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Tampa Rape Victim Jailed for Prior Offense as Juvenile

Aired January 31, 2007 - 20:00:00   ET


NANCY GRACE, HOST: Tonight, a Florida woman calls Tampa police to report being dragged behind a building after a local parade and raped. Instead of helping the 21-year-old coed, a pre-med student, Tampa police handcuff the woman and throw the woman behind bars! Why? They say because of unpaid restitution, money she owed as a juvenile, money the rape victim owed as a teenager. Can you believe this? Here in America, a rape victim in jail? And guess what? It`s not the first time, people. It`s happened before in the Tampa-St. Pete area.
And investigators tonight widen the probe on Missouri child kidnapper 41-year-old Michael Devlin, now searching the house where Devlin lived nearly six years ago. Why? In connection with several other unsolved child kidnaps in the `80s and the murder of 7-year-old Dalton Mesarchik, 2003. Security so tight today, Devlin waives a court appearance, entering a not guilty plea by proxy.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`ve followed Shawn`s case since day one. And then after Dalton was murdered, I continued to follow Shawn`s case because I always wondered if there could be a connection.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There are so many missing children. I can`t say it was Devlin because I don`t know where he was at at that time. I`m letting the police do their job.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Watch your children. It`s just not a safe world for our kids anymore.


GRACE: Good evening, everybody. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us tonight. First to Tampa.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She was raped, and then she was raped again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The rape victim did not want to talk as she left jail. Police say on Saturday afternoon, the 21-year-old college student was raped as she was leaving the Gasparilla parade near downtown Tampa. The victim called police for help, and they took her to a clinic, where she was prescribed the morning-after pill. She took one of those pills and was then arrested after officers found out she had an outstanding warrant for failure to appear that related to a grand theft charge she got when she was 17 years old. Then while in jail, her mom says, she was victimized again when a nurse supervisor would not let her take the second morning-after pill the next day.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The supervisor said that the morning-after pill was against her, the supervisor`s, religion and refused to dispense it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She was raped, and then she was raped again.


GRACE: A rape victim there in the Tampa area thrown behind bars, and I want to clarify why. The rape victim apparently went and reported the rape. She had been to the doctor, had a rape kit, the whole thing. Then to help police locate where the rape had occurred -- you know what? Let`s go to Abbie Vansickle with "The St. Petersburg Times." You tell us how this unfolded, how a rape victim ended up behind bars.

ABBIE VANSICKLE, "ST. PETERSBURG TIMES": Well, she calls police about 3:30 in the afternoon and reported that she had been raped, and police took her for an examination. And after the examination, she went with police back to the crime scene. It was dark at that point. She was having some trouble locating it. They pulled her name up in their computer system as having an open warrant from the juvenile case, and they took her to jail.

GRACE: Abbie, it`s my understanding on the juvenile case that it dealt with a car, and she still owed restitution, although now it appears she may have actually paid off the restitution but it was never entered into the court docket. So they put the rape victim, who was allegedly dragged off behind the bushes and raped, behind bars.

VANSICKLE: Yes. She was in jail from Saturday night until she was released Monday afternoon.

GRACE: Now, what can you tell me about this alleged morning-after pill?

VANSICKLE: Well, I`ve spoken with the attorney for the nurse involved and the attorney for the girl involved in the case, and it`s a little bit unclear as to what happened. But the woman -- when she reported the rape, she took the first dose of the Plan B pill. And in order for it to work correctly, she should have taken a second pill 12 hours later, and she did not get that pill at the jail on Sunday morning, as she should have. And she took it on Monday afternoon, which was long after the 12-hour window.

Why she didn`t get it is unclear. The attorney for the girl has said that a nurse told her it was against her religion to give the pill. And an attorney for the nurse has said that the nurse was just following orders and that she did not have orders to give the pill.

GRACE: OK, so bottom line, now the girl has to be worried for the next two or three weeks to find out if she is now pregnant by the rapist.

Take a listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tampa police say they now regret arresting the rape victim. The attorney says the pre-med college student thought she had taken care of that old grand theft charge and was surprised it was still outstanding. As for the morning-after pill, it can be taken up to 72 hours after a rape, so she still has some time, but doctors say it becomes less effective the longer you wait.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The rape victim walked out of jail hiding her face with a paper bag. Her attorney says she`s also a victim of the system.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She was raped, and then she was raped again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The 21-year-old said that she was walking to her car near downtown Tampa from the Gasparilla parade on Saturday afternoon, a man raped her. She called police for help, and they arrested her on an outstanding theft warrant from four years ago.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The arresting officer called me, and she said, Oh, you know, I need to let you know what`s going on. Your daughter was raped at 2:00 o`clock this afternoon, but I`ve arrested her now and I have to take her down to county jail.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She was raped, and then she was raped again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Without your participation here, she would not be getting out. I`m convinced of that. And I want to thank each and every one of you.


GRACE: Out to Mike Brooks joining us, former cop and former fed with the FBI. Absolutely unacceptable that a rape victim -- and it`s not the first time, Mike Brooks. There was a similar incident just a couple of years ago in St. Pete, very close -- let`s see the map, Elizabeth -- to St. Petersburg-Tampa, where a rape victim was put behind bars, as well. I don`t know what`s going on down there!

MIKE BROOKS, FORMER D.C. POLICE, SERVED ON FBI TERRORISM TASK FORCE: Well, they did change the policy, Nancy, because the policy, the old policy...

GRACE: When? When?

BROOKS: They went and changed it on...

GRACE: In the last five minutes?

BROOKS: ... Tuesday, I believe. Yes. But no, I tell you what. It`s a matter of discretion. We`re not talking about...

GRACE: Discretion?

BROOKS: We`re not talking about a crime that she committed for armed robbery or something. Yes, they said it was a felony. OK. That -- you know, but still...

GRACE: Wa-wa-wa-wa-wa-wait! Wa-wa! Let me just clear something up, Mike. Number one, according to our sources, the woman, who was a juvenile at the time -- it involved a car, a car, like joyriding, like taking a car and joyriding.

BROOKS: Right. That`s what I`m saying. It...

GRACE: She paid the restitution as a juvenile. This was over! And if you`ll look at the statutes, in a lot of jurisdictions -- here`s a sketch of the alleged rapist. Please take a look. Black male, 20 to 30, 5-7 to 6 feet, medium build, dark-complected, short curly hair, crooked teeth, also very rough hands, no facial hair, wearing the color tan. And he was at the Gasparilla parade.

Back to you, Mike Brooks. If you look at the codes in many states, I don`t care what your crime was, you don`t get arrested and thrown behind bars on a technical pecuniary, which is a money infraction, like, you don`t pay your restitution. You don`t get thrown in jail in this country in many jurisdictions because you didn`t pay your restitution.

BROOKS: No, not at all, Nancy. She shouldn`t have been thrown in jail on this. If it was a matter...

GRACE: Ridiculous!

BROOKS: If it was a matter of this warrant not being cleared, then the police department, they have to answer to that. I`m sorry, you know, administrative error, that`s no excuse whatsoever. She was a victim. She was victimized twice. That`s the bottom line. And the police basically apologized, but it`s still -- you know, it still is horrible that it happened to this woman.

GRACE: Joining me right now, Lavinia Masters. She is a rape victim and sex abuse victim advocate. Lavinia, thank you for being with us. I did not understand the depth of the scarring on women rape victims until I prosecuted rape cases...


GRACE: ... and would go down to the emergency room and meet with them immediately after the incident. It`s something you live with the rest of your life.

MASTERS: Yes, it is.

GRACE: No more is your life ever going to be like it was before the rape.

MASTERS: Exactly.

GRACE: And to get thrown in jail by the police? I`m beside myself on this one, after having dealt with so many rape victims, to see what they go through, Lavinia!

MASTERS: Yes, exactly. First of all, my heart goes out to this victim because, like you said, she was victimized twice. But for them to throw her behind bars and she was just raped, before the crime was even solved and looked into, it is ludicrous.

GRACE: Take a listen to what the girl`s mother had to say.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The supervisor said that the morning-after pill was against her, the supervisor`s, religion, and would -- and refused to dispense it.

Knowing she`s a rape victim, it was against her religion. And my daughter was helpless, being incarcerated in the jail.

The arresting officer called me and she said, Oh, you know, I need to let you know what`s going on. Your daughter was raped at 2:00 o`clock this afternoon, but I`ve arrested her now and I have to take her down to county jail.


GRACE: Yes, that`s just what every mother wants to hear. And you know that photo we keep showing you, that we have blurred, so the rape -- the alleged rape victim`s photo isn`t spread all over TV? Well, guess what? It`s on the Internet. The department -- the police department, the sheriff`s department down in Florida have this woman on the Internet, this alleged rape victim, from her arrest the day of her rape. Oh, yes, they do!

Now, you know, it`s never a good thing, everybody -- take a look at this, Liz -- when your doctor comes at you with a set of these and some of these. It`s not good. This is part of a rape kit. The woman had to go to the hospital after the alleged rape, have pubic hair removed, fingernail scrapings. They pull your head hair out. They take vaginal/anal swabs with these. Your whole body is processed. Your whole body is combed with a comb for DNA. That`s what the woman had just -- photos are taken of your body. You have to recount the whole rape again to strangers. And then she gets arrested!

Let`s go out to the lines. Let`s go out to Mary in Illinois. Hi, Mary.


GRACE: How are you, dear? What`s your question?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just want to know what gives the authorities the right, just because they don`t believe in the pill, not to give that girl the pill?

GRACE: Oh, are you mad about that, too?


GRACE: Yes. I`m torn, Mary. I don`t know what to be more angry about, the lady now having to be concerned that she`s pregnant by this animal that raped her, or getting thrown in jail. I`m not sure which one is traumatizing her more tonight.

It was a simple thing. They made sure, didn`t they -- let`s go out to Vic Moore. This is the alleged rape victim`s lawyer. Vic, let`s break it down. Didn`t they make sure at the rape crisis -- I guess at the hospital, the rape crisis lady -- didn`t they give her this Plan B thing?


GRACE: She took it to the jail with her when she got booked for being a rape victim. She took one of the pills and had to take another one in, what, the next 12 hours?

MOORE: She had to take that pill at 7:00 AM the next day, which was Sunday morning.

GRACE: So now she`s got to be worried about being pregnant.

MOORE: That`s correct.

GRACE: Because they weren`t give her the pill.

MOORE: That`s right.

GRACE: OK. Why? Vic? Vic?


GRACE: Why? Why wouldn`t they give her the pill?

MOORE: Well, I can only say what was said to her, and that was that the supervisor would not give her the pill because it was against the religion of the supervisor.

GRACE: Take a listen to what police had to say.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The officers involved in this case did not violate any departmental policy, but just the fact that we had a policy in place that allowed a rape victim to go to jail brought it to the chief`s attention that our policy is flawed.

We obviously don`t want this to happen again, and so we have come up with this new policy that we believe will allow the shift commander to have enough discretion to make a decision that`s in the best interests of the victim and the department.


GRACE: Let`s unleash the lawyers. Joining us tonight, Renee Rockwell out of the Atlanta jurisdiction and Richard Herman out of New York. Let me tell you guys something. Listen to this. According to the AP, the St. Petersburg police policy was instituted in 2001 -- are you sitting down, first of all? You may need to lay down for this one -- after a detective jailed a rape victim wanted on a minor warrant over loose dogs. The rape victim, a single mother, was so traumatized, she had to be placed in the psychiatric ward at the Pinellas County jail.

Renee, have at it!

RENEE ROCKWELL, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Nancy, is it too much to ask somebody to think? You have a police officer -- and let me tell you something, Nancy. The officer could have gotten in trouble for having someone in the back of his car with a felony warrant that he may have just let go.

GRACE: Shouldn`t be a felony warrant.

ROCKWELL: But whatever he`s looking at, Nancy, he`s looking at a warrant. But is it too much to ask...

GRACE: He`s not looking at a warrant! He`s looking at a little computer screen that`s that big, in his police car.

ROCKWELL: What I`m saying, Nancy, I`m agreeing with you because you`ve got situations where you have a police officer -- can you just think about it? What do I do? Go to my supervisor. Maybe we shouldn`t do this right now.

GRACE: Well, apparently the female cop -- out to you, Mike Brooks -- the female cop that was driving the lady around, the rape victim around, did not want to make the arrest. She called her supervisor -- what is his name? What`s the supervisor`s name, the lieutenant in that case? Called the -- her boss, the lieutenant, and he insisted the arrest go down, Mike.

BROOKS: I`m telling you, bad call on the lieutenant, probably the watch commander. But she tried. She did what she could, and you know, tried to have some compassion for this victim. But the lieutenant -- I don`t think the lieutenant used good judgment at all in this particular case, Nancy.

GRACE: Hold on. Lieutenant Roger Amick (ph), is that correct, Elizabeth? Lieutenant Roger Amick.

So back to you, Mike Brooks. Explain. When you`re driving around in a patrol car and you`ve got a rape victim sitting next to you, trying to make out a location where she`s just been dragged behind a building and raped in the bushes, how does a cop come to the decision that he needs to arrest the rape victim?

BROOKS: Well, what you do is, they go ahead and run her name. They`ve got her name because she is the victim. They probably went ahead and ran her name. And A lot of times, before you put somebody in your car, you want to make sure you just go ahead and run their name. It`s procedure. And then it pops up. All you got to do is hit a button. It popped up. NCIC popped up, and it showed the warrant from Sarasota going back to 2003, Nancy. Then she called the lieutenant, who`s the watch commander, and he used, as far as I`m concerned, extremely poor discretion.

GRACE: He needs to be fired! Fired!


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The officers involved in this case did not violate any departmental policy, but just the fact that we had a policy in place that allowed a rape victim to go to jail brought it to the chief`s attention that our policy is flawed.


GRACE: I can`t believe this! I was just saying to the control room, a Tampa woman, as well as a St. Petersburg woman, both down in Florida, obviously, thrown in jail, two rape victims that end up getting arrested here in America. It`s incredible to me.

You know -- out to you, Richard Herman -- when I was prosecuting, I`d have to do a back flip to get a child molester, a sex offender, a murderer arrested and brought in so I could try him. And here`s a woman trying to help police, driving up and down trying to find the rape location, and she gets busted!

RICHARD HERMAN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Nancy, two outrageous actions by this police department. This protocol that had been in place...

GRACE: I smell a lawsuit.

HERMAN: Zero discretion on an open felony warrant is absolutely outrageous. They changed that immediately, but it`s too late for this poor woman. Secondly...

GRACE: Well, I think one thing that you and Renee, and I think Mike Brooks both said -- I think it`s totally wrong. When a juvenile has an offense, those are not called felonies!

HERMAN: I don`t know, Nancy...

GRACE: It is not a felony. And plus, I`d like to point out, according to our sources, she had paid off her restitution.

HERMAN: Well, I think the police were relying on the fact that on the charts, it came up as an open felony warrant for grand theft auto. But the second thing, with respect to that pill and not giving it -- either it was not given because of her religious belief, or as the attorney for the nurse says, it was not given because it wasn`t on the chart to give. That just bought a major lawsuit against the police department. And if this woman is pregnant, it`s going to be a lotto (ph).

GRACE: Let`s go out to Shay in Georgia. Hi, Shay.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. Love your show.

GRACE: Thank you for watching. What`s your question, dear?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I wanted to know if the nursing supervisor is either being reprimanded or disciplined or fired behind this fiasco?

GRACE: Out to you, Abbie Vansickle with "The St. Petersburg Times." Where`s the nurse?

VANSICKLE: Well, the sheriff`s office, the Hillsborough County sheriff`s office, is doing an internal investigation, and they have not released the results of that, so...

GRACE: OK, I know they`re doing an investigation, but is she off on paid leave or is she working tonight?

VANSICKLE: They have not told us.

GRACE: OK. It`s my understanding that she is off on paid leave, to your question, Shay, in Georgia.

We`ll all be right back. Question. Why are rape victims being thrown in jail in Florida, in the Tampa/St. Pete area?

Let`s go to tonight`s "Case Alert." A Florida sheriff`s wife gunned down outside their Marianna home, along with the deputy who responds to the scene, Florida Panhandle, Mellie McDaniel shot to death by suspects who followed her home by car. Police say this is no random crime, the suspects apparently targeting Sheriff John McDaniel`s home, the perpetrators shot and killed, exchanging gunfire with police. Sheriff McDaniel, whose father was gunned down 27 years ago by a serial killer, was not injured.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The arresting officer called me and she said, Oh, you know, I need to let you know what`s going on. Your daughter was raped at 2:00 o`clock this afternoon, but I`ve arrested her now and I have to take her down to county jail.


GRACE: Well, that`s good for a mom to know that her daughter`s all safe and sound in jail after she`s been raped. Here in America, this just went down.

The lady stayed behind bars -- how long was she behind bars? Out to you, Abbie.

VANSICKLE: She was behind bars from Saturday evening until Monday afternoon.

GRACE: Let`s go out to the lines. Jeremy in Missouri. Hi, Jeremy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi. How`re you doing tonight?

GRACE: I`m good, dear. What`s your question?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Real quick here, if she was a juvenile at the time that this happened, how is it that her record wasn`t expunged or sealed when she turned an adult? And also...

GRACE: That`s a good question. Go ahead. That`s a good question.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And also, wouldn`t this put the message out to women in Florida, maybe if they have an unpaid parking ticket, now they don`t want to report that rape?

GRACE: Jeremy, that`s an excellent comparison because this 2001 rape victim got thrown -- a mother, a single mother, got thrown behind bars because her warrant was for having loose dogs.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tampa police say they now regret arresting the rape victim. The attorney says the pre-med college student thought she had taken care of that old grand theft charge and was surprised it was still outstanding.

As for the morning-after pill, it can be taken up to 72 hours after a rape. So she still has some time. But doctors say it becomes less effective the longer you wait.

The rape victim walked out of jail hiding her face with a paper bag. Her attorney says she`s also a victim of the system.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She was raped, and then she was raped again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The 21-year-old says that she was walking to her car near downtown Tampa from the Gasparilla Parade on Saturday afternoon, a man raped her. She called police for help, and they arrested her on an outstanding theft warrant from four years ago.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The arresting officer called me, and she says, "I need to let you know what`s going on. Your daughter was raped at 2:00 this afternoon, but I`ve arrested her now, and I have to take her down to county jail."


GRACE: I just can`t tell you what rape victims live through, the trauma, very often the physical injury. I recall one rape victim, after she testified in front of a jury, when she stood up to come down off the stand, she literally fell on me. She had gotten so weak-kneed just reliving the whole thing.

This rape victim in Tampa, Florida, thrown in jail over a juvenile offense with a car that they say she still owed restitution, money, over. And in 2001, in nearby St. Pete, another rape victim, thrown behind bars, because she had a warrant because her dog had gotten loose.

I want to go out to Dr. Sandra Scott, with Safe and Sound at University Hospital. She`s the director of the rape crisis program. Doctor, it`s a real honor to have you and Miss Masters on tonight. You`ve seen so many rape victims, Doctor.


GRACE: Try to convey what they are going through at the time they come in for this rape kit.

SCOTT: Well, you can imagine the rape victim has just been traumatized, and now they have to enter a medical facility. And the average person, you know, gets a little nervous going to the doctor. But imagine having your boundaries violated, being sexually assaulted, and now you have to go to a medical facility and retell your story two to three times by the time you talk to the doctors, and the counselors, and the investigating officers.

You then have to be -- or you don`t have to be, of course. It`s the rape survivor`s choice as to how much evidence collection she would like to have done. But the average person who has forensic evidence collection done has to have their vagina examined. They have to oftentimes have an anal exam. And that, too, can be a very stressful experience following a sexual assault.

GRACE: You know, Dr. Scott, I`m just thinking about this lady. There are so many circumstances under which a rape can occur. But in this rape, it was broad daylight.


GRACE: And the lady was at a parade, a family event.


GRACE: This is not like some drunken debacle on Bourbon Street at Mardi Gras. It`s the family, the Gasparilla Parade down in Florida, to be dragged back into the bushes behind a building and raped, and then get thrown in jail, Doctor.

SCOTT: Yes. I mean, I just want to say that, no matter what the circumstance is, and this certainly sounds like an extremely traumatic event, and I`m sorry that this happened to this survivor -- however, any rape victim, anyone who is penetrated and violated is traumatized, regardless of the circumstance.

And you do bring to mind a very significant point. Imagine the trauma in broad, open daylight, behind a building with -- you know, it`s just horrible.

GRACE: To you, Dr. Saunders, clinical psychologist. So often, I have experienced that rape victims, or child molestation victims even, think it`s their fault. They always think that, which couldn`t be further from the truth. What is this lady, this young pre-med student going through tonight?

DR. PATRICIA SAUNDERS, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: She`s going through the nine circles of Hell, Nancy. Yes, survivor guilt and self-blame.

GRACE: Did I tell you she had to walk two miles to get to her car to call police, from this lot where she was raped?

SAUNDERS: She`s a sturdy and resilient woman who has been traumatized and re-traumatized at least two times. The victim often blames themselves because of the feeling of absolute helplessness. It`s almost easier to think that there was a reason, that there was something you did to make this happen, rather than it being utterly random and out of the blue.

GRACE: Let`s go out to the lines. Ryan in Canada. Hi, Ryan.

CALLER: Good evening, Nancy, how are you?

GRACE: I`m good, dear. What`s your question?

CALLER: My question is, if this poor victim is assumably pregnant and she goes through with giving birth to this baby, is the state of Florida prepared to look after this baby or is that against their religion?

GRACE: Oh, that`s a legal question. Right, is that against the jail nurse, Nurse Ratched`s religion?

Out to you, Renee Rockwell, Richard Herman? Richard?

RICHARD HERMAN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Nancy, that`s going to be a massive lawsuit there. And the woman`s going to have to make a very big decision whether or not she wants to keep the child, possibly abort the child, or give it up for adoption. But it`s a traumatic event. And the caller`s right on.

GRACE: You know, out to you, Lavinia Masters, a rape victim and sex abuse victim advocate, I was just looking at the lady coming out. She`s 21. She`s a student, a pre-med student, having to put in our country a rape victim, having to put a bag over her head like she has done something wrong.

LAVINIA MASTERS, RAPE VICTIM AND SEXUAL ABUSE ADVOCATE: Something wrong, yes. That is traumatizing within itself. I know, with me being a survivor of sexual assault, I was traumatized for years. My case was finally solved like 20 years later. And I lived with the guilt and the feeling of helplessness for years.

I was in the privacy of my own home when I was sexually assaulted at knifepoint. So you can imagine me not even feeling safe in my own home, with my parents upstairs. And this poor lady, she, like you said, at a family event, outside, broad daylight, and someone traumatizing her like that, and then to be thrown in jail and to have to come out with a bag on her head like she is guilty of something, but she`s actually the victim.

GRACE: Miss Masters, tell me how you survived those days and weeks following your rape?

MASTERS: It was very hard. It was very hard, because I didn`t have any counseling. I didn`t have any support, except for that of my family. And in all honesty, my family really didn`t want to talk about it, because we had no leads or anything as to who my assailant was, or where he came from, or why he entered our home, so it was something that just went hush- hush.

And for years, the nightmares, the sweats, the jumping up in the middle of the night, running to the front door thinking he`s coming at me, just all kind of bottled emotions that I had for years, it was more than devastating. And I had to suffer it, you know, all alone.

But, thankfully, I`m at a place now where I am free from all of that, and I am fighting to do all that I can to help, not only educate the world, the public about the traumatization that rape victims go through, but to also be an advocate for the victims, survivors, as well.

GRACE: To you, Vic Moore, this is the rape victim`s lawyer, clear it up about this warrant she got when she was a juvenile. And how is she tonight?

VIC MOORE, RAPE VICTIM`S ATTORNEY: Nancy, I cannot tell you how trivial this warrant was compared to the enormity of what has happened to her. The doctor put it well. My young client is resilient. She`s brave. I also want to say that she is not vindictive to any one person. She doesn`t want to see anybody fired, as devastated as she is.

The problem is one with the system. She applauds the efforts of the Tampa city police to fix their policy so that it doesn`t happen again. And she wants to thank, especially you and the rest of the media, Abbie here, for calling attention to this, because she has a need to know that, through this horrific experience that she has gone through, there will be -- that there will have some value. And the value...

GRACE: Well, isn`t it true, Vic, Vic Moore, her attorney, if Abbie VanSickle and the media hadn`t been alerted everyone to this, she`d still be behind bars right now?

MOORE: I believe that`s correct. I believe that`s correct. But because of the media, the Tampa police have changed their policy and that makes her feel good.

GRACE: Well, that`s a day late and a dollar short, Vic.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re here because you`re charged with the Class "A" felony child kidnapping. The range of punishment, sir, for a Class "A" felony is from 10 to 30 years in the penitentiary or life in prison. Do you understand that, sir?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Devlin, how do you wish to plead to this charge?

DEVLIN: I`m not guilty.


GRACE: Tonight, investigators widen the probe on Missouri child kidnapper, 41-year-old pizza parlor manager, Michael Devlin. Now, searching the house where he once lived nearly six years ago in connection with several other unsolved child kidnaps in the `80s and the murder of 7- year-old Dalton Mesarchik. Security so tight, Devlin waives a court appearance, entering a not guilty by proxy.

Out to 550 KTRS Radio reporter, Melanie Streeper. Bring us up to date, friend.

MELANIE STREEPER, KTRS RADIO: Sure thing, Nancy. Well, I can tell you that, as you mentioned, because of security measures, they were really concerned about their client, and therefore he waived his appearance in court. But his attorneys did enter a plea of not guilty, with regard to the two charges in Washington County, with regard to the Shawn Hornbeck case, namely, the kidnapping charge, and also the armed criminal action charge.

GRACE: Out to Paulette Norman, victims` advocate. Paula, you`ve been watching the case. What is your take on what`s happening now?

PAULETTE NORMAN, CRIME VICTIM ADVOCATE: I think it`s a typical response from someone who has committed a crime. It`s easy to plead not guilty. It`s a great form of denial.

GRACE: Let`s go out to the lawyers. Renee Rockwell, Richard Herman joining us. Richard Herman, New York lawyer. Renee out of Atlanta. Yes, no court appearance, Renee. That way you don`t have to have anybody look at you. You don`t have to be scrutinized by the prosecutor, anybody in court. You can just waive it by proxy, enter a not guilty. That`s the easy way out.

RENEE ROCKWELL, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: And it`s not a terribly important meeting with justice.

GRACE: Oh, really?

ROCKWELL: Because he`s not going to get anything but for more publicity.

GRACE: O.J. Simpson stood up and said, "100 percent not guilty."

ROCKWELL: Absolutely.

GRACE: Of course, it was a lie, but it helped him in court with the jury.

ROCKWELL: Absolutely, 100 percent not guilty. And that`s the only thing you heard from O.J., remember, in the entire trial.

GRACE: I did not know you were on a first-name basis.

ROCKWELL: Because he didn`t testify. But, Nancy, not a real big hearing. And I think it`s just strategy from the attorneys.

GRACE: Oh, really? You remember when, in the Duke rape case, they all came in, and they stood up and go, "Not guilty," and gave a statement.

ROCKWELL: But this guy...

GRACE: How many hundreds of times have we seen that?


ROCKWELL: And, Nancy, this guy`s lawyers are not going to let him make any further statement. He`s had enough publicity. And in his case, the publicity is not going to be good.

GRACE: What do you think, Richard Herman? Afraid some other child somewhere in America might see his picture on TV and go, "I know him"?

HERMAN: Nancy, come on. Every show is just plastering that picture we just saw of him.

GRACE: You`re darned right.

HERMAN: In the orange jumpsuit.

GRACE: That`s right.

HERMAN: That`s right. Well, he didn`t have to come to court today. You know, Nancy, arraignments take less than five minutes. There was no reason for him to be there today. It`s a good move by his lawyers. Nancy, I`m telling you, the Shawn Hornbeck case is a very interesting case. It`s not a slam dunk. His credibility, Mr. Hornbeck`s credibility, is going to be at issue here.

GRACE: Wait, wait, wait, Mr. Hornbeck?

HERMAN: Big issue.

GRACE: I`m sorry, I thought he was 11 at the time of his kidnap? And you`re telling me his credibility...

HERMAN: Nancy, you`re going to be upset to hear this, but some jurors are not going to buy the Stockholm syndrome, and they`re going to be upset over all the chances he had to get away and he didn`t get away. There`s more to this story, Nancy. It`s not over.

GRACE: Well, maybe in your mind, Richard Herman. I disagree with you.


GRACE: Let`s go out to Melanie Streeper again regarding the search that`s now going down in a home where Devlin used to live. Explain, Melanie.

STREEPER: Sure thing. Well, we just learned today that investigators searched a home that Michael Devlin once occupied back in 1999. We`re told that he lived in that home for about six months. It is also in Kirkwood, the same -- near the same location as where he had his Kirkwood apartment.

And, yes, they searched that place, did not need a search warrant. The woman who owns the home, she did let them in. They looked around. They are not revealing what they were looking for or what they found. But we`re told the neighbors said they didn`t really find anything.

GRACE: Mike Brooks, what`s your take on searching a home where he lived six years ago?

MIKE BROOKS, FORMER D.C. POLICE: Well, I would. Any place at all, any connection they can make with any of these cases at all, Nancy, they`re going to go in, look for DNA. They`re going to probably spray around some Luminol, which will show if there`s any presence of blood, hairs and fibers, anything at all they can use to possibly link any of these cases that they`re looking at.

They`re looking at cases going back to 1988. And, Nancy, I hope you show his picture every single night and hope it refreshes the recollection of somebody out there who may have seen this animal and can recognize him from being involved in any other crime.

GRACE: To Allen in Canada, hi, Allen.

CALLER: Hi, Nancy. I was just wondering, what could possibly be his defense with him being caught red-handed like that?

GRACE: Well, I imagine he`s probably going to try to use the mental defect. Also, I think that it`s very likely he may plead to some counts, only go to trial on others, maybe hoping to get a good deal.

Melanie Streeper, in response to Allen`s questions, is it true that he has admitted his involvement with Ownby?

STREEPER: As far as his involvement with Ownby, he did actually confess, we are told, once this all went down. So, yes, we are told that he did confess. So that is part of the...


GRACE: Now, Richard Herman, that`s going to be really tough for a jury to figure that one out.

HERMAN: Well, Nancy, I can`t wait to see the videotape of that confession. Oh, they won`t have a videotape. So I wonder how they got this confession?

GRACE: Well, you know what? Remind me, Elizabeth, to send Richard Herman my pocket Constitution.

HERMAN: That`s right.

GRACE: Because it does not require to videotape a confession. And, believe me, he`s giving jailhouse interviews. He`s blown it. It`s over. I`m just telling you that right now. My only question is the penalty.

Back out to you, Paulette Norman. Paulette, not just victims advocate, but victim herself. Paulette, tell us about your son.

NORMAN: McKay was 12 years old when he was abducted and murdered. He was abducted from my home in 1995. He was abducted by a family friend. And he was put in the trunk of a car somewhere along the way. There were signs in the trunk that McKay had tried to escape. He was bludgeoned, and he was shot. And his body was found, from Tuesday to Sunday, his body was found on Sunday in a swamp in Louisiana.

GRACE: How old was McKay?

NORMAN: Twelve.

GRACE: Paulette, what do you believe these parents have been going through?

NORMAN: A living Hell.


GRACE: The investigation into 41-year-old Michael Devlin is now expanding. Police now searching to connect him to child kidnappings, missing children, even a child murder, dating back all the way to the `80s. Out to Holly in Illinois. Hi, Holly.

CALLER: Hi, Nancy. My question is, do we know anything about Devlin`s Internet usage?

GRACE: We do know a little. Patricia Saunders, clinical psychologist, what can you tell me about any connection? We know he played all those games, those interactive games with people all over the world online, at his age, 41.

CALLER: Well, those kind of video games are often the refuge of socially inept, very isolated grown-ups. And you live in a make-believe world, and you can have very limited and contained relationships with other people, only on the Internet. So this guy really does fit the profile of someone who is a pedophile, and he`s a child collector, Nancy.

GRACE: Very quickly, Mike Brooks, where do we go from here?

BROOKS: Well, Nancy, you know, we just did the search warrant on -- they just did the search warrant on this house on Tuesday. So they`re getting more leads and more leads and more leads as they go through different things. And, I mean, I would go back, I`d be going through his financial records, going back to see if he did any travel, putting a time line, going all the way back to the `80s to see where he`s been and what he`s done.

GRACE: Let`s stop our legal discussion to remember tonight Marine Captain Kevin Kryst, just 27, West Bend, Wisconsin, killed, Iraq. A skilled pilot, he specialized in Cobra helicopters. An honor student, he enlisted after University of Wisconsin, Madison, graduation. He loved to play the French horn and to swim. Leaving behind parents, five siblings and fiancee Sara, Kevin Kryst, American hero.

Thank you for being with us. And tonight, a very special happy birthday to our number-one fan, Linda in Menlo Park. You`re not getting older; you`re getting better.

See you tomorrow night. Good night, friend.


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