Video: Manhunt continues

updated 8/8/2005 7:11:07 PM ET 2005-08-08T23:11:07
TRANSCRIPT

According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the whereabouts of 150,000 sexual predators are unknown. 

Now, it’s time to get missing sex offenders off the street before they strike.  MSNBC-TV's Dan Abrams hosts a weeklong series “Manhunt: Sex Offenders on the Loose,” highlighting some of the most important offenders to alert the public. 

On Thursday, Abrams spoke with Florida Attorney General, Charlie Crist about future of the state which harbors more than 35,000 known sex offenders.  Nearly 5,000 of them are classified as sexual predators — the most serious classification. 

DAN ABRAMS, 'ABRAMS REPORT’ HOST: This is the same state where 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford and 13-year-old Sarah Lunde lived and where both were abducted and murdered.  Convicted sex offenders charged in each case. 

And 46 of those most serious offenders are missing, including 28-year-old Ariel Orestes Rovelo.  He kidnapped and sexually assaulted two girls who he knew.  They were 14 and 16 at the time.  What’s up with this guys Rovelo?

CHARLIE CRIST, FLORIDA ATTORNEY GENERAL: He's a bad actor, obviously and fortunately in Florida, we have a number of these.  As you mentioned at the outset during the introduction there's over 35,000 of them throughout the state.

ABRAMS:  Let's just talk about them one by one.  So tell me what did Rovelo do and why do we need to catch him so badly. 

CRIST:  Well what he did was what some of the others did that we're going to talk about.  He is guilty of having molested a young girl and because of the fact that he did that, he is now a sexual predator as defined by Florida law.  He is one of the people that we're trying to apprehend. 

It is challenging and difficult to do this, but we're doing everything we can, including utilizing this Website that you talked about to try to make sure that we get these people, that we're able to bring them to justice and make Florida streets more safe. 

ABRAMS:  Convicted in '97 for sexual battery and kidnapping.  A warrant issued on January 13, 2000.  Multiple sexual batteries on a minor.

ABRAMS:  What do we know about him? 

CRIST:  Well David Rodriguez is in a similar situation.  Again, you know there's going to be five of these people that we'll probably talk about tonight.  The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has listed all five of these on their Website to make it available to the people of Florida.  It becomes a great service.  They've all been guilty of molestation of a child, lewd or lascivious activity.  These are the kinds of things that we're targeting in the wake of some of these horrific crimes that we've dealt with in our state.

ABRAMS:  Convicted in 2000.  Three counts of lewd, lascivious acts on a girl under 16.  A warrant issued on January 23, 2003.  He absconded from probation.

CRIST:  Last known address was entered April 2005 in Jacksonville.  Previous criminal history includes arrest for aggravated battery, deadly weapon and grand theft for which depositions are unknown.  Disposition, rather, is unknown.  Additionally, he was arrested in 2004 on a domestic violence. 

CRIST: Cook, found guilty 1986.  Sentenced to three years in prison, followed by 10 years probation.  The victims were 7 and 12-year-old girls, unconceivable acts.

ABRAMS:  Another bad guy.  Again, but these are all people — let's be clear, who has not registered, right, who are wanted right now? 

CRIST:  That's right.  That's exactly right, Dan, and that's one of the frustrations that we're dealing with.  You know whenever you have a situation where you have these kinds of people that are at large, we need to do everything we possibly can to bring them to justice. 

And what you're doing tonight is going to help Florida in a great measure to be able to bring that to bear, to bring these people into justice, advertising and having their face available or people can go to the Website, MyFloridaLegal.com. It's a great tool that we have in the state we've done in conjunction with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.  Governor Bush has directed them very ably to make sure that we have this Website available.  That Floridians and parents, in fact, are empowered to bring these people to justice. 

ABRAMS:  I just got so fed up with hearing about sex offenders who were wanted and thinking all right, you know what can we do.

CRIST:  Randy Lee Deese, you know he was found guilty in 2001 of lewd and lascivious molestation of a female under the age of 12.  Sentenced to 10 years' probation.  He was known to the victim's family.  His last known address was entered in July of 2005, Tallahassee, Florida.  Criminal history of DUIs and forgeries as well.  I mean these people are creeps. 

ABRAMS:  Let's take one last look here at the five that we've mentioned, Ariel Rovelo, David Rodriguez, James Thomas Butler, William Martin Cook, Randy Lee Deese.  If anyone out there has any information, even if you think you might have information on any one of these guys, please call the Florida Department of Law Enforcement tip line, 1-888-357-7332.

Watch the 'Abrams Report' for more analysis and interviews on the top legal stories each weeknight at 6 p.m. ET on MSNBC TV.

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