This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," August 2, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.
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SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: An Albany teacher is accused of raping a 16-year-old student. Sandra "Beth" Geisel (search) allegedly had sex with four students, but three of them were just old enough to make it legally consentable, if you will. Earlier today, Geisel posted $20,000 bond, was released from jail, but she still faces up to 16 years in prison.
And for all the latest, we're joined by Colonie, New York, Police Chief Steven Heider. Steven, welcome to the program. Thanks for being with us. You know, what's bothersome to me is, I guess these other kids just barely made the consent law, is that true?
STEVEN HEIDER, COLONIE POLICE CHIEF: Well, in New York State, the consent law is at 17. The victim we're dealing with is 16. Anybody else other than that person is away from the investigation, so to speak.
HANNITY: Yes, but it originally became known because one of the kids, the 17-year-old, came out publicly, right, when some police ran into her — ran into them in the car together one night?
HEIDER: Yes. A neighboring police, actually, was called for a car parked in a neighborhood, came upon the defendant with another individual. It was subsequent to that the school found out, and a letter to the parents is what alerted everybody to this.
HANNITY: You were quoted in the "Troy Record" as saying, "You can't arrest based on a 17-year-old. It's looked at as a conquest, not a victimization." What do you mean by that?
HEIDER: What we're talking about is a lot of things males won't report. It's very unfortunate in our society. But when crimes like this occur against young males, unfortunately, society sometimes looks at these acts as conquests for the young male versus victimization. Throughout our society, even in movies, books, and magazines, it's viewed as a conquest. It's very unfortunate.
HANNITY: You know something? It's interesting you say that, because we've had a number of these cases now where these teachers, relatively attractive, married people, involved with these young students, and there really is, Chief, a double standard in the way we view it versus if it was a male and a female.
And I don't understand why people don't comprehend that this is an abuse and a violation of a child. I'm hard-pressed at some of the comments I've gotten and e-mails I've gotten on the topic.
HEIDER: Well, we've even had some media locally question it based on the fact they feel that nothing's been done wrong, that this is perfectly normal and it's a perfectly normal relationship. And New York State is very specific in the age of consent.
And, you know, when you look at teachers, whether it be teachers or police officers, anybody in the employment form of authority, their position should not be used to give them acquiescence to children, period.
KIRSTEN POWERS, GUEST CO-HOST: Hi, Chief, it's Kirsten Powers. The school has said that they originally deemed this behavior inappropriate, when it first came to their attention. It seems they've really mishandled this from the get-go. They've known about it for quite some time. Do you think that they handled this properly?
HEIDER: Well, it's not up to me to say whether they handled it properly. When they were talking about inappropriate contact, they were dealing with contact with a 17-year-old adult male. And again, it's clear that that is within the age of consent, so at that point, it wouldn't be deemed criminal. It would be deemed inappropriate and that led to her dismissal.
What's been questioned is the delay in them sending a letter out to the public, in terms of this. And that question has been within the parents of students that are within the school, and that's basically between them and the school.
POWERS: And what do we know about this woman that would lead her to behave in this manner?
HEIDER: Well, obviously, that's going to be the crux of the situation. I mean, she has been charged. We've done a very exhaustive investigation. We talked to a number of people that can put the individuals together, who have claimed to be together. So we feel we have more than enough corroborative evidence to put the facts together in the case.
As far as what led her to this over the last, basically, two months is something that, obviously, is going to be, possibly, part of the case, possibly her defense or something. We don't know because we have not been able to talk to her throughout the investigation.
POWERS: So you haven't heard anything about her being mentally unstable or having any history of this kind of behavior going beyond this case?
HEIDER: No, as far as any history, we have not. For all intents and purposes, though, that's not that uncommon. It's very common with cases that we handle. We've handled hundreds of similar cases of abuse, not involving teachers, per se.
But you don't need to look for a history. There's very often been no history. Maybe there's been a moment that set something off within a person's mind which caused that person to act in such a way. We've long ago...
POWERS: I'm sorry. Is it correct that she is being held without bail right now?
HEIDER: No. Right now, she is going back for a bail hearing. She's been released on bail with certain conditions, pending further court appearances.
HEIDER: All right, Chief, we really do appreciate your being with us, and thanks for keeping us updated on the case. And we're going to continue to watch it. Thank you very much.
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