CNN CONNIE CHUNG TONIGHT
Abducted Infant Returned Safely to Parents; Jehovah's Witnesses Caught in Church Scandal
Aired August 14, 2002 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: Another kidnapping resolved. An abducted infant is safely back with her parents.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We do have a suspect in custody.
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ANNOUNCER: The incident that unfolded on surveillance tape. The statewide search that worked to find another child missing in America.
Why are some kidnapping cases more high profile than others?
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody knows about Elizabeth Smart, everybody, and I don't think it's fair. Give her's -- give ours just as much air time as you give her.
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ANNOUNCER: We'll ask one mom who's lived the nightmare, and turned her sorrow into a crusade.
Another alleged Church scandal. This time the Jehovah's Witnesses.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was molested repeatedly throughout a two- year period.
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ANNOUNCER: Two women claim that they are among the thousands who say the Jehovah's Witnesses turned their backs on them.
Martha's mess gets messier. Tonight, a look at the stockbroker's assistant, now caught in the midst of a possible insider trading scandal.
This is CONNIE CHUNG TONIGHT. Live from the CNN broadcast center in New York, Connie Chung.
CONNIE CHUNG, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone. We're going to show you a picture that just says it all. Just moments ago, 1- month-old Nancy Crystal Chavez was reunited with her parents in Abilene, Texas.
She was kidnapped yesterday from a Wal-Mart parking lot, the abduction captured on a surveillance camera, and little Nancy was recovered more than 100 miles from home.
The police have a suspect in custody. CNN's Ed Lavandera is on the story tonight in Abilene. Ed, I have to tell you, when I saw the parents talking, I just -- I wanted to cry myself. Honestly, they were saying God bless America and they were thanking everyone that they could think of. It was just a wonderful reunion.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Connie. You weren't the only one crying. Just speaking with one officer here, and as the baby was walked into the room and her parents were there, one of the officers just told me a moment ago that he wasn't sure if he should be crying. He looked over at the police chief here and the police chief was crying as well.
So it was kind of a signal to everyone here in the law enforcement ranks that perhaps it was OK to shed a little tear. Those images, there's nothing we can say over these words. So you could just look at that and imagine if you're a parent what it must be like to experience what this poor family has experienced over the course of the last 24 hours.
This reunion taking place here just a short while ago. They're upstairs speaking with reporters, expressing their thoughts and their gratefulness to everyone who has helped out. So many people who have expressed their sorrow and their heartfelt happiness. Now, at this point, which is the good part of this story, Nancy's father Salvador saying that there were so many people who came up to him, giving him hugs, and there were so many people that he still doesn't know who, all the people who were hugging him over the last day.
Now the suspect that they have is Paula Lynn Roach, who is now in the process of being brought back here to Abilene. She's been charged with aggravated kidnapping. She'll be held on $200,000 bond. Her story, as they continue to speak with her, investigators continue to question her, and her story is trying -- they're trying to pan it out, but at this point it looks like Paula Lynn Roach was someone who was trying to fulfill a desperate need.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She said she had this void that she was trying to fill. This was kind of an opportunistic crime.
LAVANDERA: I'm sorry, Connie. The family here now finishing up the press conference. There are a lot of people who've come here to the law enforcement center and applauded as the family arrived here. And now the investigation continues. One thing that law enforcement sources have pointed out to us was that when Paula Lynn Roach was pulled over in Quanah, the town about 120 miles or so north/northeast of here in Abilene, that she had been pulled over by officers.
Some people in that town had passed along information to authorities that she might be, and the baby might be in that area. When the officers pulled over the woman and they started questioning her as who the baby was, police say that she told them that she had just had the baby a day ago, and she was just coming home.
We're also told that the suspect's mother was also in the car with her. Now, of course when the officer was told that the baby was just a day old and the officer looked at that 1-month-old baby, clearly the woman knew that something was wrong.
(voice-over): The abduction of 1-month-old Nancy Chavez unfolded before a Wal-Mart parking lot surveillance camera, the grainy view capturing the horrifying moment. Police say the highlighted car was driven by 24-year-old Paula Lynn Roach. The car circled the parking lot several times. Police suspect Roach was hunting for an unsuspecting target.
That target turned out to be Margarita Chavez and 1-month-old Nancy. Margarita had just loaded Nancy and her two other children into a minivan. She turned away just a few seconds to return a shopping cart. In an instant a parent's worst fear came to life. The surveillance camera showing the quick getaway. One of her three children now gone.
SALVADOR CHAVEZ, BABY'S FATHER: I want please for this person to return my child, because no one is going to be as important to -- no one is going to be as important as she is to me and to her mom. So please, return my child.
LAVANDERA: Warnings of the abduction fanned out across the state. Descriptions of the suspect quickly spread, as well. Then around 9:00 a.m. this morning, a tip that the baby and her alleged abductor were driving around the small Texas panhandle town of Quanah. Footprint analysis proved the baby was Nancy Chavez. Authorities more than 100 miles away e-mailed a picture of the little girl to anxious family members and investigators, an image that proved everything would be OK, that little Nancy Chavez was safe in comforting arms.
SGT. KIM VICKERS, ABILENE POLICE: I was there when our chief of police explained to them that we had found -- her daughter had been found, and I think everybody's just very excited and very happy, and grateful that prayers were answered, and that she has been found.
LAVANDERA: One of the things that officers here have been stressing was that Nancy Chavez's mother, Margarita, was, when she showed up at that Wal-Mart, she had pulled in and had just turned away for a few seconds, hadn't walked very far away from the car at all. And it was just another sign and a reminder to parents that something like this can happen extremely quickly and basically in a blink of an eye.
So they stress that if there's a lesson to be learned here today, that it is a reminder of how quickly something this terrible can actually happen -- Connie.
CHUNG: Ed, it is just impossible to imagine. I mean, she was doing something that all of us do. We're supposed to return our shopping carts, and that's what she was doing. In those few seconds, and a few feet, this horrible, horrible tragedy had occurred. But it turns into a wonderful story.
All right. Let's move on. One of the police officers involved in the search and the investigation today is police Sergeant Kim Vickers, who joins us now from Abilene. Sergeant Vickers, can you hear me?
VICKERS: Yes, I can.
CHUNG: Good. Sergeant, tell us, I think we can tell by the beautiful pictures of the baby that she's OK. But is she in good health?
VICKERS: She's in wonderful health. We had her checked out at a hospital not long after she was -- we gained custody of her. And she's in wonderful condition, wonderful shape. And we're just as happy as we can be that this has turned out the way that it has.
CHUNG: Absolutely. Were you there when the baby was reunited with the parents, and can you tell us about it?
VICKERS: Very touching. I was with the parents when the chief went to them and told them that we had found their baby, and that we would be returning her to them. And I thought that was a pretty touching moment. There were a lot of tears shed there. But it had no impact at all compared to what it was like when the baby was actually put into their arms and the rest of the family was surrounding them and we saw that reunion.
CHUNG: You know, when the mother was talking, Margarita Chavez, one of the things that struck me is that she immediately wanted to thank that 13-year-old boy who tried to punch in one of the windows of the car, the abductor's car. And she said he was the first to try and save her child.
VICKERS: You know, it was pretty amazing. When I first saw this young man, I had no idea he was 13. He's fairly large for his age. But for a 13-year-old to take the initiative, when he saw what was happening and heard the screaming, to run into that situation, and he tried his best to get the suspect to stop, to the point of where he was striking the window of the car with his fist, and the windshield of the car with his fist. But she was just not going to be stopped. But, we're very proud of him and the actions that he took. And I think it was a very heroic effort on his part.
CHUNG: It was, indeed. Sgt. Vickers, I know that the mom was dragged something like 30, 40 feet. And watching her at the news conference, she had some lacerations on her face. Was that from the incident?
VICKERS: Yes, it was. When she first turned around and observed the woman taking the baby from her van, she immediately began to yell at the woman and started chasing her. She managed to catch up to the suspect's car about the time it started to pull away, and the mother grabbed onto the car and was literally drug for 30 to 40 feet by the car before she finally had to let go.
She did receive some fairly significant abrasions and lacerations, even up to her facial area, where she was trying so desperately to try to keep this woman from taking her child.
CHUNG: You know, this family's obviously so generous. When the mother was asked if she had any words for the suspect, she said, I would want God to bless her and to help her.
VICKERS: You know, I've been around this family some, and I've seen that type of emotion and that type of caring, even for someone that's hurt you. I've seen that with them ever since this happened. And I've been very touched, very blessed and very impressed with their ability to maintain a very calm demeanor, even though they were worried to death, and a constant prayer to God that they were able to get their daughter back, and that sense of forgiveness that they were able to maintain.
CHUNG: Sergeant Vickers, you may not know about all of these details because it's not in your jurisdiction. It was -- the rescue was about more than 100 miles away. But what we are told, and I just want to know if you have this kind of information, as well, confirmed, and that is that alert nursing home employees at the place where the suspect's mother worked were the ones who had notified the police, because they thought something was strange.
The suspect had come into the nursing home to see her mother, who works there, and apparently said that this baby was her baby and had just been born a day ago. And yet they noticed that the baby had pierced ears, and they also noticed that the baby had a recovered naval and couldn't possibly have been born just the day before. Do you know anything more that you can tell us?
VICKERS: I know that that's pretty accurate. I do not know exactly where the information came from as far as like a tip. I have not had access to that information as of this time. I do know that there were people there that noticed that this wasn't right and that there were inconsistencies there.
And I would like to think that the fact that we had the help of the media, and of all the agencies that have jumped in here and helped, and of the Amber Alert system that helped put this out all over the state, that these people were able to put the two pieces together. And, I mean, it's one thing to understand this doesn't make a lot of sense. But it's another to know that you've got a baby that's been kidnapped within a couple of hundred miles of your home, and then you see this baby appear kind of unexpectedly and without good explanation. I think that you put those two together, and it made this work the way it did.
CHUNG: Sgt. Vickers...
VICKERS: So, it worked real well.
CHUNG: Sgt. Vickers, just in 15 seconds, can you tell us what part Amber Alert did play in this? Do you know, or do you think it was a combination of people helping?
VICKERS: I think it was a combination. It was some good police work by the sheriff's department up there. But this type of offense, you've got to get information out as soon as possible. That's one thing that really helped make this case. And the Amber Alert system does that. It helps us to get that information out as soon as possible.
CHUNG: All right. Thank you so much, Sgt. Kim Vickers. We appreciate your being with us.
VICKERS: Thank you very much.
CHUNG: Now, what kind of man or sometimes woman steals someone else's child? A handful of people have made it their life's work to understand child kidnappers. Pat Brown, CEO of the Sexual Homicide Exchange, is one of them, and she joins us tonight from Washington. Thank you, Pat. We always appreciate it when you can help us out at these times.
Pat, just the last two kidnappings that we've reported involved women abductors, or suspected women abductors. Now, we would assume, as novices, that women would take a child because they wanted to mother that child, but a man would do it to molest that child. Is it any more than what I've just said, or is that basically the difference between a male and a female abductor?
PAT BROWN, CEO, SEXUAL HOMICIDE EXCHANGE: Well, that's kind of the surface of it. Women take children because -- it was interesting that the suspect said she wanted to fill a void. But the void is not necessarily so much the child itself, but the attention that you get from having a child. And that is the kind of thing all these abductions are about for men or for women. It's about power and control, and about being somebody in the world.
For men, a lot of power and control comes from, you know -- it's not the same thing as women. They like to grab a hold of power. They want to be strong. They want to be respected as men of the world. So, a lot of these guys who grab children are kind of losers, and they aren't getting respected on their jobs and they're failing in life and women aren't going out with them on dates. So, when they grab a child, they get to control that child for the moment and take away somebody's prize. And that's the kick they get. And that's why these children are usually killed.
For women, it's very different. Women get their kicks through the children. I mean, we may think we're feminists in society, and it has moved along a lot. But still, women get a lot of gratification through children and their place in society as mothers. So when you don't have a child, if you think I could get a hold of a child and people will pay attention to me, then I'll be somebody important. So they rarely kill the children when they kidnap them because they want the child with them so they can get the praise and the glory.
CHUNG: Now, a lot of these so-called suspects, at this point, certainly are still suspects. And we just want to make that clear, that no one in these recent cases has been convicted. But which do you think is more likely to harm the child, a woman or a man?
BROWN: Oh, definitely the man, yes. Because as I said, women -- well, this depends on the situation. When a woman kidnaps a child that's not hers, she's trying to get attention, so she'll want to keep that child around. Many times, women will kill their own children. That's called Munchausen Syndrome by proxy. And they do this because that gets them the attention. In other words, women get a lot of attention from birth. Women get a lot of attention from death. So, either one can do something for women.
But for a male, when he actually kidnaps, he doesn't get a lot of -- society doesn't give him a lot of credit if he has a child with him. They don't say, "oh, wow, you have a child." That's not something he tends to get. So for him, it's the moment of the capture of the child and the taking of the prize of society. So, that child probably is usually dead within hours.
CHUNG: Now, the previous case that we had reported just yesterday involved a little Los Angeles girl. And the person who is suspected of taking her, took her, in fact, this little girl, 4-year- old girl, to a medical clinic. And it was quite strange. Is that -- isn't that unusual, or is that what you would expect from someone who might be an abductor?
BROWN: Well, Connie, it's kind of interesting because Munchausen Syndrome by proxy, which is where women make their children sick or kill them, they tend to love the medical profession. They like to be around doctors because you get a lot of attention from doctors and hospitals as well. So, here again, you have a woman taking a child to a place, and the people go, "oh, this is your child, what's wrong? You're such a wonderful mother, you've brought this child in." You get a lot of attention. So it's actually not as strange as one would think.
CHUNG: All right. Pat, I just have one just quick question if you can just give me, you know, a 15-second answer. The characteristics of these types of kidnappers?
BROWN: The women kidnappers?
CHUNG: Either one.
BROWN: Well, both women and men are usually not doing real well in life. They haven't achieved a lot. They feel like they've been left behind, that nobody respects them, that everyone has done them wrong. And they -- essentially, we call them losers. But these are losers with a history of losing and they've just gotten to a point where they finally want their place in the sun and this is the way of doing it.
CHUNG: All right, Pat Brown, thank you so much. We appreciate your being with us.
BROWN: My pleasure.
CHUNG: When we come back, why do some missing kids become national obsessions while most of them you never hear about? Stay with us.
CHUNG: Thousands of children go missing every year. Some are runaways, some are custody battles, and a comparative handful are kidnapped by strangers. But why do we hear so much about some cases, and nothing about others? We asked CNN's David Mattingly to come up with some answers.
ED SMART, ELIZABETH SMART'S FATHER: We still feel confident that it is going to be through the eyes and ears that we find Elizabeth.
DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In June, the disappearance of Elizabeth Smart became the story of the summer, with daily continuing coverage by most national news outlets, calling the case, and rightly so, every parent's nightmare.
But in the weeks and months before it became the nightmare of the Smart family, it was also the nightmare of the parents of 7-year-old Alexis Patterson, who vanished after leaving for school in Milwaukee, and the parents of Wesley Dale Morgan, the 2-year-old last seen playing with puppies in his front yard in Clinton, Louisiana. Two cases of missing children receiving substantially less national attention.
LARON BOURGEOIS, ALEXIS' STEPFATHER: Everybody knows about Elizabeth Smart. Everybody. And I don't think it's fair. Give ours just as much airtime as you give her, everywhere. I mean, these kids are helpless. What can they do? What can they do?
MATTINGLY: Some experts suggest the amount of national attention actually depends on the missing child's parents.
AL CROSS, PRESIDENT, SOCIETY OF PROFESSIONAL JOURNALISTS: It has a lot to do with how media savvy they are and how willing they are to put themselves before the media.
MATTINGLY: But once in front of the media, a family's home life and economic status comes into play as well, factors that can make it more difficult for a mass audience to relate to the story.
KELLY MCBRIDE, POYNTER INSTITUTE: If a child lives in a very urban setting or a housing project, then it's not every parent's worst nightmare.
MATTINGLY: If this is true, then it could have been Elizabeth Smart's abduction in the night from a picture perfect neighborhood and a seemingly secure home that made her story so compelling to so many people. But what also made it attractive, according to many experts, is the story's simplicity.
CROSS: The simpler the story can be told, and the more appealing it is to basic emotions, without any complicating factors, the more attractive it probably is.
MATTINGLY: By comparison, the equally tragic story of the disappearance of Alexis Patterson may have appeared less compelling. In part, by her stepfather's past involvement in a bank robbery.
BOURGEOIS: My criminal background has nothing to do with what's happening with this baby. I haven't been in trouble since '89. So what -- my criminal background is irrelevant.
MATTINGLY: Suspicions can complicate a story as well. Wesley Dale Morgan has been missing more than a year in spite of intense local searches.
DET. JOEL ODOM: The state police and helicopters, when we started off with ground crews, and ATVs. We started searching the wooded areas behind the house.
MATTINGLY: The story went beyond the simple tragic mystery of a missing 2-year-old boy. Investigators now question the mother's story. The boyfriend she was living with at the time is also currently in jail, in connection with a shooting, complicating factors on top of a terrible crime. In the case of a missing child, possibly the difference between a national headline and national obscurity.
David Mattingly, CNN.
CHUNG: Few parents have been as successful at capturing public attention for their case and their cause as Maureen Kanka. When a neighbor kidnapped, raped and killed her 7-year-old daughter, Megan Nicole Kanka, in 1994, Maureen launched a crusade. Megan's killer, Jesse Tomendiqua (ph), was a convicted pedophile, but none of his neighbors had known that. So Maureen fought for Megan's Law, requiring registration and notification of the release of sex offenders into their communities. Such laws are now in place in every state in the country.
Maureen Kanka joins me now from Hamilton Township, New Jersey. Maureen, thank you. Tell me, take us back to that morning in July 1994. Megan went out your door, and you knew where she was going. After all, you knew you lived in a safe neighborhood. What happened?
MAUREEN KANKA, VICE PRESIDENT, MEGAN NICOLE KANKA FOUNDATION: Megan had gone over across the street to get a girlfriend to come out and play. And her girlfriend wasn't home. And a neighbor who lived next door to the house invited her in to see his puppy dog. He raped her, strangled her, sodomized her and suffocated her. We had learned in a 23-hour period that Megan had been brutally raped and murdered, and that it was by a neighbor.
CHUNG: And did you know, and I know you later found out, that he was a convicted pedophile?
KANKA: Absolutely not. We also learned at that time that not only was he a convicted pedophile, but two other men that lived in the house were also convicted pedophiles.
CHUNG: Shocking. And you still live in the same house?
KANKA: I do. I do.
CHUNG: How can you?
KANKA: It was -- you know, it's a real horrid -- it's a very horrid thing to understand. You're kind of torn. All my memories of Megan are here. She was 7 1/2 years old. So, all of my memories of her are in this house.
On the other hand, you know, we have a beautiful park across the street that replaced the house that used to be there where she was murdered, which is nice. But it's still there. You know, it will always be there. So it's kind of a love/hate relationship. I'm glad we're here. But at times, it's very difficult. I guess it all came down to not letting him take more from us than he already had.
CHUNG: You -- you just did an incredible job, and you went out and you formulated an entire sort of mission for yourself. You succeeded in getting Megan's Law passed in New Jersey, and all the other states picked up on it. Now, what pedophiles, convicted pedophiles, have to do is actually register and notify that they are out back in the public again. As a concerned parent, do I need to go and seek out this list of pedophiles?
KANKA: Well, it all depends, you know, where you're living. Anyone in the state of New Jersey can go online and they can check the list of sex offenders by county, you know, to see. But people have to be aware that in our state, it's a growing site. So, there's not as many offenders that will be on the site are not on there currently because it's a day-to-day process with putting them on.
CHUNG: You've spent years trying to teach parents and children about the dangers of these potential abductors. And yet, your own son did something that really kind of surprised me after Megan was killed.
KANKA: Yes. I took my son food shopping and he was buying some gumballs out of the machine. And an old man came in and offered him candy, and he took it. I was flabbergasted. My son lost his sister. He understood she was dead. I don't think he fully understood the rape, at that time, what that was, but he knew that she had been murdered. And here he was taking candy. And I pulled him aside, I was very upset in the store, and I said why did you do that? And he said, Mom, what's the big deal? He reminded me of grandpa.
KANKA: And it made me realize -- it made me realize that, you know, our children, when they see somebody old and elderly, they think of their grandparents. It's the stereotype. And it's -- here you have a boy whose sister was murdered, raped and murdered, and he's accepting candy. Talk about innocence.
And that was a real eye-opener and a realization that, you know, I had to do something. And I had to work very hard with my children, and I knew that there were many other children out there like Jeremy. And that's why we go and educate.
CHUNG: Now, Maureen, you really are the expert here. What should we tell our kids, then?
KANKA: I think it's imperative that, you know, we have -- and just as what we've seen with all of these abductions -- you know, we've had stranger and familiar abductions. Familiar abductions count for 80 percent of the abductions, and stranger-danger counts for 20 percent.
I think it's imperative that parents sit down and talk to their children about the dangers that are outside of our front door. We do not live in a society where it is safe out there anymore. And I think that that's the message parents should understand that, you know, we are such a caring society as a whole. And we like to think that everyone out there is on the up-and-up and they're all wonderful.
And there are people out there that prey on our children. And they look like you and I. That appearances can be deceiving. I educate parents and I tell them, nice people can do bad things. And just because someone's nice, it doesn't mean they're safe.
CHUNG: What about those who might consider it business as usual, because there seem to be one every day or one every week?
KANKA: Well, unfortunately, I think that that will happen, as well. You know, as sad as it is, there are always people out there that thinks that it happens to somebody else, that it won't happen to them, and I pray to God that it doesn't happen to their children. I hope that parents are wise enough to realize all the circumstances were different in each one of these cases.
And there are circumstances that can affect every one of us as parents and every one of our children. I hope parents wise up and really take a hard look at this and educate their kids.
CHUNG: All right, Maureen Kanka, thank you so much. And thank you for your guidance tonight.
KANKA: You're very welcome.
CHUNG: Still ahead, stirring a new ingredient into the Martha Stewart stew. Stay with us for a taste.
CHUNG: Most of us, I suspect, know the Jehovah's Witnesses only as the men and women who go door-to-door handing out literature about their faith. Jehovah's Witnesses are evangelical Christians, with about 1 million members here in the U.S. The movement was founded in the 1870s in Pennsylvania. Jehovah's Witnesses believe in the bible as the literal word of God. They do not allow blood transfusions, do not serve in the military or celebrate Christmas or birthdays.
Now, some members say that something awful is happening behind closed doors, a pattern of alleged child abuse that the religious organization has not only failed to report but, they say, has even helped to keep from the authorities.
Tonight we'll introduce you to two young women who say they've been victimized by a Jehovah's Witness member.
Joining us from Minneapolis to tell their stories in the first person are Heidi Meyer and Amber Long. Also joining us is a man who's tried to bring together alleged victims of abuse within the Jehovah's Witnesses. He's William Bowen, once an elder within the congregation who resigned his position two years ago in protest against the way the group deals with suspected abusers.
Welcome to all of you. Now, Heidi, you were 10 years old when you were first abused. What happened?
HEIDI MEYER, ALLEGEDLY ABUSED BY JEHOVAH'S WITNESS: The man who abused me...
CHUNG: Was a Jehovah's Witness?
MEYER: He was a Jehovah's Witness in my congregation. His name is Derrick Lindelah (ph). He was a friend of the family. He was friends with my brother and I was friends with his younger sisters, and whenever the opportunity arose or whenever he created an opportunity, he would pull me aside and molest me any chance he got.
CHUNG: How long did this go on, Heidi?
MEYER: Until -- into my 13th year. Just after I turned 13.
CHUNG: All right. And you reported this to the elders in the Jehovah's Witnesses. And what happened?
MEYER: When I was 15, I went to the elders with this, as we're instructed as Jehovah's Witnesses to do. And I spoke to them in the hopes of discontinuing this problem, and that they would step in and take care of this person.
CHUNG: Did they?
MEYER: No, they did not. They not only said that they thought I had misinterpreted his actions, but they also told me that I needed to be careful who I spoke to about this and what I said about this, because without two eyewitnesses to the situation, I could be faced with a judicial committee for gossip or slander.
CHUNG: Basically, do you think they were trying to tell you not to go to the police? MEYER: Absolutely. They said to go to the police and bring this matter to court would be a reproach on God's name and God's organization.
CHUNG: So you kept quiet.
MEYER: Absolutely. Under threat of -- under threat of excommunication.
CHUNG: Yes, from the Jehovah's Witnesses. And your whole family, your whole family belonged, so it meant something to you to belong, as well.
MEYER: Absolutely. Not only my family, but as a Jehovah's Witness, you associate only with members in good standing. And that leaves you in a position where everybody you know, everybody you trust, everybody you've ever known or trusted, is somebody who's inside that organization.
The threat of being thrown out of that and shunned from them is one powerful enough that kept me quiet for a long, long time.
CHUNG: All right, we'll get back to you, Heidi, in a minute. Amber, you claim that you were molested by the same man when you were 12 years old. What happened to you?
AMBER LONG, ALLEGEDLY ABUSED BY JEHOVAH'S WITNESS: Correct. I was at his parent's home. I was friends with his younger sister. And I was molested there. After that visit I went home and told my parents immediately, and we also went to the elders, as is directed in that religion.
CHUNG: And what happened?
LONG: They, you know, insinuated that it was a misunderstanding, that maybe I was upset, told us to come back and talk about it later. When I still stuck to my story, they told us there was really nothing they could do, because there wasn't two eyewitnesses. And again there was that veiled threat of being excommunicated.
And all my life, growing up after that, they, you know, made insinuations to the fact that perhaps it was something that I had done that warranted the abuse.
CHUNG: All right. Amber, we'll get back to you in a minute.
Bill, you've gone so far as saying that you believe that the Jehovah's Witnesses is a pedophile paradise. You know, are you exaggerating? I know you've investigated, but I think one would believe that you might be exaggerating here.
WILLIAM BOWEN, DIRECTOR, SILENTLAMBS.ORG: I've spoken to over 5,000 victims of abuse either through e-mail or direct phone contact. I have an abuse hotline that rings into my home, and I get calls every day. All these people are abuse survivors that tell the same story as Amber and Heidi do. That is, that they went to the elders and they were suppressed, they were covered up.
It's a common thread. Yesterday I got a thread or an e-mail from a young girl, 15 years of age, she went to the elders, she said I am just like Heidi. And after seeing the recent media, I am angry that they would do this to me. And that's what most of these young ladies are. They're angry that they were abused and revictimized by the policies of this church.
CHUNG: Were you intimidated by the Jehovah's Witnesses?
MEYER: Absolutely. There is no option but to be intimidated. Your entire life revolves around your involvement in that organization. That is your entire life. And it's often referred to as such, in the organization. If you are ousted from that organization, it is a trauma in your life. There is an enormous upheaval. It is something that affects every single day of your life.
CHUNG: This is a statement from the Jehovah's Witnesses, and I'd like all of you to listen to it.
"We abhor the sexual abuse of children and will not protect any perpetrator from the consequences of this gross and perverse sin. We expect the elders to investigate every allegation of child abuse. Unrepentant wrongdoers are expelled from the congregation. Special care is taken to ensure the victims are given ongoing assistance and counsel that help them deal with the pain of the abuse. They should never be told by elders not to report their allegations to the authorities.
Amber, I can see you shaking your head.
LONG: I just -- that's just horrifying that they would write something like that. It's so untrue.
MEYER: You know, and it's a good practice on paper. But it's just not -- it's just not applied. In my situation, in Amber's situation, in countless numbers of situations across the nation, and into other countries, it's just not applied.
CHUNG: But why would they put out a statement like this which you claim is not correct?
BOWEN: That statement is a bald-faced lie, in my opinion. These people know the abuse has been covered up. Ten years ago, research was done in the organization that they knew multiple little girls were being molested. They were inundated with mail -- of "Awake" magazine that was written on this subject.
They refused to acknowledge it then, and the fact that it's went on this long, if they make any acceptance that there's a problem, then they admit they willfully have hurt children and not done anything about it.
Bill, you may very well be disfellowshipped (ph), which is essentially excommunicated from this congregation. And your father even made a video condemning you for your investigation of this sexual abuse problem. Doesn't that hurt?
BOWEN: Yes, it hurts deeply. And I don't hold it against him, because I know that he was intimidated just like these two young women were intimidated by the church to make that video, and have it distributed to the local media in this area...
CHUNG: Well, is it worth it to you to be ostracized by your own family?
BOWEN: You have to do what is ethically and morally right. And because people are pressured by religion to do what's ethically and morally wrong, that doesn't excuse that. And so, I'm compelled to go forward, to let these -- for these victims who have been victimized and revictimized by this church.
Many young women have been disfellowshipped when they tried to tell other members in the church that they were molested, simply because that they wanted -- the molester said that they didn't have two eyewitnesses when he raped these young women.
CHUNG: Heidi and Amber, what has happened to the member who you claim molested you?
MEYER: Absolutely nothing, to this day.
CHUNG: Is he a member in good standing?
MEYER: He is a member in good standing.
LONG: Yes, he is.
CHUNG: You -- both of you may very well be disfellowshipped. Are you prepared for that? And doesn't that mean that your family wouldn't talk to you anymore?
MEYER: Yes, it does mean that. But, you know, my parents raised me to be an independent thinker, a strong person, and someone who is just. And the evidence is so black and white in this situation, there is no alternative choice. There is no other avenue I could be taking with this.
CHUNG: Heidi, Amber, we so appreciate your being with us. And Bill, thank you as well.
And before we go, we should note that we spoke to the attorney for Derrick Lindelah, the man accused of molesting Heidi and Amber, and his lawyer told us that Lindelah would deny all accusations but that no formal answer has been filed yet in a civil suit brought by the two girls.
And still to come, the Martha Stewart pot boiler. What's cooking now?
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) CHUNG: Martha Stewart heating up again, and not in the kitchen. It's about her stock trades. This week, some unattributed reports reveal a new strategy Stewart may adopt. CNN's legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin explains.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST (voice-over): At first, the questions seemed simple enough. Last December 27, Martha Stewart sold 4,000 shares of stock in the drugmaker ImClone. The next day, the stock plunged. Did she make an illegal insider trade?
So far, the answers don't look simple at all. And they may come in a courtroom drama with a cast to rival any soap opera. There's Stewart's friend, Sam Waksal, the founder of ImClone. He's already facing insider trading charges. Will he turn on Martha?
SAM WAKSAL, FOUNDER, IMCLONE: I respectfully decline to answer.
TOOBIN: There's her high society stockbroker, Peter Bacanovic of Merrill Lynch. Did he tip off Martha? And perhaps the most compelling character of all, Douglas Faneuil, Bacanovic's 26-year-old assistant. The "New York Daily News" says Bacanovic's team is planning to pin the blame for the whole fiasco on this rookie. Could he have really done it, and alone? Stewart herself has said nothing except for her memorable appearance last month on the "CBS Early Show."
MARTHA STEWART, MARTHA STEWART LIVING OMNIMEDIA: I have nothing to say on the matter. I'm really not at liberty to say.
TOOBIN: Her next appearance, minus that head of cabbage, may be before a congressional committee.
CHUNG: And Jeffrey is with us now. She has declined to voluntarily come before the committee, correct?
CHUNG: Now, if she is subpoenaed, what do you think she's going to do?
TOOBIN: Boy, that is such a hard question. Her lawyers are working overtime on that because she has two choices. She can go in and testify. But if she does, she's violating what every defense attorney wants to do, which is don't say anything, don't answer the questions, don't give prosecutors more ammunition. If you're under investigation, the first rule of criminal defense is, don't say anything more.
The alternative, though, is taking the Fifth. And how can Martha Stewart take the Fifth? Can she walk up there and say I decline to answer on the grounds that it may incriminate me? She's a public figure. She's got a board of directors. She has customers in all sorts of industries. Can she take the Fifth and still function? It's a really hard question.
CHUNG: All right. How about this "New York Daily News" report? You know, if the broker and Martha Stewart are going to blame the assistant, I'm sorry, is that gutless or what?
TOOBIN: Well, you know, what you have to worry about here is there is a little bit of a lynch mob mentality around Martha at this point. And it is far from clear to me, based on what's public, that she has committed any crime at all and that, you know, she has to blame anybody for anything. But the question is, what did she know and when did she know it?
CHUNG: Whether she has to blame anyone?
TOOBIN: Exactly. Because if she didn't -- if this stock trade was legal, as it may well have been, it doesn't matter what anyone else says. But she is accused of using inside information. But did she really have the information? Not clear. Is what information she had illegal inside information? That's not clear either. So I think people need to slow down a little bit before all the blame game starts when there may not be blame for anybody.
CHUNG: I interrupted you right in the middle. But you were saying, the question is, what she knew when she sold the stock?
TOOBIN: Right. See, you know, what she did was she sold stock when her stockbroker told her to sell. Well that's what stockbrokers do.
TOOBIN: So, that in and of itself, there's nothing wrong with that. The question is, was anything communicated to her from Sam Waksal, her friend, from the stockbroker, Bacanovic, or from the younger guy, Faneuil? Did any of them tell inside information that she knew to be inside information? That's not clear. No one has said that yet. And it's not insider trading unless you know that you have information you shouldn't have.
CHUNG: So, the government needs to get the testimony of all of these individuals? And -- but how do you know that they aren't lying?
TOOBIN: Well, that's the question. And, you know, one of the things they often do is they promise leniency. It's been widely reported, for example, that Sam Waksal, before he was indicted, was engaged in plea negotiations with the government.
TOOBIN: And the question that always goes on, I did it all the time when I was a prosecutor, well what are you going to give us? What are you going to tell us if you plead guilty? Defense lawyers say, well, of course he's lying. He's lying to get leniency. So, the question of what cooperators say and whether it's truthful, it's at the heart of many white-collar cases. And if this is a case at all, it will certainly be at the heart of this one. CHUNG: All right. Jeffrey Toobin, thank you so much.
TOOBIN: More to come.
CHUNG: We'll be right back.
CHUNG: Tomorrow, a trip through time to the Elvis treasures. And coming up next on "LARRY KING LIVE," Pat Boone and his family.
Thank you for joining us. We're happy to have you every night, Monday through Friday. And for all of us at CNN, good night and we hope to see you tomorrow. Do come.
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Witnesses Caught in Church Scandal>