor, endangering the life of a child by leaving Daisy out in the freezing cold.

The Nodaway County sheriff says both his office and the prosecuting attorney were ready to prosecute, but both the victim and her family refused to cooperate.

SHERIFF DARREN WHITE, NODAWAY COUNTY, MISSOURI: The only people's stories that have been inconsistent throughout this whole thing are the Colemans, are the victims in this case. And I don't know why that is, but it is.

BURNETT: Those claims don't add up according to Melinda Coleman. In the weeks that followed, the girl's mother claimed there were threats made against her children. Coleman says she was fired from her job at a local veterinarian's clinic. According to Coleman, the backlash from many residents in the town was relentless. So, the Colemans picked up and moved again, away from the small all American town that was supposed to give them a new lease on life. (END VIDEOTAPE)

BURNETT: Well, Daisy Coleman and her mother Melinda are OUTFRONT tonight in an exclusive interview.

And thank you, both of you, I know this is difficult, but we appreciate you're coming on to tell your side of the story, and talk about such a difficult matter.

I mean, Daisy, that night, you were with friends. I know in some ways it's a night that you will never forget, as long as you live. In another ways, it's hard to remember it and you were with that senior who was a football player, what do you remember? DAISY COLEMAN, CLAIMS SHE WAS RAPED BY SENIOR AT HER HIGH SCHOOL: I remember going out of my window after drinking with my friend, who was 13 at the time, we were watching scary movies and just having a fun time. And after we snuck out, we got into this car where Matt picked us up.

And he drove us to his house and we snuck in through his house through his basement window. And I went to go and sit on his couch and he gave me a big glass of clear liquid. And that's all I remember.

BURNETT: And that's all you remember, and, Melinda, you woke up in the morning, and you found Daisy scratching on the window, barely conscious, and below freezing weather. When did you recognize that something horrific had happened, that she had been sexually assaulted?

MELINDA COLEMAN, CLAIMS DAUGHTER WAS RAPED: I didn't realize initially, when I heard something outside, I thought maybe it was the dogs. It was about 5:00 in the morning, it was about 10 until 5:00. And I just heard something outside, and I got up, went out, and my youngest son and I found Daisy in the yard. She -- her hair was wet and frozen.

And she didn't have any socks or shoes or anything on her hands. And it was very cold. There was frost on the ground and it was about 22 degrees. So, we initially got her inside the house and tried to warm her up.

And at that point I couldn't figure out what had happened. It was not until I undressed her and put her in a warm tub that I realized that maybe she had been sexually assaulted. So I asked her if she was hurting, and she said yes, and started to cry.

BURNETT: Melinda, I have to ask you this, because this seems to be the one big question in the case. The prosecutor in the case hasn't returned our calls. We did try. But the sheriff that you just heard there, Darren White, said he was ready to prosecute. He said that Daisy was raped. But he says that those charges were dropped because you chose not to testify or have Daisy testify.

Is that true? What's your response to that?

MELINDA COLEMAN: That's absolutely not true. And they did talk to Daisy that night -- that morning, they talked to her in the hospital room. I have the police report. You can see her full story. She told them everything she just now said.

And I also talked to the sheriff and the captain and told them everything I knew. And that is also in the police report. So, that's absolutely not true.

BURNETT: And, Daisy, obviously, the football player is from a prominent political family. Do you -- do you think when you look at this now, that that played a role in how the case was handled and the fact that the charges were dismissed and how you were treated?

DAISY COLEMAN: Yes, I do believe that it did play a role. I have heard many things that he has gotten off many times with multiple things, traffic tickets, having drugs on him, tobacco underage. And I have heard that he has gotten off on all of this. So it does make me believe that there was a role played.

BURNETT: And since this happened, Daisy, I know you have endured some horrible things. What has your life been like? What changed after this?

DAISY COLEMAN: There was really a lot of cyber bullying, and I really -- at first, I didn't really -- it didn't affect me as much. But after you hear it so often, you're -- all of these different things, then you start to believe it. And I really did start to hate myself.

BURNETT: What would you say, I mean, this is to both of you. I guess, Daisy, you first when you say you start to believe it yourself. That football player is currently enrolled in college, as far as we know and continuing with his life. And I know that your life has obviously had a lot of hurdles since then.

What would you say to him if you saw him?

DAISY COLEMAN: I would say that I never wanted to see him again. That he can go live his life. And I just never wanted to see him again.

BURNETT: Melinda?

MELINDA COLEMAN: My concern was that some other girls came forward and told me that the same thing had happened to them with this same group of boys. When I had talked to the sheriff initially, he said that there had been girls that had come forward and that there had been maybe even 10 other girls that were also assaulted.

So, later on, he said that they were all liars. I digitally recorded him saying they were all liars and that they just wanted to crucify those poor, innocent boys.

So my concern is, what is it going to take for them to do something here? Is one of these girls going to have to die? Are they going to end up freezing in their front yard before they will do something?

BURNETT: And, Melinda, do you want this case reopened? What do you want to happen from this? MELINDA COLEMAN: I would like to see the case reopened and I would like to see some justice. And I would like the other girls to be able to come forward without fear.

BURNETT: Do you agree, Daisy, and would you testify if that happened?

DAISY COLEMAN: I would.

BURNETT: All right. Well, thank you very much to both of you again. I know it is hard to talk about it. Thank you.

MELINDA COLEMAN: Thank you.

BURNETT: We're going to keep covering that story.

OUTFRONT next, a very mysterious artist in a very strange event.

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BURNETT: Tonight, one of the world's most mysterious figures has an idea that puts average Americans on the same footing as celebrities.

Ivan Watson is OUTFRONT with a story.

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IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The British street artist Banksy strikes again, the idea of bringing art to the people in unexpected way. This time on a random street corner in Queens, New York.

Within hours, fans of all ages posed next to a stencil quoting Russell Crowe's sword-fighting general from the Hollywood blockbuster "Gladiator." "What we do in life echoes in eternity."

BEA MCMONAGLE, BANKSY FAN: Historical in many ways. She could say she got a photo taken in front of an original Banksy that's no longer in existence.

WATSON: Banksy is famous for being anonymous. Surprising audiences with his politically themed art, which pops up on buildings in cities around the world, including here on his Israeli security walls in the occupied West Bank.

(on camera): Within hours, Banksy has turned this street corner in the neighborhood in Queens into an open air art exhibit, of sorts. The irony is just a few days ago, fans could have bought one of his original canvass for just $60.

(voice-over): On Sunday, Banksy unveiled this photo, showing an elderly, unidentified man selling his stencils along New York's Central Park. He waited all day, yet only three people bought Banksy's art for a total of just $420. Bargain-basement prices in the high priced world of art.

ALEX BENRIMON, ARTNET.COM: I think this was to poke fun at collectors and different buyers of his works.

WATSON (on camera): People like you.

BENRIMON: Exactly.

WATSON (voice-over): Alex Benrimon is a collector who plans to auction off earlier Banksy art works for tens of thousands of dollars apiece.

BENRIMON: He is always accessible, open to the public, just doing things for the city, the culture.

WATSON: Every day this month, Banksy has said he will unveil the new piece of art in New York. The authenticity confirmed on his Web site. This truck full of puppet animals in the meat packing district, another example. But missing the opportunity to buy Banksy's art for next to nothing is driving some of his most loyal fans crazy.

JACQUELINE HADEL, BANKSY FAN: I think Banksy is brilliant. I think he really made a statement yesterday. So --

WATSON (voice-over): But you're kicking yourself?

HADEL: Big time.

WATSON: And you love this guy?

HADEL: Yes.

WATSON (voice-over): For OUTFRONT, I'm Ivan Watson.

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BURNETT: A neat idea, indeed, and a way to sort of make something pretty expensive available to everyone.

"AC360" starts right now.