Guest: Michael Kane, Karen Russell, Marshall Hennington, James Schottel, Jr., Darrow Soll, Gloria Allred
DAN ABRAMS, HOST: Coming up, the second woman to accuse Bill Cosby of sexual abuse speaks out in an exclusive interview.
ABRAMS (voice-over): Tamara Green says she is only coming forward now because her story is so similar to a Canadian woman accusing Cosby of drugging and assaulting her. But now, there are questions about Green‘s credibility.
And we‘ve got details about potential jurors in the Michael Jackson case. Turns out many of them say they knew nothing about the 1993 investigation against him. Well, they do now.
Plus, it‘s happened again. This time, a 27-year-old elementary teacher charged with statutory rape, accused of repeatedly having sex with a 13-year-old boy at her school.
The program about justice starts now.
ABRAMS: Hi everyone. First up on the docket tonight, more from and about a second woman to come out and accuse Bill Cosby of sexual abuse. Attorney Tamara Green says Cosby assaulted her 30 years ago and although she never reported it to authorities at the time, she claims she is coming out now to bolster the credibility of Cosby‘s current accuser who says she was drugged and then molested by Cosby.
Green says the same thing happened to her. She spoke to NBC‘s Matt Lauer earlier today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TAMARA GREEN, ACCUSING BILL COSBY OF ASSAULT: When he started putting his mouth and his hands on my body after my—after I should have been undressed and tucked into bed like a sweet little girl, I was now being handled and groped and kissed and molested. I was being molested and assaulted, which made me furious. And some place inside me, I mean, I was conscious, I knew I was stoned. I knew that I was out of control, that I had no—that I was helpless but I was also—really, I‘m not victim material as it goes. I was furious about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ABRAMS: Prosecutors have not yet announced whether any charges are going to be filed in this case. But today we have also learned more about Tamara Green‘s past. In 1990, she was convicted of battery. The matter was referred to the California State Bar Association. They say they decided it didn‘t warrant discipline. But they also told us that Green is currently under investigation on another charge that could move the bar to take disciplinary action against her. The “New York Post” reported she allegedly skipped town on three of her clients, owing one thousands of dollars and failing to file a motion for another.
“My Take”—well, I don‘t think Green‘s testimony would be admissible in any case, if one is even filed. If she were to testify, all this information about her past would be fair game to judge her credibility, not to mention how long ago it happen. So, how much should it matter?
Joining me now former Pennsylvania prosecutor, Michael Kane and defense attorney Karen Russell who also considers herself a friend a Bill Cosby‘s. All right, Michael Kane, we‘re going to play a little bit more and more of this interview is going to air tomorrow on the “Today” show, but you get a sense from listening to her—let‘s put up number one in a moment here. You get a sense from listening to her, you know, that she is come across as an attorney, someone who seems to have her story down pat. How important is that?
MICHAEL KANE, FORMER PENNSYLVANIA PROSECUTOR: Well, obviously, when you are making an assessment of whether you are going to use a witness in trial as a prosecutor, you make that determination interviewing them yourself to see first question in your mind is how is this person going to come across and if they are articulate, they have their facts straight, that gives you a lot of comfort. On the other hand, if they come across something different than that, then that‘s going to give you a lot of pause. So...
ABRAMS: How about the stuff about her past, Mike? How important is that to you?
KANE: Well once again, you are talking about a collateral witness here. She‘s not the complainant. So you have the first question of is this going to be admissible at all? And then the next question is, is if I put her on and the defense attorney gets a crack at this through cross-examination, am I going to let the side show of her testimony just obliterate the main event and I‘ve seen a lot of cases lost because a jury thought that the prosecutor was trying to throw a fast ball by them on some collateral issue. They completely ignored the main issue.
ABRAMS: Let me play another piece of sound. This is number one here.
This is Tamara Green saying how she says all of this transpired.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GREEN: Well, there were a number of people at the table, friends of his, and he said to me, yes, you know, you do seem ill. You‘re slightly feverish. Would you like to have some Contac, you know, the cold medicine, and I thought certainly, why not, can‘t hurt. And so he went into some sort of office area at the back of the restaurant and he produced two capsules in his hands. Now, I advise people take your medicines out of the package, ladies, you know—anyway, he gave me these two capsules, but I thought nothing of it and I took the capsules. In about, I don‘t know, 20, 30 minutes, I felt great, I‘m telling you. And then about 10 minutes after that, I was almost literally face down on the table of this restaurant.
ABRAMS: Karen Russell, what do you make of what you‘re hearing from her and what we‘re learning about her past?
KAREN RUSSELL, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well I think she had some credibility issues before we heard about this alleged assault. I think the other thing that we should talk about is the fact that she had contact with Cosby after this alleged attack and she also let her brother see Mr. Cosby. And so, I wonder if it was so horrible and this, you know, incredible thing that changed her life, why she went ahead and still had contact with Mr. Cosby. It makes no sense.
ABRAMS: But her argument is that the reason that she never went forward 30 years ago, she says, is because Bill Cosby was so wonderful to her dying brother—I‘m going to play the final piece of sound here—and this is her explaining why she didn‘t go forward with it 30 years ago and is only coming forward now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GREEN: You feel dirty and you are not entirely sure if you want the world to know that somebody has had his hands all over you and has been able to take advantage of you in that way. There is a shame element involved. The second element for me was that very soon after this attack, as I told you, my brother was terminally ill in the children‘s hospital and Bill went there, gave him a portable radio, glad handed with all the children, was the hero of the terminal children‘s ward. My brother died not long after that. I was unwilling at the time that my brother was alive to take that away from him.
ABRAMS: Mike Kane, as a prosecutor how much would you be investigating all of that? Would you be going back—again, because as you point out, her testimony probably wouldn‘t be admissible anyway, so do you go back and do you try and investigate whether her brother was in the hospital at the time she is talking about? Did she actually tell other friends about this as she claimed? Do you do that much as a prosecutor in this case?
KANE: No question about it because you know the defense attorney is going to do it and if you don‘t do your homework ahead of time...
ABRAMS: But I mean now Mike...
ABRAMS: Mike, I mean the question of deciding whether to file charges, right...
ABRAMS: Yes, go ahead, sorry...
KANE: Sure you investigate that. Absolutely. Because the only reason you are even talking to this person is because they are potentially going to be a witness. And if there is that potentiality, you want to make sure that if they do get on the stand that what they say is the truth. And if you don‘t discover something that is going to hurt their credibility, you can get bet the defense attorney is going to do it. And as I said, there is often times that the jury looks at a case where the prosecutor puts on a witness that is obviously not telling the truth. They ask themselves the question what is this guy trying to do? What‘s he trying to put past us? And they can obliterate the credibility of their complainant.
ABRAMS: All right, let me just put up a statement here. This is what Cosby‘s lawyers have to say about all of this from yesterday.
“As we informed the “Daily News”—they‘re the people that broke the story, Philadelphia—before they printed today‘s story, Ms. Green‘s allegations are absolutely false. Mr. Cosby does not know the name Tamara Lucier—that was her maiden name—and the incident she describes did not happen. Not a single detail in the article has been corroborated by anyone. The fact that she may have repeated the story to others is not corroboration. It is irresponsible of the “Daily News” to publish an uncorroborated story of an incident that is alleged to have happened 30 years ago.”
And yet Karen, does it matter in terms of credibility that she is an attorney? I mean, the fact that, you know, she is someone who is, you know, theoretically, a member, you know, a member of the bar and as you know, we all sort of view ourselves as taking on some sort of higher oath, et cetera, does that matter?
RUSSELL: Well, I think it actually works against her. I think it works against her in a couple of ways. The first way is she knows that if she wanted to make something of this that she should have reported it immediately and she knows that...
ABRAMS: But she says she is not trying to make anything. She says the only reason I‘m coming forward is because the prosecutors were basically saying that they weren‘t going to file any charges and she wanted this information to be out there.
RUSSELL: Yes, well, I‘m not quite buying all of that. I think the other way that it hurts her is I think we‘re going to see, you know, in addition to the story that you just broke about this assault (UNINTELLIGIBLE) other disciplinary issues that are swirling around here that also hurt her credibility. And so I think in some ways we tend to hold lowers to higher standard. They should know the rules. They should know how to...
RUSSELL: ... information. They should also know that if they are going to come 30 years after the fact that they are going to provoke these kinds of questions.
ABRAMS: Yes and bottom line, Mike Kane said this last night. I completely agree with him. I find it very hard to believe that regardless of what you think about her credibility (UNINTELLIGIBLE) be admissible in court, but I do think that it‘s going to—you know it may come into play in terms of the prosecutors‘ decision as to whether to charge because I can tell you it was clear that these prosecutors were not going to do anything in this case.
And who knows if this will have any impact. Karen Russell, Mike Kane, thanks a lot. Appreciate it.
KANE: You‘re welcome.
ABRAMS: And you can see much more of Matt‘s really good interview with Tamara Green. He‘s got the exclusive tomorrow morning on the “Today” show on NBC. I‘ll be on later in the program.
Coming up, for the first time we get a look at what potential jurors in the Michael Jackson case are telling lawyers that they know about the case. It turns out, many of them knew nothing about the 1993 investigation against Jackson. Well, because of the jury questionnaire, they do now.
And a lawyer takes producers of “The Apprentice” to court. He says he doesn‘t mind hearing he is fired. He just wants to hear it from The Donald, but says he is not being allowed to try out because he is in a wheelchair.
Plus an Arizona man charged with raping a woman numerous times faces a maximum of a year and a half in prison. Why so little—because she‘s his wife. Is it time to end different punishments for rape depending on whether the man and woman are man and wife?
Your e-mails email@example.com. Please include your name and where you‘re writing from. I respond at the end of the show.
ABRAMS: Coming up, our first look at what potential jurors in the Michael Jackson case already know about the case. It turns out they may not know as much as many people might think.
ABRAMS: We‘re back. We got never before seen documents in the Michael Jackson case. Questionnaires filled out by 240 potential jurors in Jackson‘s child molestation case shedding some light on who might be chosen to listen to months of testimony and ultimately decide Jackson‘s fate.
Joining me now to go through it is jury consultant Marshall Hennington. All right, Marshall, let‘s get right to it. Question: How much news have you read or watched about the current Michael Jackson case? A hundred and sixty-eight said a little. Forty-one said a lot. Thirty-one said none.
And follow-up, do you know or have you read, seen or heard anything about the publicity regarding the ‘93-‘94 investigation against Michael Jackson -- 145 yes, 93 no, two not sure. All right, so on the first one, Marshall, are you surprised that 31 of them said they knew knowing about the case?
MARSHALL HENNINGTON, JURY CONSULTANT: Yes, I am very surprised. Because let‘s face it this case has been everywhere and everyone has heard about this...
ABRAMS: So you don‘t believe them?
HENNINGTON: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) -- no, I don‘t believe them at all.
HENNINGTON: I think there are people...
ABRAMS: Come on.
HENNINGTON: I think that people have ulterior motives for being jurors. I think that they lie and I also think that they are looking to benefit from this case...
ABRAMS: I got to tell you...
HENNINGTON: ... not everyone, but a certain percentage of jurors tend to fall into that particular category.
ABRAMS: Maybe, but I think that they would say a little. If they were really trying to get on the case, they would say a little because they would know that‘s the answer that‘s probably going to get them on this case. You know, I just think that we assume sometimes that everyone is following these trials so closely. I mean I have a lot of friends who say to me I know knowing about the Michael Jackson case.
HENNINGTON: Your friends actually tell you that, Dan?
ABRAMS: Yes, I swear. Not all my friends but a few of them.
HENNINGTON: My friends don‘t tell me that.
ABRAMS: We got to get our friends together.
HENNINGTON: My friends tell me that they know a lot about this case...
ABRAMS: All right...
HENNINGTON: ... and they have some type of opinion as to his guilt or innocence.
ABRAMS: All right, well let‘s deal with the other question, which is have you read the ‘93 investigation stuff? Ninety-three of the people saying they didn‘t know anything about it, which again brings up the question for me, why the heck did you put it on the jury questionnaire then because now they do?
HENNINGTON: That‘s an excellent point. You know, what‘s interesting about this is that now that they have that information on there, what is it doing? It‘s actually preconditioning jurors. Jurors that they didn‘t have an opinion about that particular case in the past, ‘93 and ‘94...
HENNINGTON: ... certainly have one at this particular point because this information is being shared with all of the jurors at this point. And here is the interesting part about this, is that perhaps some jurors may think where there is smoke, there is fire and that...
HENNINGTON: ... perhaps he was guilty and that‘s why he covered up those ‘93, ‘94 allegations...
ABRAMS: Well that‘s for the people who knew something about it. I mean that‘s for the ones who knew something about it.
HENNINGTON: You‘re correct.
ABRAMS: All right. Let me...
HENNINGTON: You‘re correct.
ABRAMS: ... I‘m almost out of time here. Let me just go through a few more of the questions. Have you or any relative or close friend ever been accused of inappropriate sexual behavior -- 216 said no, 18 said yes, six, no answer. And then have you or any relative or close friend ever been the victim of inappropriate sexual behavior of any kind -- 195 no, 33 yes, 12, no answer.
You know, I got to tell you on this one, Marshall, this one I really do think people are going to be reluctant to tell the truth.
HENNINGTON: You‘re absolutely right. I mean who wants to really admit that information? It‘s, you know, it‘s very uncomfortable for people to have to disclose that very sensitive information on paper. Let alone being questioned...
HENNINGTON: ... in front of a whole panel of jurors.
ABRAMS: But that—right, that‘s the point...
HENNINGTON: And so...
ABRAMS: No, they are going to get to do it confidently. But still, the point is that they would have to answer questions as follow-ups to this.
HENNINGTON: You‘re absolutely correct and so that‘s a very sensitive issue and I think that people have—basically gave the politically correct answer.
ABRAMS: All right, Marshall Hennington...
ABRAMS: ... good to see you again. Thanks for coming back on the program.
HENNINGTON: Thank you. Appreciate it, Dan.
ABRAMS: And ‘80 star Corey Feldman has become the latest person to be gagged in the Jackson trial, but would his testimony even be admissible?
And a lawyer takes producers of “The Apprentice” to court because he says they won‘t let him try out because he‘s in a wheelchair and they say contestants should be in excellent physical health. Could it just be that like most people who apply he just didn‘t make it? I‘ll ask him.
Let me say thank you to the Jackson team for putting together those questionnaires as quickly as they did. It helped us a lot.
ABRAMS: Attorney James Schottel really wants to be a contestant on the popular NBC reality show “The Apprentice”—he and thousands and thousands of others. Schottel claims he has already been dinged by The Donald‘s team, not because of stiff competition but because he says he‘s disabled. Schottel, who suffered a spinal cord injury in 1991 filed a case in federal court last week alleging “The Apprentice” is discriminating against him because the show requires that its contestants undergo a medical examination to prove they are in—quote—“excellent physical and mental health.”
He is asking the court to put a stop to this weekend‘s open auditions in St. Louis until he can decide whether Trump and “Apprentice” producer Mark Burnett are violating law. Burnett‘s production company isn‘t commenting on the suit.
“My Take”—first of all, Mr. Schottel hasn‘t actually been rejected by the show yet, so it‘s difficult to understand why he has already sued. It certainly isn‘t going to help his chances of being one of the final 18. And Schottel‘s entire complaint rests on the presumption that being a contestant on “The Apprentice” for 15 weeks is the equivalent of participating in a job interview. “The Apprentice” isn‘t a job interview. It‘s a reality show.
Joining me now to lay out his case, James Schottel, the Missouri attorney who filed the case. Thanks a lot for coming on the program. All right, let‘s address the first issue that I mentioned, which is that you haven‘t even been rejected yet.
JAMES SCHOTTEL, JR., APPLICANT FOR “THE APPRENTICE”: That is true, Dan. However, on the face of the rules and the regulations and the application procedures, they are discriminatory on their face.
ABRAMS: Sorry, go ahead.
SCHOTTEL: So whether or not, you know, I have been rejected or not, I don‘t think that‘s the issue. And also, on my information, it‘s a don‘t call us/we‘ll call you procedure. However, so I will never know whether I have been rejected or not.
ABRAMS: So your position is that there is—I mean I would think, though, that it would be hard to do that program and also make reasonable accommodations for someone in your position.
SCHOTTEL: Well, I disagree. I watch the show. I‘m actually a fan of the show. I‘m actually a fan of Mr. Trump. And it‘s a job interview that they label it as a job interview...
ABRAMS: But come on, you know it‘s not really a job interview; it‘s a reality show.
SCHOTTEL: Yes, but Dan, if you look at the last two winners, you look at Bill Rancic and Kelly Perdew, where are they working? They are working for Donald Trump now.
ABRAMS: But see—but that‘s just part of it—I mean part of it—look, if you view it what it really is, which is kind of a game. It‘s sort of an idea. It‘s a concept. Part of the thrill is being on the show itself. I mean you have achieved something just by that. It sounds like what you are saying is you are just taking it so literally saying it‘s an interview and I‘m just not being given access to an interview. You are not being given access to getting on a reality show.
SCHOTTEL: Well, that‘s your opinion. However, me and many others feel that it actually is a job application (UNINTELLIGIBLE). It‘s done in the form of a television show. That‘s true. Donald Trump and Burnett got together to do this in the form of a show, however it is a job interview. It is an application.
I had three people call me today in my office that got word of this and they were individuals who had business backgrounds and they were in a wheelchair and they told me—they congratulated me and said they were glad that I took a stance that they had read the rules and just didn‘t apply because they thought they were ruled out.
ABRAMS: Taking a stance aside, you think you really have any shot here? I mean you would agree that this is a long shot legal suit, right?
SCHOTTEL: Well, I asked for declaratory judgment. I didn‘t ask for money. I asked for a preliminary injunction and maybe for them to change their rules. I consent that, you know, to be on the show and to be considered for “The Apprentice” there are metal requirements. You have to have the mental, the psychological background...
SCHOTTEL: ... the knowledge, you know. However, the physical part I don‘t buy. I don‘t buy into that.
ABRAMS: Yes well, I think it‘s going to be rough for you to get on the show now, but who knows. Who knows? Mr. Schottel thanks for taking the time to come on the program. I appreciate it.
SCHOTTEL: All right, no problem. Thanks Dan.
ABRAMS: Coming up, a woman says she was raped so many times that she can‘t remember them all. The man accuse of raping her, he‘s only facing a year and a half in prison. You know why—because he is her husband. Turns out more than half of our states let husbands off easy when it comes to rape. Wonder if it‘s time to change the laws. We‘ll debate.
And another female teacher accused of raping a student, this time a 13-year-old. Question: Is this type of crime on the rise or are we just hearing more about it?
Your e-mails firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name and where you‘re writing from. I respond at the end of the show.
ABRAMS: Coming up, an Arizona man charged with raping a woman numerous times faces just a year and a half in prison. Why so little—because she‘s his wife. We debate, but first the headlines.
ABRAMS: We‘re back. In September, an Arizona woman was awakened in the middle of the night, choked, dragged by her hair and raped more times before sunrise than she was able to keep track of, at least allegedly. The alleged assailant, her husband. Because Arizona makes a distinction between spousal rape and other rapes, he may only face a maximum sentence of a year and a half in prison.
She‘s not alone. A quarter of the rapes in this country are apparently between a husband and a wife. But get this. It wasn‘t until 1993 that spousal rape was even recognized a crime in all 50 states. That said, in many states, it‘s still not considered merely as serious as other rapes. In fact, 27 states still make spousal rape seem like a minor crime compared to other rapes.
“My Take”—if a man beats up his wife, legally it‘s the same as if he beats up his neighbor. Why then is there a difference between a man raping his wife and a man raping his neighbor? Rape is a violent crime. You have every right to have sex with your spouse, not to rape her. How can it be treated so differently?
Joining me now criminal defense attorney Darrow Soll and Gloria Allred, a victims‘ rights attorney. All right, so Darrow, how do you justify this?
DARROW SOLL, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well first of all, Dan, let me begin by correcting the statement you made. This individual doesn‘t face a year and a half in prison. In fact, this individual could face as much as 23.25 years in prison under a statute that allows multiple offenses occurring on different dates. It appears this occurred one day after the other.
Secondly, the person is also charged with kidnapping. Third, the person is also charged with assault and possibly aggravated assault, which brings up what the legislature in Arizona has recognized. That because there is a marital relationship, unlike your neighbor, you‘re not engaged in fisticuffs on a regular basis. If you enjoy a healthy sexual relationship with your spouse, you are involved in sexual relations and there is going to be physical evidence that would substantiate at least a portion of the crime of sexual assault.
ABRAMS: But that‘s about the evidence. That‘s about the quality of the evidence. You still haven‘t explained to me why this crime should be treated differently than assault. You said people aren‘t usually engages in fisticuffs with their neighbor. Well...
ABRAMS: ... then why is it different when you assault your neighbor?
SOLL: Because, Daniel, there is a recognition that this is going to proceed false allegations. That there can be false allegations. In Arizona, for example, like all 50 states, once a person is convicted of a crime, they are essentially stopped from denying the allegations of that crime in every other type of civil litigation.
Take for example custodial arrangements. Take for example divorce. So what our legislature does is it recognizes there are other ways, if there is credible evidence of forcible sexual assault, a battery, assault of this person being held, kidnapping statutes apply. Those are mandatory prison offenses in some instances.
ABRAMS: Yes but...
SOLL: This person faces prison and it‘s disingenuous to suggest that the Arizona legislature hasn‘t seriously considered this.
ABRAMS: All right, let‘s be clear...
ABRAMS: ... then...
SOLL: ... five years ago.
ABRAMS: You‘re going to tell me that this—what I‘m about to tell you is wrong. In the state of Arizona, spousal rape, the crime of spousal rape, up to one and a half years in prison. Other rapes up to 14 years in prison. Number eight—that a first offense sexual assault of a spouse is a class 6 felony. The judge has discretion to enter a judgment for a conviction of a class one misdemeanor with mandatory counseling. That‘s not the law in Arizona.
SOLL: No, that‘s absolutely the law...
SOLL: ... but you‘re ignoring the remaining bodies of law, which specifically say in a case like this, these facts come before me and when I was a prosecutor, this guy was going to prison. He is going to prison because Arizona law allows him to go to prison based upon the kidnapping, based upon the aggravated assault...
ABRAMS: But what if you don‘t have kidnapping? What if you don‘t have kidnapping? What if it‘s someone...
ABRAMS: How can you not have kidnapping?
ABRAMS: I‘ll tell you. You are in the bed and the bottom line is you are not taking them anywhere and you end up raping your wife again and again.
SOLL: Dan (UNINTELLIGIBLE) I know you‘re not an Arizona lawyer, but you obviously don‘t understand our statute. Our statute would constitute kidnapping. If you‘re restraining a person and by its very admission of the law, they‘re having nonconsensual sexually relations, that is kidnapping.
ABRAMS: Yes, Gloria...
SOLL: That‘s kidnapping.
ABRAMS: ... Gloria Allred, that sounds to me like an excuse.
GLORIA ALLRED, VICTIMS‘ RIGHTS ATTORNEY: Dan, as usual, you do understand the law and you nailed him on it. The sentence is different in Arizona for the same act of rape for a spouse as it would be for a non-spouse. In many states, it is the same. In California, for example, it‘s three, six, or eight years for an act of rape whether it‘s done to a spouse or a non-spouse. It is different in Arizona and you made that point.
Now, the real question you are asking is why is it different? And it‘s because of the massagenie (ph) that many people feel they are suggesting that somehow if a person is a wife that she is going to make a false allegation. That‘s what they used to say about rape victims who were not wives. They are also suggesting that some how that wives are property. Oh, you can have sex with them whenever you want, they‘re a wife.
SOLL: ... I suspect you can‘t even tell me the Arizona statutes that apply...
ABRAMS: But Darrow...
SOLL: You‘re wrong. The legislature...
ABRAMS: ... here‘s the problem. Let me tell you the problem with your analogy, all right, with your explanation of kidnapping. Let‘s accept everything you are saying about the kidnapping law, all right. The bottom line is though, if you rape your neighbor, then according to you, you would be or could be charged with both kidnapping and rape.
ABRAMS: If you rape your wife, you‘ve only got that little minor charge of spousal rape and a kidnapping. Bottom line is no matter how many other charges you want to tack on, the difference is there and it‘s improper and unfair.
SOLL: And I would have to disagree with you because what our legislature has done—this isn‘t a law that was enacted ages ago. This law was last visited in 1999 -- before that, 1994 -- before that, 1988. And we have recognized certain situations. The reality is that a marital relationship does provide an opportunity for false allegations. They are not all going to be false. So you have the prosecutor. You have the judge. And where there is information that substantiates other...
ABRAMS: Why not boyfriend-girlfriend then, Darrow? Why not boyfriend-girlfriend? They are having sex, too.
SOLL: I‘m sorry...
ABRAMS: Why not boyfriend-girlfriend? If you‘re saying that the marital relationship allows for false allegations, how is any different with a boyfriend and girlfriend who are having sex?
SOLL: I think any time there is a cohabitating relationship...
ABRAMS: That‘s not the law.
SOLL: ... it should be the same situation...
ALLRED: No, Dan...
SOLL: ... and that‘s not the law.
SOLL: And that‘s one area the law needs to be changed in, Dan.
ALLRED: ... you see that‘s—this is the problem and it used to be in many states and maybe still is in some, that there was in fact a cautionary instruction that was given to the jury about possible false allegations by the complaining witness, now otherwise called the rape victim. And again, this is really unfair.
There is no reason to think that a wife is going to make false allegations. This is something that a jury can determine and the sentence should not be any different because a person is a wife. Why should she get in essence less protection? Why should the rapist who was her husband, in fact in a way, have more license to rape or get less of a sentence for the same act that he—if he committed it as a non-spouse he would get a greater sentence for it? There is no good answer that does not involve sexism.
SOLL: With due respect to Gloria, she obviously doesn‘t realize how Arizona sentencing statutes work. We have much, much harsher sentencing statutes than California or the vast majority...
ALLRED: Not for spousal rape.
SOLL: We—for spousal rape, our legislature recognizes that if there is truly a forcible assault, if there‘s other evidence to substantiate it...
ALLRED: Why does it have to be forcible?
ALLRED: Rape doesn‘t have to be an act of force...
SOLL: In Arizona, Gloria...
ALLRED: A person, in fact...
SOLL: In Arizona, Gloria...
ALLRED: ... does not...
SOLL: In Arizona, Gloria...
ALLRED: ... doesn‘t have to be.
SOLL: In Arizona, Gloria, rape can only occur one of two ways—forcible or nonconsensual. Nonconsensual, for example, by impairment. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) that person is unable to...
ALLRED: All right, you just made my point. It doesn‘t have to be forced.
SOLL: Gloria, but again what you fail to recognize is our statutes already have other offenses that would kick in. And you keep talking about lesser punishment. The reality is if a person is convicted of a slew of offenses, typically they only receive one punishment and it‘s going to be the highest and it‘s ran concurrent. We take into account...
ALLRED: What you fail to recognize, sir, is that what you are doing is creating a smoke screen. You are suggesting oh, well, it doesn‘t matter if the sentence is less for spousal rape, because we have other crimes for which we could charge him for that would allow a greater sentence.
SOLL: No, Gloria, what I‘m doing...
ALLRED: But in some cases, as Dan pointed out the facts may not be there to support charging for other crimes.
ALLRED: And so...
SOLL: ... your ignorance of Arizona law...
ALLRED: ... we need to have the same sentence for spousal rape...
SOLL: ... your ignorance of Arizona law...
ALLRED: You know, you don‘t need to patronize me...
SOLL: ... is the problem.
ALLRED: ... and name calling means that you lack a good argument on the facts.
SOLL: Gloria, I would refer to you as the expert name caller. You and I have dealt with cases where your clients and you have made allegations that later turned out not to be substantiated. But the reality...
ABRAMS: All right, all right...
ABRAMS: ... let‘s stop...
ABRAMS: All right, both of you...
SOLL: The reality is...
ABRAMS: Let‘s stop it. Darrow, focus on the substance. All right.
SOLL: The reality is this, that Arizona law is different than these other jurisdictions. And to truly say that we treat the law differently shows a lack of understanding of the law. Our legislature is no friend to the criminal defendant. We have some of the harshest sentencing...
ABRAMS: Darrow, here‘s the thing and we‘re—let‘s take this out and make it a little general—a little more general. Tennessee, for example, spousal rape, up to 6 years in prison, other rapes up to 12 years. South Carolina, spousal rape, up to 10 years in prison, other rapes, up to 30 years in prison. The bottom line, it doesn‘t trouble you at all that there are so many states that differentiate?
SOLL: Well, Dan, I got to tell you, if they had laws like we do and I happen to know a little bit about Tennessee, for example, they have very similar laws. Rape occurs in one of two ways. Nonconsensual meaning...
SOLL: ... the person has passed out or you have forcible rape...
SOLL: ... and that necessarily includes other statues. That‘s why in the article that precipitated this story, the first thing it says is that the prosecutor also charged him with...
SOLL: ... also charged him with kidnapping. There‘s a reason for that. Because our legislature recognize that in cases it‘s truly that situation...
SOLL: ... this person is going to get hammered and our judges here...
SOLL: ... are selected by our governor.
ABRAMS: All right. I got...
ALLRED: Darrow, you know...
ABRAMS: I got to...
ALLRED: ... what? It doesn‘t work.
ALLRED: For nonconsensual rape...
ALLRED: ... of a spouse, it‘s not the same.
ABRAMS: I got wrap it up. Darrow Soll, good to see you again.
Thanks for coming back on the program.
SOLL: No problem.
ABRAMS: And Gloria Allred, as always good to see you.
Coming up, the I‘ve got “Just One Question” segment. It‘s happened again. This time a 27-year-old elementary teacher charged with statutory rape, accused of having sex with a 13-year-old boy at her school. Are more teachers—female teachers having sex with their male students or are we just hearing about it...
ABRAMS: We‘re back now with our “Just One Question” segment. We lay out today‘s legal stories and ask our guest just one question about each. Back with us is attorney Gloria Allred.
All right. Number one: A 27-year-old Tennessee teacher allegedly had sex with one of her 13-year-old students. Pamela Joan Turner was a gym instructor at an elementary school. She‘s charged with 13 counts of statutory rape and 15 counts of sexual battery for encounters with the child, which allegedly occurred at school and in the boy‘s home. Two teachers in Texas, one female, one male are also alleged to have had relationships with 16 and 17-year-old students, that‘s in addition to all the other stories we‘ve heard about as of late. So one question, are incidents of female teachers having sex with students on the rise or are we just hearing about them more now?
ALLRED: I think we‘re hearing more about them now, Dan. Kind of like Groundhog Day, though. It seems as though almost every time we are hearing about them, we are seeing a young woman, blond hair...
ALLRED: ... nice looking...
ALLRED: ... and she‘s the one who is charged.
ABRAMS: All right. Issue two: Former member of the Boston mob run by gangster James “Whitey” Bulger is out of prison. Dennis J. Kelly was under heavy protection while he served his five-year sentence because he cooperated with the government to help them prosecute a bunch of other mobsters and corrupt law enforcement officers. Now that he‘s a free man who‘s presumably in danger of retaliation by those he ratted out, the government offered him a new life in the witness protection program. Kelly said no, doesn‘t want it. So one question. He‘s rejected the government‘s offer to take part in the witness protection program. Will he get any more protection from the Boston police than might another citizen?
ALLRED: My guess is if he needs it, that is if something happens, they will respond. But if he is returning to an area that those in the witness protection program say that they believe is not safe for him, then, I think he probably is proceeding mostly at his own risk and will not get more protection than anyone else nor will he get less.
ABRAMS: Issue three: In an interview to be aired later this week on ABC, ‘80‘s child star Corey Feldman comes out expressing concern about his childhood friendship with Michael Jackson. He says—quote—“I started looking at each piece of information and with that came the sickening realization there may have been many occurrences in my life and in my relationship to Michael that have created a question of doubt.
Corey Feldman‘s attorney told us his client has been subpoenaed and gagged by the court and that he has a court date to find out if he has to testify in the case. So one question. Is his testimony likely to be admissible in that trial? Now Gloria, just give us the legal analysis here, not the personal opinion about Michael Jackson‘s guilt or innocence, but the legal analysis.
ALLRED: You got it. OK, well we have a statute in California, Dan, which would allow the judge to admit evidence of other alleged victims—and I don‘t know if he is one—of a person charged with child molestation if the court believes and finds that it‘s in the interest of justice to allow such testimony. So, the court will be having a hearing to decide, for example, whether the person who alleges that he was a victim in ‘93 of Michael Jackson, whether his testimony should be admitted, perhaps also as to whether Corey Feldman‘s testimony should be admitted.
It‘s discretionary with the judge. That means he can decide to admit it or not. It will be very damaging for the defense. If the ‘93 victim‘s testimony comes in, I‘m sure the defense will fight it, and we‘ll have to see what the court decides.
ABRAMS: Gloria Allred thanks a lot. Good to see you.
ALLRED: You too Dan. Thank you.
ABRAMS: Coming up, some people may think as a result of Janet Jackson, new proposed FCC fines are a good thing. I say it‘s just big brother government and more political correctness. It‘s my “Closing Argument”, coming up.
ABRAMS: Coming up, a big victory for politically correct folk who like big government. Key congressional committee votes to raise FCC indecency fines big time. It‘s my “Closing Argument”...
ABRAMS: My “Closing Argument” - those in favor of politically correct legislation and big government won a big victory in Washington today. The House Commerce Committee approved a new bill, which would up the ante for broadcasters. They violate the FCC‘s indecency‘s rules. Talk about rapid inflation, the current maximum fine is $32,500. The new fine is up to half a million.
And it would be levied not only against the stations that air indecent material, but also against the actual individuals who commit the indecency. So, TV and radio personalities would have to pay an additional half a million dollars, for example, like Howard Stern. I complained to you all last week that the increased FCC enforcements and threats is leading to absurd results like pulling the movie “Saving Private Ryan” off the air and leading the networks to think twice about showing certain Olympic sports because of the limited attire.
Now the FCC‘s post nipple gate enforcement spree, which resulted in $8 million in fines for broadcasters is going to become law I‘m sure. So that means small time local radio stations could lose their licenses for some little mistakes. Sure, it‘s politically correct these days to say increase the fines. Increase the fines.
History is full of examples where Congress legislates just because it is the trendy, politically expedient thing to do. I understand we aren‘t over Ms. Jackson‘s nasty expose, but this is overkill. It‘s not just about cleaning up the airwaves. It‘s about inviting big brother into our lives just because the political pendulum has temporarily moved.
Up next, it wasn‘t a surprise birthday party but one alleged Arkansas drug dealer was sure surprised to see police show up at her niece‘s birthday party. Our “OH PLEAs!” is coming up in 60 seconds.
ABRAMS: I‘ve had my say, now it‘s time for “Your Rebuttal”. Last night my “Closing Argument”, the Virginia House of Delegates passing a law that makes it illegal to wear low riding pants and expose your underwear. And anyone intentionally exposing their underwear in a lewd or indecent manner will have to pay a $50 fine if the law passes. I said the state‘s electives—representatives even spending time debating that law is ridiculous.
From Texas, Kelly Pickard. “Come on Dan, surely you have to admit seeing especially the boys wearing their pants half way down their rear-ends is appalling. If one of these expressing themselves teens came to you wanting a job looking like that, would you hire them?”
Kelly, I might not hire them, but that has nothing to do with whether it should be a state law. You want Virginia legislators telling you how to wear your clothes?
Linda Swain in Virginia. “It‘s really pretty offensive to have to be exposed to all of these rear-ends constantly, wherever you go, and I‘m not in any way prudish, but enough is enough.”
Rosyln G., though, in Georgia with some advice. “The Virginia legislature may regret punishing those who wear—whose underwear show. The result may be no underwear at all.”
From Ohio, Stephanie Patterson. “This new law is ridiculous. I for one am very thin and quite honestly don‘t have hips or rear to keep my pants up.”
Robert Grote in Colorado. “A person could walk down the road with nothing on but a Speedo and flip-flops, but if their underwear is showing they‘re going to jail. Where do they dig these idiots up?”
It‘s not a jail fine, but still I hear you. It‘s not jail time. It is a fine.
We also had a debate about whether so-called psychic detectives can really help solve crimes. Marc Wallis from Texas, “Wouldn‘t a veteran police detective who has worked multiple cases with a psychic know whether he‘s getting information that is not just guessing? I think so.”
Not necessarily Marc. I think some detectives will do whatever they can. Sometime the psychics might guess right and as I said, who knows?
Then there‘s Gerry Nadler from Florida who says an operation has enabled him to have supernatural powers. “Just like a crystal silicon transistor enables energy frequencies to be amplified, calcium crystals work in the brain the same way. I can, among lots of other things, pick lottery numbers and consistently get the range of the winning numbers and I can prove it. With my still growing abilities, I‘m sure one day soon I‘ll get all six numbers in a row.” I am sure you will, Gerry. Give us a call when you get all six numbers.
Your e-mails email@example.com. We go through them at the end of the show.
“OH PLEAs!”—the Shannon Hill Arkansas Police Department crashed a birthday party at one of the most popular residents in town, and it wasn‘t because they didn‘t get an invitation. The police had been gathering evidence for weeks sending undercover officers to 21-year-old Elizabeth Leah Sauls‘ house to purchase marijuana. The cops raided the house as she hosted a birthday party for her 2-year-old niece.
The police arrived armed with weapons, but they should have brought a dispatcher along. In the brief time the police were there, Sauls received 35 incoming phone calls. These weren‘t RSVPs. They were orders for pot. Police Chief Richard Friend stated we barely had time to conduct interviews because the phone kept ringing with people wanting to buy narcotics. Sauls was arrested on drug charges, released on bond. Hope the birthday party‘s guests didn‘t find any special brownies in their (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
That does it for us tonight. Coming up next, “HARDBALL” with Chris Matthews. Thanks for watching. See you tomorrow.
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