John Walsh Takes Us Inside a Sex Offender Sting Operation
This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," April 27, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.
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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: Now for the top story tonight. All over the country, authorities are getting tougher on child predators. Twenty-five states now have Jessica's Law or a variation of it.
One of those leading the charge to protect the kids is John Walsh, the co-founder of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. This coming Saturday on the FOX Network, Mr. Walsh is hosting an "America's Most Wanted" special on suspected predators, some of whom were rounded up in a sting operation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN WALSH, HOST OF "AMERICA'S MOST WANTED": He's looking. He's looking. There he is right there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Got him. Out of the car. Out of the car.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's go.
WALSH: What's wrong with you, huh? Say something. What are you, a coward? Big man. Here's a guy driving around in a $100,000-plus car, coming to specifically, purposefully have sex with a 13-year-old girl.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, let's go get him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's go.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's go.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good work. Good work, man. Good work.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's got the condom right there. There he is. OK. OK, this is the guy right here. What are you doing, bro? What are you doing? What are you doing here? Tell me what you're doing here?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Relax.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let me tell you something, bro, you're in big, big trouble. You came here to have sex with a 13-year-old girl.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn't want to have sex.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, you did.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'REILLY: With us now is John Walsh. Well, I'm sure this is going to get very high ratings on FOX on Saturday night. It's dramatic footage. But more importantly, we have to shock the American people because the politicians are letting us down. Can you believe Kennedy and Reid are doing this?
WALSH: You know, I've been going up there for 25 years. And you and I have talked many, many times. I think a lot of people don't realize that I'm a father of a murdered child, and have been up on Capitol Hill doing this.
And this bill should have been passed two years ago. Mark Foley, my congressman...
WALSH: ...from Florida sat down with James Sensenbrenner, wrote it and we got it passed last year in the House of Representatives.
WALSH: Went over to the Senate side. Arlen Specter has been a friend of mine, chairman of the Judiciary. Joe Biden is on the bill. Hillary Clinton is on the bill. Charles Schumer is on the bill.
But it hasn't passed twice. It's being held up. And you know, you look at these guys, the last guy there, he slid — they're alleged. Well, you and I have to say that. They're alleged.
O'REILLY: Right, they haven't been convicted, right.
WALSH: Right, they haven't been convicted. But the Justice Department says there's 550,000 convicted sex offenders out there. And 150,000 are in noncompliance with registration. They're flighting around. It's a misdemeanor to go state to state.
Joseph Duncan, who killed that whole family in Coeur D'Alene, had three warrants out for him, and jumped bail in Minnesota. He would have never got to Coeur D'Alene to kill that family and get Shasta Groene if we had a national sex offender registration.
O'REILLY: OK, am I being too hard on Reid and Kennedy? I mean, you heard my "Talking Points Memo." I'm laying it right on their doorstep. Am I being unfair to these men?
WALSH: I don't think so. And you know what? I have great respect for Sen. Kennedy. He's worked with me for 20 years on the Missing Children's bill, the Amber Alert bill, etc.
But I think what Harry Reid and Sen. Kennedy are trying to do is attach their agenda, as you so appropriately said in the beginning.
This is like a car going through the speed pass. And then all of a sudden, these guys want to put a cattle trailer on it, and a horse trailer, and all the other stuff. This Child Safety Act needs to pass. It needs to go to the floor, just like you said for a vote. And they can work it out in conference.
O'REILLY: They can work it out. I mean, if Kennedy believes in the Hate Crimes bill so much, then introduce that separately and we'll vote on it. And I'll give him a fair shot.
WALSH: Worthwhile piece of legislation.
O'REILLY: Right. But it has nothing to do with the kids.
WALSH: Big, complicated piece of legislation. And as you said before, every day that this isn't passed...
WALSH: ...there's a sexual predator roaming around.
O'REILLY: All right.
WALSH: .Like John Couey, down in Florida that killed Jessica Lunsford.
O'REILLY: Have you made your opinion known to Kennedy and Reid? Do they know how John Walsh feels about this?
WALSH: They do. And they both have said we'll get it settled, we'll get it done, but if you'd give us the time to attach what we want.
I say, please, pass this act.
O'REILLY: Right. Forget the attachment.
WALSH: Work it out. Do your own stuff.
WALSH: Do your own thing and go to conference. The Amber Alert bill that saved hundreds of kids' lives with the Amber Alerts took almost six years to get through Congress, but it took 3.5 hours during conference after it passed the Senate and House. The American public should be outraged and say...
O'REILLY: Well, they are.
WALSH: ...get it on the floor and vote on it.
O'REILLY: I know that after tonight's broadcast and after seeing you and the "Talking Points Memo", thousands of Americans are going to get a — not just Republicans and Democrats and everybody else.
WALSH: Oh, yes, this is.
O'REILLY: They're all going to flood. And then, hopefully, Kennedy and Reid will be jarred out of whatever agenda they have.
WALSH: And Bill Frist has said, I met with him personally.
O'REILLY: I talked to him last night.
WALSH: You know he's a god guy.
WALSH: He's a champion.
O'REILLY: Frist and Hatch.
O'REILLY: I talked to both of them.
WALSH: Orrin Hatch.
O'REILLY: Within the last 24 hours, they're ready to go.
O'REILLY: Tomorrow, they'll go.
WALSH: Put it out. Put it out. Yes.
O'REILLY: This is, but we got to get Kennedy and Reid to knock it off.
O'REILLY: Now 25 out of the 50 states would have been successful with Jessica's Law. You've watched our coverage on these judges from Ohio and Vermont.
WALSH: It's been phenomenal.
O'REILLY: Can you believe these judges? I mean, you're more familiar with these people than I am, because you're confronting them. I mean, you got Connor, a guy that could have given a guy 10 years for, you know, brutalizing two little boys. And then we got Cashman in Vermont, could have given the guy, you know, 20 years.
O'REILLY: For the raping the girl.
O'REILLY: He gets six weeks. What is with this?
WALSH: You know, I've seen these guys. They'll make a deal with the prosecutor.
O'REILLY: No, but this is them.
WALSH: This is them. Pompous, not involved. Don't realize these guys have the highest rate of recidivism of any sex offender.
O'REILLY: How could they not realize?
WALSH: I don't get it. But at least — you know what I said? You're doing God's work on Jessica's Law.
WALSH: Because this is what the people don't realize. This is a country of 50 little countries called states.
WALSH: And when we don't have that unification and that automatic exchange between those 17,000 police agencies and those 28 federal agencies, these guys slip through the cracks. They're predators.
O'REILLY: We'll get 40 out of the 50 states.
O'REILLY: Ten, Vermont, places like that, it's hopeless. But the media in a lot of these states opposing Jessica's Law for every rationale in the world. That's another thing, I'm going, what is this?
WALSH: Tell Mark Lunsford why John Couey had been arrested 22 times, was in noncompliance in a tough state, Florida, with a sex offender registry bill, refused to register. Tell Mark Lunsford that. Tell him — I want those people in the media to tell other parents of a murdered child. Tell that to little Shasta Groene, how that Joseph Duncan could violate in Washington state, violate in Oregon, get arrested in Minnesota.
O'REILLY: And the judge lets him out.
WALSH: On $15,000.
WALSH: Who raised the money? Two pedophiles on a blog cut him loose and then goes to Coeur D'Alene.
WALSH: He should have never.
O'REILLY: And the judge is still on the bench there.
All right, on Saturday night, we saw some dramatic footage. And do you feel bad chasing these guys around?
WALSH: I feel great. I'm the father of a murdered child and will tell you what.
WALSH: You know what the Internet is for them? It's like a private, wild game sanctuary. And they're the big game hunters.
O'REILLY: And they set up to meet with these kids.
WALSH: They're the predators.
WALSH: And our kids are wonderful kids that are out there, thinking they're going to meet another 12 year old at the mall are meeting a 27-year-old buffed up guy. That guy in that $150,000 Mercedes thought he was coming to have sex with a 13 year old.
WALSH: The guy that I confronted before.
O'REILLY: He got the shock of his life, didn't he?
WALSH: He's alleged to have molested a six year old. He skated because she couldn't testify in court.
WALSH: He knows the system. And he — they cannot (INAUDIBLE).
O'REILLY: All right, John, we'll be watching Saturday night. We appreciate your good work. And I think you and I together will get Kennedy and Reid to get this on the floor.
WALSH: I hope so. They're good men. They should do the right thing. This is not about politics. This is about kids' safety.
O'REILLY: John Walsh, thank you very much.
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