updated 11/6/2005 8:26:41 PM ET 2005-11-07T01:26:41

Guests: Michael Gennaco, Laura Lederer, Norma Hoteling, Kevin Bales, Gary Haugen, Carolyn Maloney, Joe Mammana, Beth Holloway Twitty, Rick Segall, Harold Copus, Terry Gaiser

RITA COSBY, HOST:  Good evening, everybody.  Tonight, a special LIVE AND DIRECT investigation, inside sex trafficking around the world and here in the United States.  There‘s new focus on this global crisis because of an extraordinary turn in the Natalee Holloway case, none other than Dr.  Phil going on national TV, telling millions of viewers that he believes Natalee may have been forced into prostitution and is still alive.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. PHIL MCGRAW, TALK SHOW HOST:  We have reasonable belief and some credible evidence that Natalee Holloway is alive.  We don‘t know where she is, but you know, there is a huge sex slave underground in some of those countries.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSBY:  And as many as 800,000 people fall prey to human traffickers every year, 80 percent of those are female and 50 percent are minors.  Many of those have become so-called sex slaves.  Tonight, we will firsthand show you how serious the problem really is, so serious that President Bush actually surprised the United Nations General Assembly when he made it a major part of his address in 2003.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE WALKER BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  There‘s a special evil in the abuse and exploitation of the most innocent and vulnerable.  The victims of sex trades see little of life before they see the very worst of life, an underground of brutality and lonely fear.  Those who create these victims and profit from their suffering must be severely punished.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSBY:  And according to the U.S. State Department, at any given time, there are 12 million people who are enslaved around the world in Central and southern America, in countries like Mexico, Cuba, Venezuela and also Jamaica, in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.  And in Asia, there‘s China, India, the Philippines and North Korea.  We‘re going to expose the crisis of the sex trade industry.  We‘re also going to talk live to Natalee Holloway‘s mother about the remote possibility that her daughter could be a victim.

But first tonight, a look at how these traffickers work.  Here‘s NBC‘s Jim Maceda.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JIM MACEDA, NBC CORRESPONDENT (voice-over):  Hamburg‘s red light district, but don‘t let the allure fool you.  For too many young women from struggling former East Bloc nations like the Czech Republic, Poland or Bulgaria, it‘s a prison with no way out.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator):  I was in shock, scared to death.

MACEDA:  Most come here seeking work in clubs or bars, looking for a better life in the prosperous West.  But many end up as commodities in the underground market trading human flesh, women, authorities say, who are bought and sold, tortured if they resist, or their families back home threatened if the young women try to escape.

Elena (ph) is 21.  She left Bulgaria innocently enough on a trip to the neighboring Czech Republic.

ELENA (through translator):  All I wanted to do was to go abroad and visit my aunt, see a bit of the world.

MACEDA:  Instead, Elena was kidnapped, driven across the border to Germany, where the man who she says became her boss was waiting.

ELENA (through translator):  First, the pimp raped me.  Then his friend.  Then they ordered me to clean up, get ready to work and bring in the money.

MACEDA (on camera):  For the next year, she was kept in this hotel in Hamburg and forced to work as a prostitute, working this street day and night.

(voice-over):  Among the prostitutes who ply Europe‘s streets and brothels, as many as 10,000, officials say, are there against their will, too afraid to run or turn to the police.

ELENA (through translator):  I was beaten and threatened, frightened for my mother alone back in Bulgaria.

MACEDA:  Some girls fall prey in local bars and discos.  Some answer phony ads for models, even marriage.  Vice squads are trying to crack down.  In this raid, Czech police nabbed 20 pimps running 40 enslaved women, all Bulgarians, earning some $600,000 each month for their pimps.

ELENA (through translator):  I‘m the loser.  Where do I go?  There‘s no hope here, and even less back home.  I‘m trapped.

MACEDA:  And without tougher laws protecting women like Elena, this slave trade will thrive, say police, in the very heart of Europe.  Jim Maceda, NBC News, Hamburg.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COSBY:  So what is the U.S. doing to stop sex traffickers around the world?  We‘re joined now by Laura Lederer, who is with the U.S. State Department.  She‘s a senior adviser on human trafficking.  Laura, how pervasive is the problem here in the United States?

LAURA LEDERER, STATE DEPT. SR. ADVISER ON TRAFFICKING:  Well, as your clip showed, this really is a horror that people can be bought and sold in this day and age.  And it‘s happening not only in Latin America and Africa and Asia and Southeastern Europe and Russia, in the newly independent states, but also, shockingly enough, here in the United States also.  The estimates by our State Department are that it‘s anywhere from 17,000 to 20,000 people per year trafficked into the United States.  And if you take that cumulatively, it could be in the tens of thousands into the millions.

COSBY:  You know, I want to go through some of the countries.  These are what you call at the State Department the “tier three” countries.  These are sort of the worst offenders.  Walk us through some of the worst ones that you know of and some of the worst cases.

LEDERER:  Well, almost every country in the world has a trafficking problem.  And so although it is true that the U.S. every year does a trafficking and persons report, where we rate and assess the particularized problems and what the government is doing to address those problems, countries that are countries of origin and countries that are countries of destination all have a problem of trafficking, so...

COSBY:  What are some of the worst ones, Laura?  Which are some of the worst offenders?  Some of these are countries we have good alliances with, like Saudi Arabia.

LEDERER:  Right.  This year, a number of the countries in the Gulf states were on the tier three trafficking list, but there are countries in Southeast Asia, there are countries in Latin America, there are countries in—as I said, in Southeastern Europe, all of whom have been on the tier three list either this year or in previous years.

COSBY:  Very interesting.  Please stick with us.  We‘re going to talk with you a little later on in the show.

And of course, the trafficking industry is not just a problem abroad but also right here at home, as you heard a little bit from Laura.  You may be surprised how many traffickers operate within our country.  Joining us now is Michael Gennaco.  He‘s a former human trafficking prosecutor for the Justice Department.  How big is the problem here at home?

MICHAEL GENNACO, FORMER HUMAN TRAFFICKING PROSECUTOR:  It‘s almost impossible to tell how big the problem is because many of these encounters and the ongoing preying on victims of this nature is a secret, and unfortunately, very difficult to detect and then investigate and eventually prosecute.

COSBY:  How shocked were you?  You‘ve been, what, a prosecutor for six years when you first started and heard about this.

GENNACO:  I was incredibly shocked at the hidden encounters and hidden negotiations and the business of moving people around and then exploiting them and causing them and requiring them to force into a sex business against their will.  The victimization is immense and incredible.

COSBY:  You know, Michael, give us a sense of, like, how they get here.  Are they lured by, say, promises of jobs, or are they smuggled?

GENNACO:  In lots of different ways, everything from—in one case that we prosecuted, actually being told to get on a boat in China at knifepoint and brought here into this country to engage in forced prostitution, to being bait-and-switched, the old tricking, promising streets lined with gold here in America, and once they‘re here, to be locked up, never see the light of day and forced to engage in sex practices.

COSBY:  And how do they keep them active as slaves?  I mean, is it at gunpoint?  Is it psychological?

GENNACO:  There are physical ways in which they can find them.  They switch the locks so that you need a key to get out of the houses, rather than a key to get in.  And they also obviously have an ability to threaten their families back home, and the women are certainly in a very difficult position and feel very constrained to remain in a custodial situation, essentially.

COSBY:  And Michael, what was one of the worst cases you‘ve heard?

GENNACO:  Well, one of the worst cases—I keep seeing and hearing more and more of these cases, and all of them are traumatic and terribly harmful to the victims.  There are now measures taken, like the Coalition to Abolish Labor and Trafficking, which are support groups, to try and help these victims as they go through the investigative phase.

COSBY:  It‘s incredible.  Mike, please stick around because we‘re going to have a lot more of our very special investigation right after the break.  A lot more, everybody.  Stick with us.

Still ahead: You won‘t believe what cameras caught in these homes, children as young as 8 being hoarded inside an apparent brothel.

Plus, dramatic pictures as some of the lucky ones are rescued from what some say is forced slavery and prostitution.  One of the rescuers joins me LIVE AND DIRECT.

Plus, a shocking theory that everyone is talking about.  Could this be what happened to Natalee Holloway?  It‘s coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSBY:  More now of our LIVE AND DIRECT special investigation, inside the global epidemic of sex trafficking.  It‘s a crisis here in the United States, as well.  A young woman, Maria, living in the U.S. legally, but she says that she was forced into slavery after meeting a woman who offered her a job, promises of a good future.  Now, years later, Maria is telling her own story in a documentary called “Dreams Die Hard.”  Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARIA:  I met this man.  He was an old man.  Probably he was 65 or 70. 

I don‘t know.  The house was, like, creepy.  I didn‘t want to stay there.  They keep telling me, You stay here.  You meet my wife—because he had a wife—and then I take you to your house tomorrow.  I didn‘t want to, but between them two, they convince me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Much later, police report that the man was an old lecher who claimed to be a brujo (ph) or witch, and that he had a history of buying young girls from Mexico and trading them in when they turned 20.

MARIA:  At the third day, it‘s when he told me that he had bought me, that I was his slave, that he paid $200 for me, that I was there to do whatever he want to do to me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Maria says he told her he could read her mind and that he would kill her family if she tried to leave the house.

MARIA:  I was afraid of him.  I was terrorized by him.  He beat me and raped me.  Every day, he abused me mentally, physically, emotional, spiritual because I didn‘t have—I was not in touch with my family.  I was not in touch with people because I was afraid of him.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Years went by.  Dreams disappeared.  Only fear remained.

MARIA:  The only thing I felt was fear, fear all the time, so I figure God has forgotten me.  I used to ask God, Why did you forget about me?  I‘m your child.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Her family called the police several times.  Officers investigated.  They didn‘t do anything about a minor living with an older man.

MARIA:  I was afraid that he was going to kill my family, that I told the police that I was fine.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSBY:  Incredible story.  And joining me now is Kevin Bales of the organization Free the Slaves.  They released the documentary that you just saw.  You know, Kevin, it‘s so heartbreaking when you see the story of Maria.  How did she finally get out of being a slave?

KEVIN BALES, “FREE THE SLAVES”:  Well, very sadly, Maria was put in prison and came out of slavery that way.  Very sadly, she was framed for the murder of a neighbor and ended up in prison for many years before other anti-slavery workers got with her and helped her out of prison and then out of slavery.

COSBY:  You know, Kevin, how typical is her story?  Unfortunately, I was reading statistics, 10,000 individuals in the United States?

BALES:  Well, 10,000 is the absolute minimum number.  That was a piece of research we did, where we found about 10,000 actual bodies we could point to who‘d been enslaved in the United States.  It‘s important to remember that people are coming into slavery in the United States for doing what you or I would do.  I mean, they‘re coming here because they want to get a job, they want to make a better life, they want to get food and education for their kids.  They‘re after the American dream, but that turns sour when they‘re turned into slaves.

COSBY:  You know, Kevin, what‘s the average amount of time that most of these folks, you know, remain in this horrible situation?

BALES:  Of the ones we know who have come to freedom, they‘ve been, on average, in slavery in the United States for three to five years.  But we‘ve found people in slavery for up to 25 years.

COSBY:  How hard is it to crack down?  As we heard in Maria‘s case, you know, they didn‘t know what to do with this minor living with this older man.  How hard is it, A, to get these people to talk, and B, to get law enforcement to act?

BALES:  Well, first to get them to talk—remember, these are very often young women who have been traumatized.  I mean, we‘re talking about a serial rape.  They‘ve been brutalized.  They‘re in a foreign country.  They don‘t speak the language.  They‘ve been told not to trust the police.  It‘s really hard to win their trust and to take them to a place of safety so that they can have a chance to ease up and have a chance to talk.

In order to get the police to do their job, they actually need a lot more training and understanding.  We know of cases where police have visited homes where people have been enslaved many times in a row before anybody had that click go off in their head that said, This—there‘s something wrong with this situation.  We need much more extensive training for law enforcement, as well as the citizens of this country because...

COSBY:  Absolutely.

BALES:  ... slavery is happening in our neighborhoods, right under our noses, but we‘re not seeing it.

COSBY:  And what about the case of Natalee Holloway, which—you know, we‘re not sure whether or not it‘s true or not, but Dr. Phil came out and said that she may be a sex slave and sort of alluded to maybe Venezuela (INAUDIBLE) Cuba, Mexico.  Is that a possibility, in your mind?

BALES:  It‘s a possibility.  It‘s not a—I wouldn‘t say it‘s a high probability.  Most of the women who are brought into slavery for sexual exploitation like this are very poor women who can be easily manipulated because they have few resources and very little power in their lives.  But it‘s a possibility.

COSBY:  I want to show off your Web site before we let you go.  Tell us where folks can get information if they need to.

BALES:  Well, at Freetheslaves.net.  So all one word, Freetheslaves.net.  Thank you so much for that.

COSBY:  You‘re welcome.  And keep up the great work that you‘re doing. 

Thank you, Gary—thank you, Kevin, very much.

And joining me right now is a woman who, unfortunately, knows all too well what it‘s like to be a victim of sex slavery.  LIVE AND DIRECT tonight is Norma Hoteling.  She was once forced into the sex trade, and she managed to escape.  She also founded an incredible project.  It‘s called the Sage Project.

Norma, thank you for being with us.  You know, your story is so tragic.  How old were you when you were forced into the sex trade?

NORMA HOTELING, SEX SLAVERY VICTIM:  Like many of the children around the world, the hundreds and thousands and millions of children, I was very young -- 5, 6 and 7.

COSBY:  And how did it all begin?

HOTELING:  It all began because I came from a poor, vulnerable family.  My father died when I was 3-and-a-half.  My mother was left to fend for my brother and I, and in doing that, I was left with a nanny in New York for about three or four months out of the year.  And I played in parks, and men recruited me and used me for pornography and to do what I was being shown in pornography And they paid me money, and I came back to that situation over and over again.

COSBY:  And this was all in the New York area?

HOTELING:  Yes.

COSBY:  Did you at the time realize—I mean, you were very young. 

You were 6 and 7.  Did you realize what was going on?

HOTELING:  I didn‘t realize.  I was a very vulnerable child.  I was a very naive child.  I wasn‘t—I was left to fend for myself, pretty much, and this was a way for me to feel love and feel that somebody cared for me.

COSBY:  Talk about the people that were doing this.  You talked about these men snatching you.  Who were these men?

HOTELING:  These were normal men.  As we see around the world, the demand, which is a program that I work on extensively—I founded the first and the foremost program that serves the men who are buying people around the world.  These are normal men.  These are our brothers.  These are our sons.  These are CEOs.  These are politicians.  Don‘t think that you can—that they‘re gnarly men with horns.  These are people that we know and that we work with and that we socialize with on a daily basis.

COSBY:  How scary is that, you know, when you hear that type of analogy?   You know, Norma, whatever happened to these guys?  Did you ever track them down?

HOTELING:  Oh, no.  I moved back and forth with my mother as she was trying to take care of us.  And it wasn‘t—I went through everything that every child experiences.  I was suicidal throughout my adolescence, highly depressed, post traumatic stress disorder.  I had a 21-year heroin addiction.  I entered into prostitution as an adult.  I was on the streets of San Francisco homeless and working in the sex trade, and I didn‘t get out until I was 38.

And then when I did get out—I got out of jail, actually.  I was arrested over 30 times.  Instead of treated like a victim, I was treated as other children and adults are, I was treated as a perpetrator.  And I went back to school and I saw, I learned that what was done to me was done wrong.  And I decided to found Sage.  And Sage is run by former trafficked women, by former women and men that were involved in the sex trade.  And we decided to do it right.  And weekly, we serve between 200 and 250 women, girls, men and boys in our services, besides the program for the demand.

COSBY:  Well, keep up the great work.  And yours is certainly an inspirational story.  You‘re one of the lucky ones who got out.  Thank you so much, Norma, for being with us.  We really appreciate it.

HOTELING:  Thank you forgiving me the opportunity.

COSBY:  Thank you very much.  An amazing story.

And let‘s bring back in, if we could, Laura Lederer, who‘s with the State Department, senior adviser on human trafficking, and also Michael Gennaco, who—a former human trafficking prosecutor for the Justice Department.

You know, Laura, as we hear these stories, they‘re just so painful to hear.  It‘s amazing.  And you hear the description of these guys, seem like everyday guys.

LEDERER:  Well, yes.  But when Maria was a victim of trafficking and when this was happening to Norma, we didn‘t have the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.  And as those of us who were working on this realized that this was a serious problem, we came together and formed a bipartisan coalition and helped Congress to draft and pass a law that addresses this.

And the law does two things.  It both—it works to punish traffickers and to protect and assist victims.  And that part is very important because, as Norma said, we need a victim-centered approach to this.  Unlike drug trafficking, where you just have a commodity, you have a real human being who is being bought and sold, and so you have somebody that you need to help rehabilitate and restore on the other end.

COSBY:  You know, Mike, I was doing a lot of research, and it‘s interesting, only a small percentage of the cases are actually prosecuted around the globe.  Why is that?

GENNACO:  And that is a problem.

(CROSSTALK)

COSBY:  Why is that, Mike?  I mean, that‘s astounding.

GENNACO:  One is the detection is difficult.  But for example, the pattern in this country, especially in the sex trade, is that, as one of the victims said earlier, they are treated as perpetrators, not victims.  And the problem in that case is the traffickers then bail them out of jail, send them to another city, and the whole operation starts all over again.  And that‘s the tragedy.

COSBY:  How do we break the cycle?

GENNACO:  I think through training local law enforcement, giving them resources, having them—the ability, giving them the tools to learn how to deal with this and get the real bad guys, which are the traffickers, the smugglers, the people that are holding these people and victimizing them on a daily basis.

COSBY:  You know, Laura, who are these traffickers, specifically?  I mean, are these enormously wealthy big businessmen?  I came back from the border in Mexico.  I was astounded.  You know, one of the drug lords there could basically offer to pay off the death of debt of Bolivia.  That‘s how wealthy these guys are.

LEDERER:  Well, we don‘t know a lot about the traffickers, but we do know that they‘re organized, sometimes organized criminal cartels.  They‘re certainly organized across national borders, across ethnic, religious, language and geographic barriers.  And we need to get organized ourselves across all of those in order to do this work.  This is a transnational crime.  And so we‘re going to have to work transnationally.

I will say that the U.S. government is doing a lot now.  The State Department is—has this tip (ph) report that we publish each year.  The Justice Department has just put together in 21 cities in the United States multi-disciplinary task forces that link local and state and federal law enforcement so that they can all work together on this.

And this is a crime that isn‘t like other crimes.  With a robbery, they get a call.  Law enforcement is usually reactive.  They get a call, they respond to it.  Here you have to have proactive law enforcement to go out and actually investigate and find these victims, and so it‘s a whole new ball game.  But we‘re really working on it, and I think we‘re going to begin to see a lot more prosecutions.  In fact, they‘ve quadrupled just in the last couple years.

COSBY:  That‘s good to hear.  Both of you, thank you very much.

Well, our sex trade investigation is going to continue after the break.  We‘re going to show you an undercover investigation revealing how young kids are being sold for just $30 on the streets.  Who is buying them?  And where are they going?

And later: Is there a connection between the sex trafficking industry and the disappearance of Natalee Holloway?  We‘ve got the details on that theory that has got everyone talking.  Stay tuned.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSBY:  Welcome back to this LIVE AND DIRECT special investigation of the global crisis of sex trafficking.  As bad as the situation is across the globe, there are some good people who are fighting back.  Among them is Gary Haugen.  He‘s the president of the International Justice Mission.  He‘s also the author of “Terrify No More” about the rescue of elementary-aged girls from brothels.  You know, Gary, your stories are stunning.  What are some of the worst things, some of the worst scenarios you‘ve seen?

GARY HAUGEN, INTL. JUSTICE MISSION PRESIDENT:  Well, at International Justice Mission. we literally spend thousands of hours every year infiltrating the commercial sex business and finding children who are being forced into prostitution.  And I suppose the worst example I‘ve seen was being in the back room of a brothel in Cambodia.  And I was ushered into a room where I was presented with about a dozen children between the ages of 5 and 10 years of age who were being sold to foreign pedophiles on sex tours and forced to provide horrific sexual services.  And I suppose that‘s the ugliest thing I‘ve ever seen.  But fortunately, we were able to take that information to Cambodian authorities, work with them, and get the children out, and see that they were placed in long-term, safe aftercare. 

COSBY:  And, Gary, please, if you could, hold on a moment.  Because I want to right now show everyone—this is the investigation you‘re talking about, which we show clips from “Dateline NBC‘s” Chris Hansen.  He did this right after the tsunami.  You actually helped him with that report in Cambodia.  And it shows just how bad child prostitution can be in those regions like South Asia. 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHRIS HANSEN, CORRESPONDENT, “DATELINE NBC” (voice-over):  There is fear the tsunami will leave a new generation of vulnerable children who might fall prey to unscrupulous hustlers, like this young pimp named Pau...

PAU (ph), CAMBODIAN SEX TRAFFICKER:  Hello. 

HANSEN:  ... who we met when we were in Cambodia, in a small town notorious for child trafficking, Svay Pak.

PAU (ph):  New girls.  Too much for you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Too much?

PAU (ph):  Girls.  Too much girls, too much. 

HANSEN:  Pau (ph) says he can get us girls who are even younger than the ones we saw at that brothel in the city.  Despite all we‘ve seen, we‘re stunned just how young he says they are. 

PAU (ph):  Eight, eight.

HANSEN:  Eight-year-olds, it‘s hard to believe.  He tells us to come see for ourselves. 

We followed Pau through some alleys into a ramshackle house.  We think we‘ve already seen it all, but who could be prepared for this? 

Girls, some so young they could be in kindergarten, all for sale. 

Throughout the village, we see the same scene at one brothel after another. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  One girl, $30.  And two girls?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  $60.

HANSEN:  That‘s $60 American dollars.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COSBY:  Sixty American dollars.  You know, Gary, it is astounding what $30 bucks in one case, $60 bucks in another case.  Who‘s buying these kids? 

HAUGEN:  Well, in that specific instance, it was largely Western sex tourists.  But around the world, it‘s largely locals who our paying for sex services in these situations.

But the truth of the matter is that a lot of money is made by the local police protecting these businesses.  And the only reason it flourishes in these circumstances is because local police are protecting it.  So we‘ve got to get the police out of the business in these situations. 

COSBY:  Yes, how do you crack down on the local police?  You know, one of those shots that was really gripping, young kid pimping, essentially.  How old are some of these pimps?  He looks like he‘s 12, 13, 14 years old?

HAUGEN:  Well, these are just the pimps who will direct the tourists to the back rooms of the brothels.  But it‘s the adults who are actually running the show, making the money, paying off the police. 

But fortunately, in this circumstance, the police were able to conduct saturation patrols after some training that we were able to provide.  And that neighborhood has been shut down now. 

And we are seeing a significant reduction in the availability of children.  And that‘s what I think people need to understand, is that this is a winnable fight.  At International Justice Mission, we‘ve seen that, by training the police to do this work themselves, they could actually be quite effective. 

COSBY:  Oh, that‘s good to hear.  You know, I want to show some more video.  This is the view, actually, going in to help rescue some kids who were slaves. 

How hard was it for you personally to make a difference?  And it‘s got to be just emotionally gut-wrenching to see these kids? 

HAUGEN:  Well, it sure is.  But the point is, is that you don‘t actually have to catch all the bad guys. 

If you send enough of them to jail, it sends a signal that this is not going to be accepted anymore.  And the people who are just trying to make money selling kids decide they would rather steal radios or do something else. 

We can get the people out of this business if we can get the police to switch sides and to begin to send the perpetrators to jail.  It‘s amazing the large impact you can have, even with relatively modest enforcement actions. 

COSBY:  Gary, stick with us, if you could.  Because some of you folks maybe at home are wondering what the government is doing to bring the sex trade to a halt right here in the United States, and how can we impact the folks that go to these other countries. 

With me right now in the studio tonight is Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney of New York.  She supports the End Demand for Sex Trafficking Act in Congress. 

This bill, I think, is very powerful.  Why do you think it could make a difference? 

REP. CAROLYN MALONEY (D), NEW YORK:  Well, what our bill does—and it‘s a bipartisan bill that Deborah Pryce and I authored—it puts the focus on demand and tries to take away the demand. 

Why are these girls trafficked?  It‘s because of Western tourists and because of demand.  And right now, it is a crime to move prostitutes across state lines and across international boundaries.  Our bill makes it a crime to move customers across state and international boundaries. 

And the way I got interested in it, there is an organization in the district I represent in Queens called Big Apple Oriental Tours. 

COSBY:  And this is the company that‘s pretending, you say, to be...

MALONEY:  Well, it was unbelievable, Rita.  They had a web site.  They had brochures that said, “Come to Thailand.  Come to the Philippines.  We‘ll get you children.  You can have all the sex you want.” 

And I went to law enforcement.  I went to all types of people.  Even went to Janet Reno, and they could not close them down.  Finally, Eliot Spitzer brought a suit against them.  It went to court.  It was thrown out as the law being too vague.  He‘s brought a suit again.  They‘re indicted.

But our law would make it very clear that advertising and moving people across state lines for the purpose of sex with minors, with anyone.  And what was so outlandish is that it‘s against the law in United States, it‘s against the law in Thailand and the Philippines, yet it was happening. 

It also gives grants to states and local governments for putting the focus on the Johns, on the demand side, convicting them and not the victims, so much as the prostitutes. 

COSBY:  You know, Congresswoman, one of the things you talked about before the show—you and I were talking—it is hard to pin down a number, because there doesn‘t seem to be a real grasp of how many cases like this in the United States. 

MALONEY:  Well, our bill also calls for an annual report from the Justice Department on the status of sex trafficking in the United States of America.  We now do it in the State Department. 

Ambassador Miller is doing a fantastic job with the TIP report.  We‘re doing all types of standards in foreign countries.  But what about the United States?  What‘s happening here? 

And it‘s really horrifying to know that, in your country, the land of the free and the brave...

COSBY:  In our backyard, as you were talking about, right now literally.

(LAUGHTER)

MALONEY:  ... young girls and boys are victimized.  And I tell you, I have a friend who is a judge, and she told me this story.  She said that she would convict prostitutes over, and over, and over again. 

And then, finally she talked to one.  Well, how did you come to be who you are?  “Well, my foster mother forced me into it.  A pimp forced me into it.  I was beaten up and thrown out on the street.”

And she said the focus is totally wrong.  The focus should be on the demand, on the pimps, on the Johns, on the customers that are driving this exploitation, this cruel treatment of, in many cases, children. 

COSBY:  You go after the source. 

MALONEY:  Right, exactly.

COSBY:  Thank you very much.  Well, good luck with your bill. 

MALONEY:  Thank you.

COSBY:  Obviously, very, very good intentions.

And, Gary, good luck to you, too.  Appreciate all the good work that you‘re doing. 

And still ahead, everybody, could the Natalee Holloway case be linked to sex trafficking?  It‘s a surprising theory Dr. Phil has put out there.  But could it be possible?

And late-breaking details about how a death row inmate escaped dramatically from a Texas jail.  His former defense attorney was one of the last ones to talk to him.  And he‘s going to join me LIVE & DIRECT.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSBY:  And as we look at the sex trade tonight, we can‘t help but turn our attention to the Natalee Holloway case.  This after Dr. Phil went on the Jay Leno show stating that Natalee Holloway could still be alive after being forced into the sex trade. 

How is her family reacting to those stunning comments?  LIVE & DIRECT tonight is Natalee‘s mom, Beth Holloway Twitty, fresh back from her trip to Aruba.  And also with us is philanthropist from the Philadelphia area, Joe Mammana, who has been helping the Holloway family a lot.

You know, Beth, obviously there‘s a temptation you want to grasp and just pray that she‘s alive, but how realistic do you think this theory is? 

BETH HOLLOWAY TWITTY, MOTHER OF NATALEE HOLLOWAY:  You know, Rita, we don‘t have any idea how realistic it is, you know, but we do know that we‘ve covered the island and, of course, through the EquuSearch, you know, from the sand duns, to the waters, to dumps, ponds.  You know, it‘s just been countless. 

And, you know, it‘s something the family has never been able to do, is look for Natalee—the possibility of her being alive.  So what he is providing us with is, you know, a means to—if she is alive, we need to know that.  But also, he thinks that, you know, if she‘s not, then we need answers. 

COSBY:  Absolutely.  You need finality.  Have you talked to Dr. Phil? 

Has he given you any insight, Beth, as to what this is about? 

TWITTY:  Oh, well, you know, I think that we‘ve all had theories.  And we‘ve all had—you know, Rita, we get leads all the time.  And, you know, whether Natalee‘s alive or whether she‘s not alive, I mean, we just have to investigate each one of them. 

But as I said, we really just haven‘t had the means to search for Natalee, if she is alive.  And we‘ve just—you know, we‘ve had the $1 million reward in place for her safe return.  But other than that, that‘s all we‘ve been able to do physically. 

COSBY:  Has Dr. Phil though—went he went on Jay Leno, Beth, he said, “I have some evidence, but I need to prove it.”  Has he given you any sense that there‘s anything concrete to go on this lead?  Is there anything, like, to hold your hat on? 

TWITTY:  Oh, you know, in this investigation, there has been nothing for us to hold our hat on, absolutely nothing.  And, you know, Rita, many twists and turns have taken place since May 31st.  There‘s absolutely nothing that would surprise me. 

COSBY:  Nothing, at this point?  I mean, is it possible that this could be an issue? 

TWITTY:  You know, well, all we know for sure is that they participated in a gang rape against a young American female tourist on their island and set these suspects free.  We do know that.

Now, what they did with her after they were finished with her, Rita, they tossed her on the beach for somebody to come pick her up, who knows?  Did Deepak really bury her?  You know, we just don‘t know, Rita. 

COSBY:  Yes, I‘m sure it is just so frustrating to hear all these different things.  I‘m sure it‘s also confusing for you. 

You know, we talked to the chief.  We talked to Chief Dompig a couple days ago on our show.  And I asked him—I said, “Do you think that these boys are guilty as hell?”  and he said, “Yes.” 

He also went a little further and talked about where he thinks the blame lies.  Let‘s take a listen to what he had to say. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEROLD DOMPIG, DEPUTY POLICY CHIEF OF ARUBA:  I still believe that these boys have been lying.  They‘re still lying.  And everybody knows that by now.  So there‘s no doubt in my mind that they know something, they are guilty of something. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSBY:  You know, Joe, how frustrated—you‘ve been helping this family a lot.  You hear Chief Dompig saying, “I know they‘re guilty.  I just need to prove it,” and here it‘s been so many months.

JOE MAMMANA, PHILADELPHIA PHILANTHROPIST:  Well, I‘ll be honest with you, Rita.  I‘m not as patient or as nice as Beth is.  Beth and I talk every day.  We had a big dinner tonight in the city of Philadelphia.  It was bipartisan.  We had Republicans and Democrats, the police commissioner, our attorneys, our P.R. people.

And this is pretty much the foreplay.  It‘s Beth‘s daughter.  We‘re going to let her take this.  But when Beth says go, we‘re going to take a bite at the apple, because we‘re going only going to want one bite.  It‘s going to be deep into the core. 

And I‘ll be really honest with you.  After speaking to the Philadelphia School Board and everybody else, a boycott will be so devastating that they won‘t get a bar of soap on their island when we‘re finished with them. 

Again, we‘re letting Beth call this.  She‘s been nice for too long, as far as I‘m concerned.  These three little pieces of trash over there, OK, they gang raped her daughter.  They need to experience a gang rape. 

COSBY:  Do you think, Joe, it‘s going to get to the point of a boycott?  I mean, sounds like, like you feel like it‘s pretty close? 

MAMMANA:  I‘ll be honest with you, Rita.  Yes, it‘s going to go to a boycott.  It‘s going to be a devastating boycott.  Yes, I do feel that. 

COSBY:  When do you think that‘s going to happen, Joe? 

MAMMANA:  I think that‘s going to happen within the next 10 days. 

COSBY:  You do? 

MAMMANA:  And I‘ll tell you another thing is, I receive a lot of calls, a lot of e-mails, a lot of things from around the world now.  And there‘s a lot of people after these kids.  I mean, they have made a lot of enemies, not just the Holloway family. 

And, I‘ll tell you, they need to really watch out for themselves, because they‘ve made enemies around the world.  And I think a boycott is going to turn—you know, divide and conquer.  It‘s going to turn the Aruban people against them. 

And I hope that the Aruban people watch this and realize that this doesn‘t have to happen.  Maybe they need to handle justice themselves on their own island. 

COSBY:  Let me bring in, if I could, former FBI agent Harold Copus into the conversation. 

Harold, what is your sense on how a boycott would impact this investigation? 

HAROLD COPUS, FORMER FBI AGENT:  Oh, I think it would be fantastic, because all of a sudden we‘d some push here to make these people realize they‘ve got to give us a good, thorough investigation, which they haven‘t to date. 

COSBY:  You know, Harold, you‘ve been down in Aruba, as Beth and I have, too.  Beth has been there, gosh—Beth, how many times have you been down there now? 

TWITTY:  Oh, Rita.  Well, I lived there for almost four months so...

COSBY:  Yes, you‘ve become basically a citizen down there.  Bless your heart.  You have been working so hard on this. 

You know, Harold, when you see this, and you see this mother who has just been so determined and so, you know, just loves her daughter, wants a resolution, is a boycott maybe the only thing that‘s going to push this forward? 

COPUS:  It may be.  We don‘t seem to have anything else working for us, from an investigative standpoint.  I felt for some time that might be an answer.  I‘ve said it Beth privately.  And it sounds like it‘s going to come out now publicly. 

COSBY:  And, Harold, real quick, do you give any credence to the theory from Dr. Phil that she may be alive? 

COPUS:  I think there‘s no more than a 20-percent chance.  There are some things that would indicate that Natalee could have been moved off the island into the sex trade act ring.  That‘s horrible, if it is, but there‘s always that chance. 

COSBY:  Beth, how you feel finally, as we‘re talking about a boycott and where things stand in the investigation?  I know you‘re frustrated.  Would you support a boycott, if it comes to that, in 10 days, like Joe is talking about?

TWITTY:  Well, I know one thing, Rita:  What the family wants is we want answers.  And we want a willingness to conduct a thorough and proper investigation.  And we have yet to get that.

They see the handwriting on the wall.  I made it perfectly clear while I was in Aruba for the three days that the family wants a new prosecuting attorney, a new lead investigator.  And we felt it out step by step in the letter of everything that has happened to us in this investigation. 

They know that there is not a choice.  So, you know, if they choose it, so be it, Rita. 

COSBY:  So you think it‘s pretty close to heading there that ways, Beth? 

TWITTY:  Well, we‘re waiting to hear the final word, if they‘re willing to launch a new investigative team. 

COSBY:  All right, Beth.  Please keep us posted.  Everybody, thank you, Beth, so much.

And thank you, Joe.

And also Harold.  Thank you. 

Well, still ahead, everybody, it may look like a makeshift memorial to Natalee Holloway.  But does it hold an important clue to what happened to the missing teen? 

Details next on LIVE & DIRECT.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSBY:  Tonight, there‘s hope that a makeshift memorial to Natalee Holloway could hold clues as to what happened to her.  The simple cross with her initials is now on a beach in Aruba not far from where she was apparently last seen.

But it‘s not so much the memorial that could hold the clues but where it is. 

Joining me now is Rick Segall with “America‘s Most Wanted.”  Rick, how did you stumble upon this memorial? 

RICK SEGALL, “AMERICA‘S MOST WANTED”:  We were down in Aruba all last week with Dave Holloway.  And we spoke to the police chief.  Dave spoke to Deputy Chief Dompig, as well. 

The chief told Dave Holloway that new information had come in that, around the time of Natalee‘s disappearance, perhaps the night after she disappeared, a boat went out from a particular boat launch there on the beach and supposedly took a body out into the sea and dumped the body. 

So Dave went to take a look at that spot.  And when he was there on the beach, he literally stumbled across this cross that was sitting there, had Natalee‘s initials carved into it, rosary beads.  And on first glance, it looks like a perfectly sweet memorial. 

The problem is there is no reason on Earth for that memorial to be in that spot.  And here‘s why:  About 300 yards down the beach, there are a set of fishing huts that have become infamous. 

COSBY:  Yep, I was down there.  I remember.  And that‘s where the knife was missing.  There‘s also that cage nearby that‘s missing? 

SEGALL:  Exactly.  Exactly.  They‘re infamous.  Everybody knows about it on the island. 

So it would make sense that a memorial might be there.  But this new information—this is fresh information that had just come into the police.  And here Dave goes to take a look at this spot, and there is this cross that has initials carved into it, rosary beads, and there‘s no reason for it to be there unless it‘s from somebody who knows something or has a guilty conscience. 

COSBY:  When was it constructed, Rick?  Do we have any idea how long it‘s been there? 

SEGALL:  According to locals that we spoke to, they say it‘s been there anywhere from three to five weeks.  So this is something that‘s popped up recently. 

And Dave‘s theory, and our theory, too, is somebody knows something.  And that‘s one of the reasons we‘re airing the show tomorrow night, is we need that person or those people to come forward. 

And it‘s common knowledge, it‘s no surprise.  A lot of Arubans have lost confidence in the investigation that‘s taking place down there.  And we spoke to people who said, you know, they‘re not sure that tips should be going to the Aruban police department.  It seems the investigation might be in disarray. 

So tomorrow night, there‘s going to be three investigators at the “America‘s Most Wanted” hotline, three FBI agents.  And we want those tips to come in.  If there is information, 1-800-CRIME-TV, or AMW.com.  Those tips will be followed up on. 

COSBY:  All right, Rick.  Thank you very much.  Really fascinating.  Again, everybody to make sure to watch “America‘s Most Wanted.”  Very important stuff.

Thank you, Rick, very much.  We appreciate it.

SEGALL:  Thank you.

COSBY:  And stay with us, everybody.  We‘ve got the latest on another developing story, the manhunt for a death row inmate who escaped in civilian clothes while flashing a fake I.D. to get out of jail free.  Interesting details, coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSBY:  Right now, a manhunt is on for a death row convict who cleverly escaped from jail.  Cops say Charles Victor Thompson changed into civilian clothes and used a fake law enforcement I.D. badge, posing as someone from the Texas attorney general‘s office.

He was sentenced to death for the brutal 1998 shooting of his ex-girlfriend and her boyfriend.  Joining me now is criminal defense attorney Terry Gaiser, who represented Thompson.

You know, Mr. Gaiser, you saw him not too long ago, right?  Did he act suspicious?  Did you get a sense anything was in the works?

TERRY GAISER, CHARLES THOMPSON‘S ATTORNEY:  No, I spent weeks with him in trial.  And he didn‘t act suspicious at all.  This was totally unexpected. 

COSBY:  Have any idea where he could be at this hour, because obviously this man is a dangerous man? 

GAISER:  Well, they certainly have plenty of people out looking for him; everyone from the U.S. Marshals office, to the county sheriff‘s office, and the Houston Police Department are here and across the state. 

COSBY:  Yes.  When you heard he escaped—he‘s quite clever.  I mean, he posed—got past a couple of deputies in that jail—posed as if he was working for the attorney general‘s office, said he was actually meeting you.  Do you think he had help? 

GAISER:  Oh, I think it‘s hard to believe that he didn‘t have some sort of help in carrying something like this out.  But you‘re also talking about a guy that‘s intelligent, and articulate, and extremely charming.  I mean, he‘s been described that way throughout his life. 

So we‘re talking about someone that could conceivably talk his way out of the jail and pose as a lawyer or as a worker for the attorney general‘s office, which is what I understand he did. 

COSBY:  Absolutely.  You know, how dangerous is this man?  He killed two people, clearly. 

GAISER:  Oh, I don‘t believe Charles poses as big a danger as other killers I‘ve represented in the past.  I think he may be a danger when he‘s desperate and cornered, but I don‘t think he‘s out to... 

COSBY:  And real quick, do you think he‘s going to call you or reach out to you at all, sir? 

GAISER:  No, I think he would have by now, if he were going to.  And I doubt that he will. 

COSBY:  All right, sir.  Thank you very much, Terry Gaiser, the attorney who represented him.  Of course, everybody, if you see this man, please call authorities.

And that does it for LIVE & DIRECT.  I‘m Rita Cosby.  Joe Scarborough starts right now.

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

Copy: Content and programming copyright 2005 NBC.  ALL RIGHTS  RESERVED. Transcription Copyright 2005 Voxant, Inc.  ALL RIGHTS  RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material other than for research. User may not reproduce or redistribute the material except for user‘s personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon NBC and Voxant, Inc.‘s copyright or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.

Watch Rita Cosby Live & Direct each weeknight at 9 p.m. ET

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,