Indecent Relations

This is a partial transcript from "On the Record," January 7, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.

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GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: A California teacher is charged with 20 counts of lewd acts for allegedly having sex with two of her former students. Twenty-eight-year-old Sarah Salorio (search) was charged with molesting the boys between May and December of last year. The boys were between the ages of 12 and 14 at the time.

Joining us in Orange County is District Attorney Tony Rackauckas. Also with us is the teacher's lawyer Al Stokke. Tony, first of all I guess the question is you assume she's guilty. You've sought the charges against her. How did you catch her? How did you get the information?

TONY RACKAUCKAS, ORANGE COUNTY D.A.: Well, one of the boys talked to his parents and told his parents what was going on and they went to the police and the police immediately, the Orange Police Department immediately did an investigation, including interviewing the teacher, Sarah Bench-Salorio, and it went from there.

Then the other boy was — the fact that he had been having this contact was also disclosed at that point and so we have filed the 20 counts of child molestation. It's over a period of time. One of the boys was 12 to 14 years old at the time. The other one was 13.

VAN SUSTEREN: Al, what's your client's reaction to these charges?

AL STOKKE, ATTY. FOR ACCUSED TEACHER: Well, her first reaction is that she's very sympathetic toward the family of the boys that are involved. She's very concerned about them.

She's also concerned about the school and the effect that it's having on the school and very, very sympathetic towards her own family and what it's doing to them. She got a very great deal of support from a very nice family fortunately.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Al, let me ask you since she's your client. When she talked to them — or was interviewed — did she say she did it?

STOKKE: Well, this is a factor that we shouldn't be talking about at this point in time and so I'm declining to talk on that subject. We also don't have all the information on that subject yet at this point either.

VAN SUSTEREN: Tony, do the two boys know each other?

RACKAUCKAS: Yes, as far as I know. They do know each other. They're not relatives or anything like that but sure.

VAN SUSTEREN: Al, is your client married?

STOKKE: She is married. She's 28 years old, just graduated from college a couple of years ago, been teaching for a year or two and has a very good reputation as a teacher, separate and apart from whatever happened here. Many, many of the students like her a great deal.

VAN SUSTEREN: Tony, I see by the pictures, you know, she looks to be in jail. You know I take it there's a bond on her head. What's the bond on her head?

RACKAUCKAS: She's in custody now on $1 million bond and I think, you know, I'm sure that there will be some bail hearings coming up in the future but we think that $1 million is reasonable bail at this point.

VAN SUSTEREN: Al, $1 million. Does she have $1 million, Al, or $100,000 to put up ten percent?

STOKKE: Statutory bail in this state is $100,000 so we may have further hearings. No, I'm afraid she doesn't have $1 million to lay out.

VAN SUSTEREN: So, Al, so I mean do you expect, I mean looking at the California, the way California usually handles sex cases, do you expect her to make bond?

STOKKE: Well, if we get some adjustment in the bond, yes.

VAN SUSTEREN: One quick question, Tony, we only have 30 seconds left. Should she be treated any differently than a man similarly situated?

RACKAUCKAS: The law doesn't make any distinction and, you know, these are child molestation counts and as far as we're concerned it really doesn't — it really doesn't make any difference. We think that there's going to be a severe impact on the lives of these boys and so it should be treated very much the same as if she were a male.

VAN SUSTEREN: Gentlemen, thank you, good luck to both of you. Thank you.

Joining us by phone from Orange, California is the teacher's neighbor for more than 15 years, Chris Howell, welcome Chris.

CHRIS HOWELL, NEIGHBOR (by telephone): Good evening, Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN: Chris, what can you tell me about Sarah? You've known her an awful long time.

HOWELL: Oh, gosh, such a nice young lady, worked so hard to get her teaching credentials and to have something like this step in and ruin her life and disturb her family's life is just unbelievable. We're at awe in our neighborhood. We can't understand it.

VAN SUSTEREN: Is this out of character for what you would expect from Sarah?

HOWELL: Oh, totally out of character. I've known her mom and dad for 20 years and I've known her and Chris for the last 12 years as being married and very nice people, friendly, say hi, good evening, outgoing and very nice with kids around the street and stuff and this is just totally shock.

VAN SUSTEREN: Ever see her bring boys home, students home?

HOWELL: Never, never, never. We know that they had acquired some foster kids in the last couple of months here that belonged to Chris' brother and they took them in because they were having a hard time at their own family's house and we couldn't believe something like this, you know, anyways could happen on our street or even in our neighborhood or wherever, you know. It's just unbelievable.

VAN SUSTEREN: What does Sarah's husband do? We know she's a teacher. What does her husband do?

HOWELL: He's an electrician, union electrician and he's been going for...

VAN SUSTEREN: How long have they been married?

HOWELL: Oh, gosh, as far as I know they've been married for at least ten years.

VAN SUSTEREN: Have you had a chance to talk to her? I don't suppose you have since she's been picked up.

HOWELL: I have not had a chance to talk to her or her husband Chris or her mom and dad either, you know, in this situation and I don't know what to say or how to approach them in the matter. It's such a stunning situation that you wouldn't know what the right thing to say to somebody like this other than give them their prayers.

VAN SUSTEREN: And what's everyone in the neighborhood saying?

HOWELL: We're shocked. We couldn't, you know, this is stuff that you hear all the time on the news but you never believe it happens in your neighborhood.

VAN SUSTEREN: And in terms of obviously she's a good neighbor. You've known her a long time, no problems, no loud parties that kind of thing?

HOWELL: No, outstanding neighbors, model citizens on the street. And we have such a small street here. There's only 30 houses on the street and it's very quiet and very family oriented and stuff and we've never had any crime or major problems on our street like this or not even simple crime.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, she's in a heap of trouble. It's a pretty serious crime. Thank you, Chris.

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