Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

Attorneys: Toddler Died after Getting Sick in ICE Custody; Child Dies Weeks after being Released from ICE Custody; Pennsylvania AG: We have Evidence Vatican Knew of Cover-Up; Remembering the "Queen of Soul". Aired 10:30-11a ET

Aired August 28, 2018 - 10:30   ET

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


[10:30:45]

ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: New this morning, a mother and her attorney are blaming the death of her 18-month-old daughter on substandard care she received while in ICE custody. The toddler died six weeks after being released from an immigration facility in Texas. That's where her mother claims the little girl contracted a respiratory infection and wasn't given adequate treatment.

Joining me now, CNN's Nick Valencia who has the latest for us. Nick?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Erica. Yazmin Juarez and her 18-month-old daughter crossing the United States illegally, asking for asylum from their native Guatemala, they were fleeing gang violence there hoping for a better life here in the United States. They were detained and transferred to the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas which is in South Texas. And what the family and attorney alleged happened in that three weeks is absolutely awful.

Here is a time line of what the attorney provided to us saying that in the course of these three weeks, a few days after arriving, Yazmin Juarez and her daughter Mariee detained by ICE. The little girl showed no health problems. But two weeks later on March 11th, Mariee had symptoms of a respiratory infection. She was given meds but it did not improve her condition. In fact, it seemed that her condition only deteriorated. She was vomiting, losing weight, developed a fever. By March 25th, she was clearly so gravely ill that the two were released. Within 24 hours, the mother, who is 20 years old, took her 18-month- old to the emergency room where for the next six weeks, little Mariee was hospitalized for respiratory failure. Her condition continued to worsen and on May 10th, she died at the Children's Hospital in Philadelphia.

Now, as you mentioned Erica, the family's attorney is effectively blaming ICE which runs this facility in part with others. Here is part of the statement of what they said to us saying, "A mother lost her little girl because ICE and those running the Dilley immigration prison failed them inexcusably."

They are effectively, as I mentioned, saying that this child who arrived at the facility healthy died six weeks after leaving the facility because they were neglected. Erica?

HILL: And ICE were just talking about the ICE response there too in terms of what they said.

VALENCIA: Yes. ICE -- we did reach out to them. They offered us statement, not specifically addressing Mariee, not talking specifically about this case but saying, "ICE is committed to ensuring the welfare of all those in the agency's custody, including providing access to necessary and appropriate medical care. Comprehensive medical care is provided to all individuals in ICE custody."

We should also mention very quickly here, child welfare officials in the state of Texas have launched an investigation. You know, Erica, I spent a month on the border talking to a lot of these migrants. And the majority of them I spoke to, they think when they come to the United States at the very least that they will have a better life, things will be OK. This is absolutely a parent's worst nightmare. Erica?

HILL: Nick Valencia, appreciate the reporting. Thank you.

VALENCIA: You bet.

HILL: CNN has learned the gunman accused of killing two people at a Madden football video game tournament in Florida had previously received treatment for psychological and emotional issues. David Katz's mental health issues are detailed in his parents' divorce records. Two people, 27-year-old Taylor Robertson and 22-year-old Elijah Clayton were killed. Katz then turned the gun himself. In response to the shooting, EA Sports has cancelled the three remaining Madden tournaments so it can review safety protocols.

The sex abuse scandal ripping apart the Catholic Church could implicate leaders at the highest ranks. The Pennsylvania attorney general now announcing he has evidence the Vatican protected predator priests who abused and raped children. How the Vatican is now responding. That's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:38:45] HILL: The Vatican just responding to a stunning claim by the Pennsylvania attorney general. Josh Shapiro says the Vatican is complicit in covering up the sexual abuse of children, hiding details of each instance in secret archives. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOSH SHAPIRO, PENNSYLVANIA ATTORNEY GENERAL: 23 grand jurors met for two years in Pennsylvania. They unearthed over 301 predator priests, more than 1,000 victims, children in Pennsylvania. They found that there was not only widespread sexual abuse, rape of children, but they found that there was a systematic cover-up that went all the way to the Vatican.

(END VIDEO CLIP) HILL: Vatican spokesman telling CNN, "If the prosecutor is referring to something outside of the report, we will wait to see that before commenting."

This comes after a grand jury report of course released two weeks ago detailed the 300 so-called predator priests who preyed on more than 1,000 children that lasted decades.

Shaun Dougherty joins me now. He survived sexual abuse at the hands of a priest. He was also a teacher at his school. We e-mailed earlier this morning about this and you were outraged just as what we were hearing now from the attorney general but also from the response from the Vatican. I will let you put that in your own words.

[10:40:03] SHAUN DOUGHERTY, SURVIVOR OF SEXUAL ABUSE BY PENNSYLVANIA PRIEST: You know, really, it's -- we're getting an Abbott and Costello routine out of the Vatican. You know we have a damning report out of Pennsylvania using documents recovered directly from their archives showing a cover-up. And the victims are like a proverbial beach ball being passed around Pennsylvania right now instead of being helped. You know the attorney general is working very hard to get us the justice that we deserve, while we're getting Abbott and Costello out of the Vatican.

And we're a political football in the Senate of Pennsylvania. The parishioners we believe are heartfelt and really want to help us. Unfortunately for us and them, there's really no leadership coming out of their church to guide them in the direction they need to go.

HILL: You knew, obviously, what happened to you and perhaps about some other people but you were just telling me in the break that on the day that the attorney general announced the findings of this report, you didn't see the report until after that announcement, because it wasn't actually released until the moment that he was making this announcement. You were learning about some of these things as he was talking about them. It's been two weeks. Have you even begun to process the scope of this abuse that is detailed in the report and the cover-up?

DOUGHERTY: I'm beginning to process it. You know the last week and a half has been a whirlwind. I'm doing interview after interview after interview. However, with every interview, I keep reflecting on the families that I have gathered with, of victims that are no longer with us and why it is so important that we keep on this message.

I'm grasping and what I want people to realize, you know you are right, I didn't hear the stories until the attorney general spoke for them. One of the stories in particular, you know if you were the victim that the attorney general was referring to, that was forced to orally satisfy their priest, then gargle with holy water, then go to confession immediately to that priest, is anything that's going on right now going to satisfy you? I mean, this is the time where these gamesmanship things have got to end. The legislation has to stand up and do their jobs because it's clear that the Catholic Church's leadership is inept at handling this. HILL: You are talking about legislation. I'm guessing you are referring to what we are waiting to see happens in Pennsylvania with removing the statute of limitations on all childhood sexual abuse cases and opening this window for two years for victims as well. When it comes to anything that can be done, I have heard from a number of other survivors, this Pope doesn't listen to us, this Pope doesn't actually want to hear from us. We are tired of prayers and penance and fasting. We want action. What is there in terms of action that would even signify a small amount of justice for you at this point?

DOUGHERTY: People need to contact the Senate leadership in Pennsylvania. Senator Scarnati's office and Senator Jake Corman's office who have been blocking Representative Mark Rozzi's legislation that has the window. Mark Rozzi's legislation has the recommendations in place already and has been for a few years. It's been blocked over and over and over. Contact your state Senate legislation and tell them to enact this.

But keep in mind, the attorney general, the report, the grand jury report, 30 names are still redacted. We don't know where in Pennsylvania they are. They could be in your backyard. They could be in my backyard. And the Senate right now is perfectly content on just letting them go.

HILL: You say it's different this time because of social media with this report. You believe this will lead to real change in.

DOUGHERTY: It is leading for real change you know. I have the longest time getting people to listen. Now I have reporters flying in from Germany to interview me. This is change. Change is coming.

HILL: Shaun Dougherty, appreciate it as always. Thank you.

DOUGHERTY: Thank you so much for having me.

HILL: Today the city of Detroit and the music world begin to say their good-byes to the "Queen of Soul." We have a live look for you now at folks waiting to pay their respects, public viewing beginning today. Up next, we will speak with a woman who coached Aretha Franklin on her second musical love, opera.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:48:51] HILL: People in Detroit waiting in long lines to honor the late "Queen of Soul" Aretha Franklin. While everyone knows her gospel and her soul hits, she was also incredibly talented when it came to opera. And that is exactly where our next guest comes in. She helped to coach Aretha Franklin in opera, preparing her for some very big moments, including her performance at the 1998 Grammy Awards.

Joining me now is Mary Callaghan-Lynch, Aretha Franklin's opera coach. Mary, good to have you with us today. Talk to us about how you and Aretha Franklin first met. I imagine that was quite a moment for you.

MARY CALLAGHAN LYNCH, ARETHA FRANKLIN'S OPERA COACH: How this happened? Well, Luciano Pavarotti requested Miss Franklin to learn the aria "Nessun Dorma" for a private party in New York. So that's how we first met. And I've really thought it was going to be a one shot deal. But then she happened to be in New York when the Grammy Awards were happening. And Pavarotti became ill.

So, seriously, Aretha, with a 30-minute notice, with no rehearsal, went on for the Grammy Awards. And then our relationship continued because she had so many requests from all over the country to sing with orchestras.

[10:50:11] HILL: And that was - I mean that was quite a moment at the Grammys. And a lot of people have referenced that, especially since her passing just as further evidence of her incredible range and truly these God-given talents that she has. What was it like to work with her, someone that was so well-known for her gospel career, her soul, and then to now be working with her on opera?

LYNCH: Well, you know, a lot of people think it's a strange dichotomy but to work with Aretha on her operatic repertoire. First of all, it was a joy. And opera is larger than life. And of course, Aretha was larger than life. Opera has great music and requires musical ability and, of course, obviously, the queen had that and drama. We all know Aretha was the consummate performer. But then the bigger thing is the soul. And the "Queen of Soul", it was a perfect match, actually. And she loved opera especially Puccini. It was a joy to work with her because she was so musical. She could -- she was like a sponge.

HILL: It's really like she could do anything. And I love just seeing how your face lights up as you are talking about her and what a wonderful person she was and how wonderful she was to work with. You are also the founder we should point out, of The Motor City Lyric Opera and you're working, sort of expanding and bringing opera into public schools. Tell us a little bit more about those efforts and when you are talking about opera to kids, do you sometimes say, look at Aretha Franklin she did all kinds of things, including opera.

LYNCH: Well, actually it was a marriage made in heaven, I felt. I was very reticent to approach Aretha. We had been traveling just for a couple of years when I decided to start this company to bring the transformative art of opera to the inner city kids of Detroit free of charge. So when we were assembling our board of directors, I, of course, thought of Aretha.

So I was reticent to call her, but I did. I said Aretha I really want you to think about something. I'm starting this company and your endorsement would mean everything, even just to have your name on our stationery. She said, well, Mary, I love opera. I love children. And I love the city of Detroit. So I'm in. And I was so thrilled, because it was such an endorsement for us. It meant so much to her, our mission to bring an art form that she really loved.

HILL: It's so wonderful. We appreciate you talking the time this morning to share your memories and to share with us another part of Aretha Franklin's life that many of us were not familiar with. Mary Callahan Lynch, thank you so much.

LYNCH: Thank you. HILL: Still ahead, Serena making a statement at the U.S. Open, that and much more coming up in our "Bleacher Report."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:58:00] HILL: Serena Williams making a triumphant return to the U.S. Open, how else, in style, of course. Coy Wire has more in this morning's "Bleacher Report." Good morning,

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Erica. This "Bleacher Report" brought to you by Ford, going further so you can.

It's been two years since we have seen Serena on the court at the U.S. Open. Her daughter was born while a tournament was going on last year. Well, last night the 6th time champ was slammed under the light with her style and her swing. And Listen to this. She couldn't have her baby girl off her mind. She says she was heartbroken going into the match because she couldn't say bye to her baby girl who was napping at the hotel when she had to leave.

Maybe some added motivation because she ended this one quickly, took just over an hour for her to beat Magda Linette in straight sets. Serena is the 17th seed but still favored to win her 24th Grand Slam Singles title that would tie the all-time record set 45 years ago by Margaret Court.

We and Erica on a Friday, that's Odell Beckham, Jr. dancing in the Giants' locker room after finding out he just became the highest paid receiver in NFL history, a reported five-year $95 million deal. That's about $52,000 a day every day for five years. $65 million is guaranteed. Beckham hasn't played yet this preseason but is expected to be ready to go in the season opener against Jacksonville.

Finally, chess may not be the most exciting game in the world. But this new version just might snag your attention for 30 seconds, the diving chess world championships. Of it the sixth annual held in London over the weekend. The rules are the same except that players can only make moves while they are underwater on one breath of air. If you come back up before you make your move, you forfeit. They use magnetic pieces there. And I don't know what could be more sexy than intellectual bros in Speedos, Erica.

HILL: Yes. I don't know. I'm not eligible for that. I can only play the Connect Four underwater championship. Coy Wire good to see you, thank you. Thanks to all of you for joining us today. "At this Hour" starts right now.