This is a partial transcript from "On the Record," February 5, 2007, that has been edited for clarity.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: Accused Missouri kidnapper, Michael Devlin, slapped tonight with new charges — 71 new charges to be precise and at least 52 are related to Shawn Hornbeck. So, what does Shawn Hornbeck's family think about today's news and how is Shawn doing? Joining us from Saint Louis is Hornbeck family attorney, Scott Sherman. Good evening, Scott, and how is Shawn doing?
SCOTT SHERMAN, HORNBECK FAMILY ATTORNEY: Hi, Greta. Doing as well as can be expected. I think today was a very good day in a series of good days and, on behalf of the family, there was relief, really. A lot of these charges, the speculation was out there — when were they going to come? How many? What were the nature of the charges going to be? And until the prosecutors get everything in order, you really don’t know. And then today we found out that something was brewing. We found out, like everyone else did, at the press conference by Mr. McCulloch, and quite frankly, they're ready for the legal process to begin. And it's just another phase for them in the road to Shawn's recovery. And today was a good day for us.
VAN SUSTEREN: In terms of the charges for Shawn. I mean, I guess the prosecutors had to — or the police have had to work with him. I mean that — I mean, imagine that's been extraordinarily difficult because they've got to sort of sort through every incident and determine whether they can meet the elements. I'm not so sure that was particularly easy for him or for anyone.
SHERMAN: I don't think so. I think you're right. However, every victim of crime, in particular victims of sexual assault and children, in particular, need to know that they have a big support system out there. They are the victim services and the families, the prosecution teams and they need to know that they can't be too afraid to serve justice. And Shawn Hornbeck is an extremely, very strong young man, very brave and he knows that there's a lot at stake here. Not just in the criminal justice system, but to send the message to other people out there, to other kids that you can stand up and you can be strong and to other would-be pedophiles and defendants out there that, look, you're not just going to be able to intimidate these children, they're going to stand up and they're going to fight for their rights. And we know this defendant has rights, we're not going to say anything that's going to hurt the process, but today's a great day. Shawn's a great kid and we're going to work as hard as we can for justice for he and for Ben.
VAN SUSTEREN: You know, it seems to me that you know, if the — probably the most realistic thing that's going to happen is if indeed it's true that Michael Devlin does confess to these and if indeed that it's true that the confession is voluntary, that it wasn't beaten out of him, for example, that this will likely be worked out into a plea agreement. Unless the prosecution gives it such a terrible package that it forces his hand to go to trial, then that's when your client would have to testify. But, best case scenario, is a plea because our client will not have to testify publicly.
SHERMAN: As lawyers, we always want to protect our clients as much as we can. We want to put the blanket over them and really do everything we can to keep them out of the pressure cooker of trials. But, we know that in a case like this maybe a defendant might not have anything to lose. So, we look at it like this, Shawn is preparing for the worst. He's getting himself ready. His family's there, everybody's behind him and if that day comes and it is trial, then it won't be a shock. But obviously, everybody on the family and our side wants as little amount of stress on Shawn as possible. But guess what, we look at it as a challenge and maybe if there is a trial and that's the defendant's right to do it, we're going to be there, Shawn's going to be there and everybody's going to be proud of him because he's going to be a stand-up kid and he's going to do the right thing.
VAN SUSTEREN: In light of the fact that he's been gone for four years, he's missed school for four years, is he getting back, sort of, whatever normal is? I mean, is the school working with him and sort of trying to figure work out a way to sort of get him back on schedule with his classmates?
SHERMAN: School's sort of — part of the umbrella of what we call the therapy process and the therapy team. They're being — that portion of his rehabilitation is being directed. So, school is definitely part of that, but it might not be on any kind of timetable that any of us would hope, but he's being assessed, and whatever his needs, including education, is definitely being addressed by great people and I have big hope for him on that issue, too.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, this is one very strange case and a very terrible crime, as well. Glad to hear that, at least, what I think I'm hearing is that your client is doing as well as can be expected if not better. And we'll continue to follow it. Thank you, Scott.
SHERMAN: Greta, always, thank you.
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