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Judge: Accused Teen Rapist from "Good Family" Deserves Leniency; Iran Vows to Boost Uranium Enrichment to Higher Levels; Women's Soccer Team Goes to World Cup Finals after Winning without Rapinoe. Aired 2:30-3p ET
Aired July 3, 2019 - 14:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:30:00] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: This is all from these documents. And this young man decided to share his cell phone video with his friends with this message -- listen to this: "When you're first time having sex was rape." That's a direct quote.
The assault was captured on video, shared and the perpetrator referred to it himself as rape. Case closed, right? No.
A family court judge says it wasn't rape. He then went on to question if the act was sexual assault, defining rape as something is that happens when attacked at gunpoint by strangers.
This judge, a 70-year-old superior court judge, James Troiaono, then went on to say this young man comes there a good family and gets good grades. He was an Eagle Scout.
And then the judge took it a step further saying that prosecutors should have explained to the girl and her family that pressing charges would destroy this young man's life.
Destroy this young man's life? Here is something important. Eagle Scout or not, rape is rape.
And that judge then went on to deny the prosecutor's request to try the 16-year-old as an adult writing, and I quote, "He is clearly a candidate for not just college but probably a good college."
This judge has since been rebuked by the appeals court, which has cleared the way for the case to be moved from family court to a grand jury where GMC, the young man, will be treated as an adult.
So let's discuss all of this with Caroline Polisi, a federal and white-collar criminal defense attorney, and also Cheryl Hunter, a woman's advocate, author and rape survivor.
So, ladies, this one got me today.
Cheryl, first to you.
When you first read about this, what were you thinking?
CHERYL HUNTER, WOMEN'S ADVOCATE & RAPE SURVIVOR & AUTHOR: What is most amazing to me is that in the rape cases like this, what judges often look at is the rapist's future. What they fail to look at is the future of the victim, what happens to the survivor.
There's no longitudinal studies done of what happens to survivors of rape. But I work with them every day. And I see what happens to them over time. And the irony is they are serving a life sentence. Each and every one of these people that I work with come to me because they are in the grips of the trauma of rape that happened decades ago.
BALDWIN: Yes. Caroline, the judge dismissed the text messages that the young man shared the video with his friends as, quote, "just a 16- year-old kid saying stupid crap to his friends."
So did the judge here just show a complete misunderstanding of the legal definition of rape?
CAROLINE POLISI, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: You hit the nail on the head there. Absolutely. And this case went up to the appeals court and the appeals court really rebuked the lower court judge, saying that the predatory nature and sophisticated nature of this crime.
And I'm so glad you went into the graphic nature because he was unwilling to. He was dressing it up with euphemisms and calling it sexual assault, wouldn't even say that it was rape. And it was really a sophisticated criminal act.
And so that is what the prosecutors were trying to say. They wanted to waive him out of the family court and have him be tried as an adult and thankfully this is not turning into a Brock Turner case.
The appeals court caught it before it was too late and he will be tried as an adult. And thankfully, everybody is coming out to see just how horrible this lower court judge was.
You know what it says on the Supreme Court courthouse in Washington, D.C.? Equal justice under law. Everything about this case is antithetical to equal justice.
When you say this young man doesn't deserve to be tried as an adult because he comes from a good family --
POLISI: That is completely antithetical to our system of justice. It's so offensive. And it does so many bad things for not only for the criminal justice system but for the social system as well.
BALDWIN: And you were telling me in the break that when you were reading the appellate court decision, you could feel your blood boiling. Tell me more about that and how rare is it for this sort of rebuke of a judge.
POLISI: Thankfully, it is rare. Thankfully, this made national news.
My blood was boiling because the judge oftentimes would refer to the victim and questioned the fact that she was intoxicated. So victim shaming, victim blaming. Again, as you noted, this isn't really rape? Typically, in a situation that he would classify as rape, there had to
be two or more people holding somebody up at gun point or knife point? In these text messages, this boy actually referenced having a knife in one of them as well.
So to dismiss this as sort of like adolescence is just the anthesis of what we should be promoting this in our society and in our criminal justice system.
BALDWIN: And I want to end up with this young victim, Cheryl. When you read in the court documents, the next morning after she woke up you, the description is something to the effect that she felt something sexually had happened, she was hurt, she was bruised.
[14:35:10] She finds out -- goes to school, finds out that there's video that is getting shared. And this guy who she confronts apparently denies it. And ultimately, she goes to her mother who then took to police. So brave for doing that.
HUNTER: Incredibly so.
BALDWIN: How often does that sort of thing actually happen?
HUNTER: Generally, what I find with people, and in my own experience as well, is that survivors of sexual assault and rape don't speak up. They fear that sort of retaliation or recrimination or reproach, they fear that public shaming that happened as well to the victim, Mary, as they are calling her, that Mary was subject to. She kept asking him to please destroy the video.
And originally, when Mary and her family went to authorities, they simply wanted to destroy the video so that it stopped circulating and she could put this incident behind her. But then it escalated from there, rightly so. But she just wanted to get her life back.
Is it possible? It is possible. I've experienced it myself and see that with many others over the years that I've worked with. But she has a long road ahead. It is not as simple as destroying the video and moving on.
BALDWIN: I want to end on that.
Cheryl, thank you so much for speaking up and using your voice.
Caroline Polisi, for clearly getting irked and angered reading this whole thing.
Ladies, thank you very much.
And we will be right back.
[14:41:19] BALDWIN: A new and dramatic act of defiance from Iran in its high stakes game of chicken with the United States. Today, President Hassan Rouhani said Iran will begin enriching uranium at a higher level than set forth in the nuclear deal. In his words, the enrichment is, quote, unquote, going to be "as much as we want it to be."
And here is why that is so troubling. Enriching uranium to a higher level of purity would bring Iran much closer to producing a nuclear weapon.
David Sanger is a national security correspondent for the "New York Times" and a CNN political and national security analyst.
And, David, this is after President Trump pulled the United States out of the nuclear deal. What is Iran hoping to achieve here?
DAVID SANGER, CNN POLITICAL & NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: I think what the Iranians are doing is this series of very carefully calibrated steps to slowly walk away from the conditions of the nuclear deal that President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry negotiated.
Their argument is, if President Trump abandoned the deal a year ago and Europeans have not, if you will, fulfilled their promises to make up for the losses, why should Iran stay in the deal.
But they are not leaving at won't. They are taking a series of small reversible steps. And the one that President Rouhani described today is the one that would be of most concern. Because it would begin to raise the level of enrichment away from reactor grade and gradually toward bomb grade.
They would be a long way, more than a year away, from having enough to make even a single nuclear weapon. But it still shows you that they are on a slippery slope to getting out of the deal.
BALDWIN: And on this slippery slope, is there any hope that the U.S. and Iran could go back to the bargaining table on that deal?
SANGER: Perhaps. It would require two things to happen. First, the U.S. hasn't really reached out to the Iranians. In fact, if anything, they have said that they would sanction the Iranian foreign minister, who is the man of course who negotiated this with then-Secretary Kerry.
But the second thing is Iranians would have to back away from their demand that, before President Trump would negotiate a new deal, he would have to re-enter the old one, saying that we reached this with the United States and the U.S. will either abide by it and build on it or not.
And of course, President Trump has call that had deal a disaster and said he wouldn't go back to it. But they both would have to do a considerable amount.
We've seen President Trump turn around quickly. He went to fire and fury on North Korea to the scenes that we saw last week. So you can imagine it happening but it's a harder case in Iran.
BALDWIN: Speaking of North Korea, speaking of a country that does already have a nuclear arsenal, President Trump says that he and Kim Jong-Un fell in love over the first weekend, first time ever presidential visit. If you are Iran and you are watching U.S./North Korean relations, how does that inform your own policy?
SANGER: What it tells you is, you don't really need to give up anything in order to get a better relationship, that Kim Jong-Un, I think, has pretty well figured out what President Trump wants are the big televised moments like you saw at the DMZ and Singapore a year ago.
In the interim, of course, Mr. Kim has continued to produce nuclear material, probably use to fabricate new weapons. We think they have somewhere between 20 and 60 weapons so far. He hasn't had to even do a freeze.
[14:45:00] So Iranians may conclude that the way the United States deals with you best is if you actually go ahead and get a weapon.
Because there was so much material was shipped out of Iran after the 2015 agreement, they are a long way from being able to build up anything near like what the North Koreans have. And they don't have a whole lot of time because their oil revenue is dropping so fast.
BALDWIN: David Sanger, thank you as always for your insight. You are the best. Thank you for being here.
SANGER: Thank you so much, Brooke. Happy fourth.
BALDWIN: Same to you.
Next, no Rapinoe, no problem. U.S. women's soccer advances to its third straight World Cup final. But will team USA have one of its biggest stars for the title match?
[14:50:08] BALDWIN: Team USA now headed to the World Cup finals on Sunday to fight for their fourth World Cup title. Tuesday's game a 2- 1 victory over England, proving the team can win without star, Megan Rapinoe, on the field. She was benched with a minor injury and watching her teammates win from the sidelines.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MEGAN RAPINOE, U.S. WOMEN'S SOCCER PLAYER: No, I wasn't fit for selection today. Just a minor hamstring strain. So obviously, we have a lot of days now and, for me, the timeline was really after the France game and now I have the extra rest day and looking forward to the finals. So I expect to be fit by then and ready to play.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Of course, it wouldn't be a victory for this team without someone harping about the player's celebration. This time, it is Alex Morgan who pretended to sip a cup of tea with her pinky finger extended, a dig against the English. Amy Bass, is a sportswriter and author of "One Goal: A Coach, a Team
and a Game That Brought a Divided Town Together."
Amy, thank you for coming back.
BALDWIN: I read your piece yesterday. It's on CNN.com. The headline was "U.S. women's soccer team to world, we got this."
I want to come back to that. But birthday girl sipping the tea. Because a lot of people said that was too much.
AMY BASS, SPORTSWRITER & AUTHOR: Well, at least she extended her pinky, so good etiquette.
BALDWIN: The English coach was criticizing the USA team for not having proper etiquette.
BASS: Exactly. And going into this team, Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe, in particular. The "Daily Mail" splashing headlines that they were arrogant. It gets back to that they don't celebrate right, they are not humble.
We ask women and especially women athletes to be humble and nice. And why should they be? Why treat their moments of glory any different?
BALDWIN: As we've talked about, they are suing the federation for equal pay. Other countries, other teams, other sports are looking to them, looking up to them as a way to maybe pave the way for their own selves. To me, it feels so much more than soccer.
BASS: It's always more than soccer. Sports are always more than sports. They are never outside of their political moments. And this political moment happens to be about a gender discrimination lawsuit.
And so that is -- the window of soccer allows us to see, what does equal work mean, what does support mean. Should support drive results or are we waiting around for results to then bring on support. Is that right?
So these are really big questions that apply all over the workplace, not just the athletes' workplace. And they are huge.
BALDWIN: And lastly, win or lose, win hopefully, on Sunday morning at 11:00 a.m. Eastern. What will you have -- you've written so much about sports, but what will you have taken away from this whole experience?
BASS: I think that I have a very American perspective about this one because we have these polls about patriotism being at these historic lows. And there's a lot of red, white and blue going on around this team. And so I think that sports can bring people together. Sports can pull people apart and sometimes at the same time. But I think the pulling together right now, the fan base, what will
happen next, that is what is most interesting to me.
BALDWIN: Amy Bass, thank you very much. Thank you very much.
Still ahead here, superstar, Pharrell Williams, is guaranteeing an internship to all 114 students of a Harlem school's graduating class. I will talk to one of those top students coming up.
And a reminder to all of you. This Sunday night, our brand-new CNN original series, "THE MOVIES," will delve into the stories behind the movies that you love. Here is a preview.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RON HOWARD, DIRECTOR: There's still something about being told a story. A movie is something that has been really handcrafted, it is a mosaic that has been carefully pieced together. It just creates this opportunity to totally lose yourself.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These images live in our consciousness, stays in our minds the way music is recalled in our heads. We live our lives by them.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It brings all the elements of all of our senses together. There's really nothing else like it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Even though you are doing something incredibly personal and in many ways incredibly selfish because you are doing something that you love so much, then it gets out there in the world and it could change people's trajectories.
ALEX BALDWIN, ACTOR: When you can go somewhere that you're pretty much guaranteed that you can set your worries aside for that period of time. It is like a drug. It's like a drug.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's just a direct conduit straight into your soul.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I grew up wanting to be the movies. It was all about the movies.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Since the dawn of man, we like to get around a fireplace and commune in story together. So we can feel for a few hours that we're human together.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[14:55:16] BALDWIN: Please tune in this Sunday night, 9:00 Eastern and Pacific, only here on CNN.
BALDWIN: Welcome back. You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin.
As new disturbing photographs detail the jampacked conditions inside migrant detention facilities in Texas, drawings by children now reveal an even crueler side to the crisis at the border.
[15:00:02] These images were drawn by 10 and 11-year-olds who were just released from holding centers. They appear to show these children in cages.