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25 More Pregnant Young Teens Identified From FLDS Compound
Aired April 25, 2008 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NANCY GRACE, HOST: Tonight: The single biggest child protective bust in U.S. history after a secret and desperate phone call for help. The number of children rescued off an isolated Texas compound now even higher, up to 462, plus 100 women hauled off by the busload from behind the walls of a remote desert compound. Tonight, bombshell. Texas authorities ID 25 more teen pregnancies, as every one of the 400-plus children relocates to foster homes. And tonight, a last-ditch emergency filing by the FLDS defense to stop the children`s relocation to public foster care. The Lone Star State braces for legal battle.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A shocking discovery, even more teenage moms are emerging in the raid on a Texas compound. CPS says 25 so-called women are actually underage girls, the number of children now up to 462, Texas authorities revealing the latest IDs as all 400-plus children head to foster homes. But tonight, in light of the new discovery, just how many other adults are actually minors, and what will it mean in the investigation?
FLORA JESSOP, FORMER FLDS CHILD BRIDE: You never have to have sex with your dad again because it`s not right. You`re going to be safe.
I`m not going to trick you, baby. I promise, I`m not going to trick you. I`m going to protect you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: And tonight: Hollywood superstar, Wesley Snipes makes millions from blockbuster movies like "Blade," "Trilogy," "Passenger 57," "Waiting to Exhale." April 15 is a deadline taken very seriously, but not Snipes. He hasn`t filed taxes since 1998. Ruh-roh! He is now starring in a brand- new production. It`s called three years in the federal pen! Ouch!
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One of the biggest, most famous and best paid actors in Hollywood is going to prison because of what he didn`t pay -- his federal income taxes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... in spite of asking the court for mercy after Wesley Snipes got the maximum sentence, three years in prison for failing to file tax returns. Before sentencing, Snipes offered to pay $5 million, but federal prosecutors say that`s just a fraction of what he owes. Snipes`s attorneys plan to appeal.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Good evening. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us. Tonight: Why has the number of children rescued from a polygamist compound located in the Texas desert skyrocketed to 462? And why are authorities just now learning of 25 more teen pregnancies on that compound? And tonight: A last-ditch legal maneuver by the FLDS to stop the rescued children`s relocation to Texas foster homes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The state is saying the children as young -- young girls as young as 13 or 14 are selected (INAUDIBLE) and forced into marriage. Is that true?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That is not true. I had a choice when I was married.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How old were you when you married?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was 18.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We definitely have a choice. Nobody is forced. We are not abused.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And everyone can say the same thing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We found there were a number of children that had been sexually abused, and that we found that there was a systematic process going on in which young girls were being groomed to become the wives of middle-aged men and had their children at a very young age, as young as 13 years old. We`re talking dozens of minors who have children or are pregnant. Under the civil code, they would be victims of abuse, if they had been -- if the perpetrator was a male who was an adult and a caregiver.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Why are they just now learning that there are 25 -- a whopping 25 -- more girls pregnant, 25 more teenage pregnancies? Out to Susan Roesgen, CNN correspondent standing by there in Texas. How did that little detail happen to slip through the cracks?
SUSAN ROESGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, no kidding, Nancy. Incredible today, to come out and say, Oh, by the way, of all these children that we`re moving out of the Coliseum in San Angelo behind us, 25 of them that we thought were adults are actually children. You know, the Child Protective Services person whom you just had on a moment ago talking about the systematic abuse -- he didn`t exactly say how they determined that. He didn`t say whether the girls `fessed up or whether they just looked at them and said, You don`t look like you`re 18. We think you`re 15. In any case, he does now say that 25 more of the -- what they thought were adults are juveniles with children.
GRACE: Out to Michael Board with WOAI Newsradio. But the bottom line, before we give them too much grief about not realizing these teens were pregnant, basically, child brides -- they`ve been lying to the authorities. They won`t tell the authorities any of their last names, their true ages, who their moms and dads are. They don`t know their real DOBs -- date of birth. So it`s not just the fault of the authorities.
MICHAEL BOARD, WOAI NEWSRADIO: No. And this is something that the CPS workers talked about at that first day of trial. They said when they interviewed girls, each investigator, the girls would tell them a different name. They would tell them a different age. They didn`t know.
And the sheer volume of people that they pulled out of this compound, 400, maybe 500 now -- you know, I guess the latest number of people that they -- the last number of children that they pulled out is 462. That`s a lot of people to deal with. So you understand or at least you can try to understand the sheer volume of people that they had to deal with. The fact that there was 25 -- I don`t know. It seems like a lot of people, but then you think that they pulled 462 people out there, you kind of understand the task that they have been dealt.
GRACE: So it`s 25 more child brides. And when I say that, in Texas, the cutoff of legal marriage is 16. So we know that these are teen brides. We don`t really know their age. That has not been released. But we do know that they are underage. They are teen brides.
I want to also address a last-ditch maneuver by the FLDS to stop the children`s relocation to foster care. What`s the deal, Susan Roesgen? What did they file, a motion to stop the relocation? Hello! It`s already started. That`s a day late and a dollar short.
ROESGEN: No kidding. They filed it, I think, yesterday, Nancy. They wanted an immediate stop to the busing of children. The appeals court said, No, no way. So they have gotten their initial request denied. They won`t get the immediate stop because the kids are already bused out. They`re all gone. They`re all in these group homes. And now we understand that the mothers are going to try to the at least really push to be allowed to be with their children, wherever they are in those group homes. And the court will hear arguments about that next Tuesday.
GRACE: We are taking your calls live. And let`s throw it to the attorneys. Let`s unleash them. Joining us tonight, defense attorney Penny Douglass Furr out of the Atlanta jurisdiction, Jeff Brown out of Tampa, and a special guest joining us out of Dallas, Texas, David Samuel Brown, ad litem attorney for a FLDS child.
David, what about this last-ditch attempt to stop the relocation in foster homes?
DAVID SAMUEL BROWN, AD LITEM ATTORNEY FOR FLDS CHILD: Well, Nancy, thanks for having me. Basically, it`s an emergency stay and notice amend (ph), asking for a writ of mandamus, which is in a way saying that the judge didn`t execute the law correctly. And they asking for everything to be put on a stop, leave it the status quo while they ask the appellate court to make a decision and re-look at the facts of the case.
GRACE: Well, David, do you think it has any merit? Will it succeed?
DAVID SAMUEL BROWN: Basically, looking at it, because of the emergency situations that occurred here, I don`t expect it to succeed.
GRACE: Let`s release the other attorneys, Penny Douglass Furr, Jeff Brown. The bottom line is whenever child abuse -- be it sexual, physical, emotional -- is alleged in a home, even on one child, all the children are removed. They are all taken out for their own safety. So how is it that this is any different, Jeff Brown?
JEFF BROWN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, it`s not really any different. You have to look at what`s going on here. And the court has to weigh and look at the interests of the children and the parents. But the government always becomes a super-parent, and they`re responsible for the children. And so what they have to do is separate everything. And then, hopefully, through due process, we`re giving the parents a right to be able to make their allegations or contest the evidence. And the court can finally find out who is abusing these children and what to do with them. But it`s a terrible situation.
GRACE: So Jeff, you are agreeing with the government. You are agreeing with Texas taking the children and putting them in foster care.
JEFF BROWN: I`m agreeing with them as long as the parents get the ability to have their day in court. They have to have due process, and that hasn`t happened yet in Texas. They should have...
GRACE: Penny Douglass Furr, agree or disagree?
PENNY DOUGLASS FURR, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I disagree, Nancy, because I believe the parents should be able to immediately question and challenge that court ruling.
GRACE: Let`s go out to the lines. Darlene in Indiana. Hi, Darlene.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, friend! It`s so nice to talk to you. I`m going to try to make this real fast. I want to know what is being done for these children as far as medical care, doctors, dentists, and for these mothers. What kind of care are they getting, if they have problems giving birth, other sicknesses, like appendicitis, anything like that? And are they burying them -- you know, these people on the compound? But I`m really concerned about the children`s care, medical-wise and dentist-wise and...
GRACE: OK, hold on. Don`t let Darlene go. Darlene, are you saying you want to find out about their medical treatment, and so forth, on the compound or now?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: On the compound.
GRACE: OK. I`ve got the answer to that right now, and I`ll get right to Jack Downey. But to Michael Board. How were they treated medically on the compound?
BOARD: Well, I`m told that the children, when they had a medical problem, they were taken off the compound to area hospitals, area rescue clinics to get work done. On the compound itself, I don`t believe they have the high-tech stuff that we enjoy here, that you and I, that everybody in America enjoys. You know, if there was a tooth that hurt -- you know, we talk a lot in this community about the homeopathic, maybe some of the -- the less conventional ways to treat the kids. They didn`t have high-tech doctors, like we have here on the outside of the compound.
GRACE: To Carolyn Jessop. Carolyn is a special guest joining us tonight out of Salt Lake City, Utah. She is a former FLDS child bride. She is the former wife of the leader, Merrill Jessop. She is the author of a book, "Escape." She escaped from the FLDS. Carolyn, how are children on compounds like this treated medically?
CAROLYN JESSOP, FORMER WIFE OF YFZ LEADER MERRILL JESSOP: Well, I can only, you know, talk about how they were treated in Merrill`s family, and it was very difficult to get medical care. I had one of my sons break his arm, and I was insisting that the arm broken, and Merrill refused to allow me to take him to the doctor. He went three days with no medical treatment with that arm before I was able to get him treated. I had to wait for Merrill to leave town before I could sneak him to a doctor.
GRACE: You know, Carolyn, having worked at a battered women`s center for a really, really long time as a volunteer, I understand where you`re coming from. A lot of our viewers do not understand why you stayed with Jessop, especially the other night, after you were outlining the way you saw a child being treated, being held under the water, an infant, and then spanked and then held under the water and then spanked, newborn children. And it was very hard for some of our viewers to understand how or why you would stay under those circumstances. I want you to explain why you stayed.
JESSOP: Well, you know, you have to understand that my -- reference to the norm is far different than most people`s. I mean, that was the norm. I was raised in a home that had a lot of that kind of violence towards children. It was a way of life. I didn`t have anything that contradicted it. I didn`t know that people in the outside world didn`t treat children that way. I didn`t know that it was abuse. I didn`t even understand domestic violence until I was in my early 30s and somebody educated me as to what that involved. I didn`t know that there was help. I didn`t know where to go for help.
I mean, you know, women in this society, we don`t have the same reference of the norm. We`re not taught that we have the right to contest a man`s authority. We are subjugated to a man from the time we are born, and that never changes. And if you object to the way you`re being treated, everybody in the community, your family, your friends, they will all tell you this is your fault that you`re being treated this way. If you object to the abuse of a child, they will tell you you are going to raise rebellious children if you fight your husband. This is just -- it`s a different world, and it`s hard for people to understand where one is coming from because this is not the norm.
GRACE: I want to go back out to the lines. To Diane in North Carolina. Hi, Diane.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, good evening, Nancy.
GRACE: Hi, dear.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And congratulations on your blessings. Listen, I was wondering, talk about child abuse -- I`m sure a lot of these people have died on that ranch. Have they checked to see if -- if it`s because they have not had medical attention? You know you had something on not too long ago about that little girl that was sick and did not get any medical attention. Her parents would not take her to the doctor for so many years. And you know, they just came in and got those people. And you cannot not give these people here medical care just because these people are of a certain religious belief. And I think they should check for cemeteries and gravesites and everything else out there on that ranch. And if they died because of -- they did not get (INAUDIBLE) they should be hauled in and charged with murder.
GRACE: What about it, Susan Roesgen? Susan is CNN correspondent joining us there in San Angelo, Texas. Susan, has there been any type of investigation into the conditions and the treatment and possible cemetery there on the compound?
ROESGEN: You know, Nancy, I`ll just throw out a couple thoughts that comes from an author who`s just written a book called "When Men Become Gods" and it`s on the Warren Jeffs empire. He says two things. First of all, he says that he does believe that there is or was some kind of medical facility, even a birthing center, on that ranch in Eldorado, and that`s why the kids might not have had birth certificates, because they birth babies themselves there.
Also, he says that there was so much inbreeding, so much incest that a lot of the babies died early, and that, in fact, outside of Warren Jeffs`s own log cabin, 32,000-square-foot mansion at his place, there was an actual graveyard of all the babies that had died shortly after childbirth because they had a disease that you get from inbreeding. So I`ll throw those two out there from an author who`s studied the Warren Jeffs empire. And maybe he`s right.
GRACE: Joining me tonight is Jack Downey. He is the president and CEO of The Children`s Shelter. This is where some of the FLDS children are going. Jack, it is a real pleasure to have you on with us tonight. And I want you to explain to the viewers some of the precautions and the special arrangements that you are making to help accommodate these little children.
JACK DOWNEY, THE CHILDREN`S SHELTER: Well, Texas Child Protective Services, Nancy, has given us forewarning of some of the cultural differences between us and what the FLDS children have experienced. For instance, we went through our shelter and took out the color red. They advised us that that was an adverse color to the children. We told our staff not to wear red. We`ve gone through our menus. We have taken out all the electronic toys. And the children are very happy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FLORA JESSOP: So how old are you now?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sixteen.
FLORA JESSOP: Sixteen?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Am I going to get in trouble?
FLORA JESSOP: No, you`re not going to get in trouble. Oh, well, if you get caught by your dad, you will. But we`ll just have to make sure you don`t get caught.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s no easy way to ask this, but the allegation is this has been an area, a ranch, a compound, if you will, where underage girls have had sex with much older men. There are a lot of child brides. Do you see that going on here at all?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I do not. That is not the fact. No facts to that. And it does not, at this point, have anything to do with what we want, that our children come back to us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: You know, it`s hard to believe anything they are saying -- out to you, Michael Board -- because they refuse to give any of their last names. Why is that? They won`t give their correct DOB or for their children. Why?
BOARD: Well, because they`ve been told over and over that the people who are -- should be in charge, the men in this compound, the so-called, you know, gods that they worship, the men tell them what to say and how to act. They say they don`t have to answer to the sins of the outside world, including telling lies, because they know what`s right because the prophet tells them what`s correct. It`s the whole screwed-up, strange culture that they live there on the ranch, where lying is OK.
GRACE: And that would be prophet Warren Jeffs, the guy doing time for conspiracy to have child sex?
BOARD: Yes, the guy that they have the picture of...
BOARD: ... up on the wall. You go into the compound, they have pictures of Warren Jeffs up on the walls -- Warren Jeffs, Merrill Jessop on the wall, and they worship these men as their gods.
GRACE: Speaking of...
BOARD: And they say, you know, it`s OK to lie because, you know, they know the truth, and it`s OK to lie to the outside world, the big bad government.
GRACE: Speaking of Warren Jeffs, his appeal, his attempt at an appeal on that conviction for conspiracy for child sex, has been turned down as we speak. This week, it`s been turned down.
Back to Jack Downey. He is running a children`s shelter where some of the FLDS children are going to be sent or are now there. You said you removed the color red. What does the color red signify to these children?
DOWNEY: Nancy, I`m not sure what it signifies. We were just advised by Child Protective Services that the children may react to the color of red. But I have to tell you that some of the little ones jumped right on red tricycles and had a great time this afternoon.
GRACE: Do they seem happy, Jack?
DOWNEY: They do. They arrived very tired, I would have to say somewhat dirty. They`re not used to riding on a bus, so there was a lot of difficulty sometimes with the stability of the children. But the children are wonderful. I have to admire them for their resilience and what they`re going through.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ma`am, could I have your name, please?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My name is Marie (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you give me your last name?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I won`t give you my last name.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your name?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Donna (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t understand. Why won`t you tell me your last names?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We just want our children back.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My little girl`s name is Marva (ph). She`s such a lovable little girl. She loves school. She`s in 3rd grade. She would come home, Mother, I got an A-plus today. I would grab her and hug her, Good job, Marva! Good job! She is my only child. These are her clothes right here. This is Marva`s bed. You can see it`s empty, and it is the hardest thing in the world for me (INAUDIBLE) in this room (INAUDIBLE) no little girl.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Tonight, we learn 25 more teen brides, pregnancies, discovered amongst all the women and children that were rescued off that Texas compound, as the FLDS makes a last-ditch maneuver to stop the relocation of over 400 children to foster care.
Out to Lavinia Masters. She is not only a rape victim, she is now a sex assault advocate. When you heard about the plight of these young girls, some as young as 13 years old, what were your thoughts?
LAVINIA MASTERS, RAPE VICTIM AND SEX ASSAULT ADVOCATE: I was devastated, Nancy. I was devastated because these poor victims do not even understand that they are being victimized. They`re being controlled by older men and by those that are supposed to love them, their parents, grandparents, telling them that these are the things they`re to do with these men and be married and carry these children. And I was just devastated by the whole entire act.
GRACE: You know, Dr. Marty Makary is with us from Johns Hopkins. Is a cheek swab any less reliable than a blood test for the DNA?
DR. MARTY MAKARY, PHYSICIAN, PROF. OF PUBLIC HEALTH, JOHNS HOPKINS: You know, a couple things about DNA. Whatever cell you get from the body, it has the same three-million sequence of molecules. So a cheek is exactly the same as a blood test.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FLDS MEMBER: Well, the next thing we know is -- to me it seemed like hundreds of trucks and cars came and surrounded the schoolhouse and these armed policemen. They had taken the girls, got them on the bus, pulled them away from their mothers. I just watched this from the window. And I could hear screaming and crying, and people forcing them into the bus and pulling them away, and the bus going away.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: You know to hear that account of the children being separated from their families is devastating. But the reality, back to you, Michael Board, they are charged with child abuse, systematic child abuse on girls as young as 13 years old.
MICHAEL BOARD, REPORTER, WOAI NEWSRADIO: Yes.
GRACE: So the reality is, what choice does the state of Texas have other than to turn a blind eye like so many other states have been doing?
BOARD: Yes, Nancy, I was wondering, could you hear the screaming when these 13 and 14-year-olds were raped by 50 and 60-year-old men? I bet you could hear that from a far distance out there in the middle of wide open spaces of Texas.
GRACE: OK, Michael Board, thank you for conjuring up that image.
Out to the lines. Lisa in Rhode Island. Hi, Lisa.
LISA, RHODE ISLAND RESIDENT: Hi, Nancy. I watch your show every night. I love. I love your show.
GRACE: Lisa, thank you. And thank you for calling in. What`s your question, dear?
LISA: Thank you. Well, it`s more of an observation. I`m looking at all these women and it just dawned on me, where`s grandma? They have like no one over 50 years old they`re showing and they mainly display the youngest, prettiest ones in the middle of the group pictures and stuff. It reminds me of the Stepford wives, like where is the older ladies?
GRACE: Interesting. Where are the older ladies, Susan Roesgen?
SUSAN ROESGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, I did see a few, Nancy, in court. I did some gray-haired, older looking women. I`d say late 60s, maybe early 70s. But I think your caller is right. I think, partly, the Yearning for Zion ranch wanted to put the prettiest girls out front because, let`s face it, they had to do some sort of PR campaign to try to get people have sympathy for them, too.
GRACE: Joining us tonight is investigator and author John Lucich.
John, the original call allegedly made from a borrowed cell phone detailing abuse on this polygamist ranch may have been a hoax. It`s being investigated right now. If it`s a hoax, what about all of the documents found in a secret safe there on the ranch that outlined ne about 38 different families, one man with 22 wives, the 38 families including child brides.
Will that hold up in court? And what other evidence would you be looking for?
JOHN LUCICH, INVESTIGATOR, AUTHOR OF "CYBER LIES": Oh, absolutely will hold up in court. This is a good faith inspection. As long as law enforcement acted reasonably and based on good belief, they have no problem here. Unless the police officers were involved in the ruse itself is absolutely no issue. Fruits of the poison tree doctrine does not exist right here.
As far as -- and I just want to say something real quick. As far as those women with the crocodile tears, stop the propaganda, because where were you when your kids need the protection? You want to protect them now? Where were you when they needed protection?
The other additional evidence I`d be looking for is going to come from DNA. You know I`ve been saying this for a while. You`re going to find out that many of these kids or at least a lot of these are not even related to people they find on the compound. They`re going to be from other parents altogether. But there is a lot of little things -- they just need to conduct interviews and corroborate evidence that they`ve already have.
That`s a crucial part of the investigation.
GRACE: To David Samuel Brown, the ad litem of attorney for an FDLS child, working for free, I might add, to help the child.
David, I know that individual hearings have been ordered for over 400 children. When will they get started?
DAVID SAMUEL BROWN, AD LITEM ATTORNEY FOR FLDS CHILD: We`re not really sure. But June 5th is pretty much a drop-dead date. That`s the date for the 60-day hearing. And that`s really a status hearing. We`re just going to look at each child and see where they are at that time. There`s -- there are no witnesses. It`s hust a status hearing at the time.
GRACE: Right. And to Carolyn Jessop, former FDLS child bride. Carolyn, you managed to overcome what happened to you. All of these girls are still clinging to their old beliefs, they`re refusing to tell authorities the truth. How long will it take them to break away from the indoctrination?
CAROLYN JESSOP, FMR. WIFE OF YFZ LEADER MERRILL JESSOP: It`s going to take some time. And I also have to add that I had to have professional help. Even after I escaped and I was running for my life trying to protect my daughter and some of my children from some of these abuses, I still had to have professional help to find my way through that mind control.
But I am seeing that if they -- you know, uncovered, and they`re getting to the truth, that some of these girls were underaged then it`s breaking down from the inside anyway. Right now they`re beginning to break through that mind control if they`re getting to some of the truth. So I don`t know how that`s all working.
GRACE: On to another legal story. Superstar, Hollywood hit man Wesley Snipes has a brand new role. It`s called three years in the federal pen after tangling with the IRS.
Take a listen.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Still smiling, Wesley Snipes left this Ocala courthouse for likely the last time headed home for now but to prison eventually. Notice the security here. This is a federal court, unusual for a tax trial. But, as federal prosecutors point out, the actor is no usual suspect. He is a celebrity which is what he and his attorney argued in court.
She claims the judge gave Wesley Snipes three years in federal prison because he is Wesley Snipes. Prosecutors say ridiculous.
GRACE: Hey, I had no idea as much as making this kind of money, $13 million in 2004, hasn`t paid taxes back until 1998. Didn`t he think anybody would notice?
To Tom O`Neill, senior editor with "In Touch Weekly," what was Snipes thinking?
TOM O`NEILL, SENIOR EDITOR, IN TOUCH WEEKLY: Well, he was thinking what a lot of people have been thinking -- whenever they join these tax protest groups that say, you know we don`t really have to pay taxes to the government. It hinges on this theory, Nancy, that the ability for government to collect taxes comes from the 16th amendment, it was never ratified properly by Congress. So we have these tax denial groups out there, he bought into one of them. And now he`s going to pay this big price.
GRACE: OK. Please, Russ Alba, Russ Alba, corporate attorney and securities attorney.
Russ, please tell me that even though he joined one of these societies he certainly did not put his name on an Internet list or anything like that. It`s basically saying, IRS, audit me, please?
RUSS ALBA, CORPORATE AND SECURITIES ATTORNEY: Nancy, Wesley Snipes joined Eddie Cane`s anti-tax movement back in 2002 and was -- had a long dialogue with the IRS in fact in 2002.
GRACE: Whoa. Whoa. Did you say, Alba, a long dialogue with the IRS? I didn`t know you could actually talk to the IRS?
ALBA: Absolutely. There`s a long history of correspondence between Wesley Snipes and the IRS regarding his positions about not paying taxes. In fact in 2002, an IRS agent visited him, read him his Miranda rights and informed him that he was under a criminal investigation for tax fraud.
GRACE: So my question is how did they ultimately find him? How did they get on to him, Russ Alba?
ALBA: They weren`t looking for Wesley Snipes. They were looking at Eddie Cane`s anti-tax movement and they found his name in the membership rolls and that led to an investigation of him and other members.
GRACE: Joining us tonight, Barbara Barlein, clinical psychotherapist and author. Why did he think that, for all these years, 10 years, this is after he has been in a dialogue with the IRS, that nothing is going to happen? You know, the IRS, remember the guys that bring down the mob when the feds can`t get them? The IRS, the taxman gets them behind bars.
BARBARA BARLEIN, CLINICAL PSYCHOTHERAPIST, AUTHOR OF "WHY DID I MARRY YOU ANYWAY?": The timeframe actually led, in part, to, I think, the denial. And by that I mean it was such a lengthy period of time where, basically not a lot happened. A few dialogues and some correspondence going back and forth that I really think Mr. Snipes mistakenly believed he was above the law.
GRACE: Everyone, before we come back with Wesley Snipes, now headed to a federal penitentiary, we are taking your calls live.
A happy ending, a happy ending for an abandoned puppy, pit bull terrier. You remember him? He was seized when his owners were arrested for growing tons of pot. Featured right here after over 600 e-mails and phone calls from across the country. Tonight, Hash has a brand new happy home in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Well, welcome home, Hash. Please, please, people rename the dog. Remove the stigma.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: One of the biggest, most famous and best paid actors in Hollywood is going to prison because of what he didn`t pay -- his federal income taxes. A judge hit Wesley Snipes harder than he`s ever been hit in his movies, sentencing Snipes to three years in prison and ordering him to pay a fine of up to $5 million.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Wesley Snipes looks stoic as the judge handed down that sentence. 36 months. That`s three years. One year, the judge said, for every count that Wesley Snipes was found guilty of back in February. Those counts are failing to file a tax return, misdemeanors.
Now as he left the courthouse, Wesley Snipes simply waved to the media and to the fans who showed up to support him. He would not comment and neither would his attorneys. They all got into an SUV and drove off together. The judge did say he`s not going to implement any fines. But of course, Wesley Snipes still owes money on those back taxes.
The two other -- co-defendants were sentenced as well. They face longer jail time than Wesley Snipes does.
GRACE: And joining us tonight is the attorney for one of those co- defendants, joining us from Ocala, Florida is David Wilson.
David, thank you for being with us. Your guy got a little more jail time than Snipes, why?
DAVID WILSON, ATTORNEY FOR SNIPES` CO-DEFENDANT DOUGLAS ROSILE: I think the judge in determining what was appropriate sentence looked at his background, his history, and he looked at his minor, relatively minor involvement in a grand scheme of things and felt that a sentence of 54 months was adequate to promote the ends of justice but not so much as it was over the top.
GRACE: Joining us, David Wilson, a veteran trial lawyer, joining us out of Ocala, Florida.
And back to you, Russ Alba, did Snipes actually argue to the judge that he shouldn`t do jail time because he`s a famous movie star and he has a certain shelf life and it will keep him from earning three years worth of salary? You could say that about any body that has to go to jail.
ALBA: No, Nancy. He never really argued that. That was the subtext of the sentencing today that he -- that...
GRACE: What do you mean subtext? Is that what the defense argued?
ALBA: Not to the court.
GRACE: Well, argued it where then?
ALBA: That was the discussions that were -- tossed around during the sentencing negotiations.
GRACE: Oh between the defense and prosecution?
GRACE: So they did argue it to the prosecution?
ALBA: It`s my understanding.
GRACE: You know, that`s incredibly arrogant, Jeff Brown.
JEFF BROWN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Listen, this happened in my backyard. There was a period of time where I was being asked to join the legal team with Billy Martin, who is a fabulous lawyer. He made -- Wesley made a huge mistake, he got rid of a very good lawyer and replaced them with lawyers (INAUDIBLE) critical of this case.
GRACE: You know, Jeff. All due respect. But I think it`s big mistake was ignoring the IRS for 10 years.
BROWN: But do did Willie Nelson, so did Marc Anthony. He got three years. Three years is way too much time for this. You and I both know deterrence does not work. Three years is.
GRACE: Oh really, I don`t know that.
BROWN: Well, then, you know, I don`t see it working. I see crime still up. I see crime levels still at the same level as 18 years ago.
GRACE: And so is the population, Jeff. And so is the population.
BROWN: This is not going to do anything.
GRACE: Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. I am not going down that garden path with you. According to statistics.
BROWN: That`s three years.
GRACE: .deterrents work and I think it was a slap on the wrist.
Tom O`Neill, is he going...
BROWN: Three years was a slap on the wrist?
GRACE: Yes, for not paying taxes for 10 years.
BROWN: So did Willie Nelson. He didn`t get three years.
GRACE: Oh blah, blah. Just because he jumps off a cliff should I jump off a cliff?
GRACE: Sounds like you`re arguing to your mommy.
BROWN: But they`re arguing deterrents and uniformity here.
GRACE: These are my peanut butter sandwich.
BROWN: That`s not what they`re saying.
GRACE: OK. Stop.
BROWN: They`re trying to be uniformed here. This is not uniformity.
To Tom O`Neill, he did not pay taxes since 1998. He joined a group, publicly, begging the IRS to look at him saying, we think it`s unconstitutional. In fact, we`re not going to pay taxes. He made a public proclamation of it.
O`NEILL: Yes, he thought he could get away with it. It goes right back to your point of arrogance, Nancy. And you are so right. The reason the judge threw the book at him was from the start of this case he was so arrogant. He was accusing them all of racism. He -- he showed no remorse at all throughout the trial and he even showed to use the word of...
GRACE: He accused the judge of racism?
O`NEILL: No, no. The community of where.
GRACE: The community.
O`NEILL: He was trying to get a change of venue because he said they were all racist. He was trying to deflect this whole thing, and then to use the judge`s word, he used nothing but contempt towards these people.
GRACE: Well, all I can say is, as much as it hurts, Penny Douglas Furr, I`ve never missed paying a year of taxes. Yes, I have had a few extensions, that`s true. They all started during a murder trial, I was very, very busy on April 15th. But to blatantly ignore paying your taxes, I don`t mean screw up or take a deduction you shouldn`t. I mean outright say, hey, to H with you, I`m not paying my taxes, IRS. Come and get me.
PENNY DOUGLAS FURR, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I think the difference between Willie Nelson and Wesley Snipes was the arrogance that was shown by Wesley Snipes. . He even threatened the IRS agent when they told him that he was under criminal investigation. And I think it was his arrogance that caused the problem. But he did argue that it was selective prosecution because of race.
GRACE: Out to the lines. Sandy in Indiana. Hi, Sandy.
SANDY, INDIANA RESIDENT: Hi, Nancy. Congratulations to you and your husband on the babies.
GRACE: Thank you, dear.
GRACE: What`s your question?
SANDY: I just wonder if three years is kind of the norm for this?
GRACE: Good question.
SANDY: You know, for this or whether he still kind of got a good deal.
GRACE: I thought it was a light sentence. Is it, Russ Alba?
ALBA: Nancy, to differ to Jeff Brown, but the three year sentence is well within the guidelines. It`s at the max -- the high end of the maximum of the -- of the sentencing range. But it`s -- it is a legal sentence.
GRACE: What was the possible sentence, David Wilson? What could -- what was the max?
WILSON: Well, the maximum that Mr. Snipes could have received was three years simply because of the fact that there were three misdemeanor counts, each of them is (INAUDIBLE) punishment (INAUDIBLE)
GRACE: Well, according to my legal investigation, Snipes faced up to 16 years if guilty on all charges. Very quickly.
WILSON: That is -- that`s correct. Had he been found guilty of all charges, the sentence.
WILSON: .the maximum sentence he could have received was 16 years. But because he was only convicted of three misdemeanor counts his maximum sentence then became three years.
GRACE: You know what? You`re absolutely right. Thank you for clarifying that for me.
Right now, I want to quickly go to "CNN HEROES."
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ANNOUNCER: "CNN HEROES" is sponsored by.
GRACE: What a week in America`s courtrooms. Take a look at the stories and more important the people who touched our lives.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Texas state workers are busy collecting DNA today from 416 kids removed from a polygamist ranch. They hope to figure out who are the children`s parents and whether any sexual abuse took place.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: There`s some confusion now about the number of children involved. Twenty-five additional mothers from the compound were not over 18 as they claimed at first.
FLORA JESSOP, FMR. POLYGAMIST & CHILD BRIDE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE CHILD PROTECTION PROJECT: What it takes to get away from the FDLS is you have to reach a point that the pain and the abuse becomes so bad in what you perceive is heaven that you`re willing to damn yourself to hell for eternity.
GRACE: The motive for the brutal beating, beating so severe the honor student cheerleader victim actually lost consciousness, was over beauty products.
RICHARD HERMAN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: The beating, it`s horrific. And they should be punished for that, no question about it.
GRACE: And as you know in Florida, what would they get a big whopper 18 months behind bars. Ooh, ouch, ouch, ouch.
Grainy surveillance video emerges of the person of interest on the run, crisscrossing the country with the children.
Do they even know their mom is dead?
EBEN BROWN, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Police have issued or -- this no- bond warrant for the arrest of Benito Casanova specifically for the abduction of the three kids.
GRACE: Let`s stop and remember Air Force Tech Sergeant Anthony Capra, 31, Hanford, California, killed, Iraq on a fourth tour. Awarded two Bronze Stars and an Air Force commendation medal. A devoted family man, loved God, country, coaching soccer, e-mailing his wife from Iraq. Leave behind parents Turner and Sharon, 11 siblings, widow Angie and five children.
Anthony Capra, American hero.
Thanks to our guests but most of all to you for being with us. And tonight a special good night from Atlanta friends of the show, Daniella and Bobby.
Everybody, I`ll see you tomorrow night, 8:00 sharp Eastern. And until then, good night, friend.