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Watters' World: Outrage in Michigan

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," January 13, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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O'REILLY: Thanks for staying with us. I'm Bill O'Reilly. In the "Watters' World" segment tonight, a few weeks ago we reported that the Michigan Education Association, the union, trying to secure a $10,000 payment for a convicted child rapist.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

Thirty-nine-year-old, Neal Erickson, was convicted of criminal sexual conduct with a minor, sentenced up to 30 years in prison. Erickson was the 12-year-old boy's teacher and molested the child for three years.

Incredibly, the teachers' union is trying to get this monster a severance payment of 10,000 bucks. Now, we talked with the molested boy's parents who were shocked at the union's actions. They say, the situation is even inflicting more pain on their son and themselves.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

So, we asked the head of the teachers' union in Michigan, Steven Cook, to stop the campaign, to be reasonable. He refused. We then sent Jesse Watters out to Michigan to confront him.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JESSE WATTERS, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: You had a teacher who repeatedly raped one of his own students. And you're trying to get him $10,000. Can you please explain that.

STEVEN COOK, PRESIDENT, MICHIGAN EDUCATION ASSOCIATION: I don't have any comment.

WATTERS: You know, you're hurting the student and his family even more. Don't you care.

COOK: No comment.

WATTERS: You have no comment, whatsoever. You have a teacher that raped a student and you want him paid. You know that's wrong.

COOK: You guys have got to go.

WATTERS: Sir, answer the questions, please. You have a kid whose life was destroyed by a teacher. How is that acceptable.

COOK: You guys have got to go. Sorry, this is private property. You need to leave.

WATTERS: How do you morally justify that, sir. Answer the question.

COOK: No comment.

WATTERS: Sir, answer the question.

COOK: No comment.

WATTERS: Can I be perfectly honest with you.

COOK: You can do whatever you want.

WATTERS: You're an absolute disgrace.

COOK: Brian, would you escort these gentlemen out.

BRIAN: You've got to go.

WATTERS: That's atrocious, sir.

BRIAN: Move outside, please.

WATTERS: Absolutely atrocious.

BRIAN: Move outside, please, sir.

WATTERS: One last thing you'd like to say to the family?

COOK: No comment.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

O'REILLY: Now, after that confrontation, Watters secured an interview with the boy who was raped by the teacher. He's now a man, 21 years old, going to college.

We want to protect his identity, so Jesse talked to him on the phone.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WATTERS: When you heard that this union was fighting for $10,000 for the teacher who molested you, how did that make you feel.

CODY, RAPED AS A CHILD BY NEAL ERICKSON (on the phone): Education system is supposed to support their students and their well-being. And the fact the MEA is backing a child molester and a criminal is absolutely disgusting.

Nobody will ever know what this man did to me emotionally, physically and mentally.

WATTERS: Now, the head of the union, Mr. Cook, won't comment on this.

CODY: The main job of Mr. Cook is to look out for the well-being of the school system. How can he do that when he supports a child molester.

WATTERS: Now, some these teachers in this district wrote letters requesting leniency. Were you shocked by that.

CODY: Absolutely. The fact that they went the route they took in supporting Erickson, I feel that they are just as bad he is. He molded my mind into me thinking things that I had no control over.

WATTERS: Was Neal Erickson a mentor at first and then -- how did he take advantage of you.

CODY: I had significant interest in technological activities our school did not offer. So, I took it upon myself to learn these interests. And he was very receptive of that, and helped me with that.

However, things got out of hand when he started going over the line. He tried to psychologically take advantage of me, and he emotionally took advantage of me.

He often threatened to fail me in my classes. At one point, he told me that if I told anybody, he would come to my house and make sure I regret it.

He used alcohol to get me drunk. And from there, he had me under his arm ever since.

WATTERS: Your dad and your mom really love you a lot.

CODY: I know. And I'm very thankful for everything they have done for me. And I just -- I just wish that there could be closure to this, and these individuals supporting Neal can see that there's no such thing as consensual at 13 years old.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

O'REILLY: Well, here's Watters. I'm glad it was you out there interviewing him, not me.

WATTERS: Yes, you might have taken his head off.

O'REILLY: You know, I've never done that. I've done some ambush interviews in my career but, that guy --

WATTERS: Yes.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

O'REILLY: -- it's just -- it's beyond belief.

WATTERS: Yes.

O'REILLY: It really is, that guy, "No comment," -- the arrogant -- you explain yourself, you know, explain yourself. Now, there are some new developments in the case. What are they.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WATTERS: They finally released a statement to us. And they say, the contract is legally obligated to be followed by the union. They have no choice.

O'REILLY: That's bull.

WATTERS: They can't decide which union guy to help, or which union guy not to help. But here's the thing, the guy is not in good standing with the union. He's in prison. He's not paying dues.

O'REILLY: That's right. He's out.

WATTERS: They can rip up the contract.

O'REILLY: Sure.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WATTERS: The second thing is, if this guy joined al-Qaeda and killed a bunch of innocent people, they're saying that, under that rationale, they're still going to honor this guy's contract.

It doesn't make sense. They're choosing to side with the molester.

O'REILLY: They're choosing to do it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

Is there any reason in the teachers that supported him -- this Cook guy -- is there any reason they would do this.

WATTERS: No.

O'REILLY: Did you find out anything.

WATTERS: No, there's really no good reason. And listen to this. The teachers that wrote these letters requesting leniency, --

O'REILLY: In support for the molester, yes.

WATTERS: Yes. So, first of all, they said it was consensual, which is totally insane.

O'REILLY: Oh, jeesh.

WATTERS: OK. They also had a lesson plan for the class to have the students in his class write letters, saying how sad they were that this Neal Erickson wasn't their teacher anymore.

How disgusting is that. And the union is doing something worse to the mother. The mother has cancer. She wants to get chemo.

She wants to take a week off, paid leave. The union will not let her take a week paid to get chemo.

O'REILLY: She's in union? She's in the same union.

WATTERS: Yes, she's in the same union that Erickson was in. And she just --

O'REILLY: Well, this Cook has got to go. We'll take a look at the district attorney -- the Attorney General for Michigan, we'll talk to him about this guy. All right, good work, Watters.

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