This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," July 27, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.
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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Factor Investigation" segment tonight, we continue to look at the chaotic child sexual offender situation around the country. We are urging every governor to get behind strict mandatory sentences for adults who molest children.
In Missouri, there are no mandatory minimum prison sentences for many sex crimes against children. So stuff like the following happens: 19-year-old Darrell Jackson pleaded guilty to repeatedly sexually abusing a little girl over a four-year period, beginning when the girl was eight years old.
Think about the horror that child lived with during that time. It is simply incomprehensible. When Jackson came up for sentencing, Judge Larry Kendrick gave him, ready, four months in prison and five years probation.
Many in St. Louis were outraged. Judge Kendrick refuses to explain himself.
Joining us now from St. Louis, the man who oversaw this case, Missouri prosecuting attorney Robert McCullough.
All right, the little girl, and you correct me if I'm wrong, but just four months? Obviously know much more about this than I do.
From age eight to twelve, this little girl was abused in the worst possible way by this Jackson guy. Am I right so far?
ROBERT MCCOLLOCH, ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO., PROSECUTING ATTORNEY: That's correct.
O'REILLY: Four years.
MCCULLOCH: It was sporadic over that four-year period.
O'REILLY: How did he have access to the girl?
MCCULLOCH: Well, without too much detail, he was a friend of the family.
O'REILLY: All right, a friend of family...
MCCULLOCH: Not a stranger at all.
Sporadically over four years, he went in, sodomized the girl, all kinds of unbelievable stuff. How is the girl doing today?
MCCULLOCH: All things considered, she is doing as well as can be expected through our victims' services unit and other agencies. We made sure that whatever counseling, whatever treatment, whatever help she and the family need will be available to them. And so I think she's doing as well as can be expected, which is not to say, you know, she's just perfectly fine.
O'REILLY: No. No child would be. Now, you only learned — your office only learned about the case through the schools when she was in some kind of class about inappropriate touching. Is that correct?
MCCULLOCH: That how it was brought to the attention of authorities, with the inappropriate, good touching, bad touching lessons and she brought it to the attention of the school counselor.
O'REILLY: All right, now the guy admits this. Jackson doesn't say he didn't do it. He says he does it.
MCCULLOCH: And he pled guilty to it.
O'REILLY: Pled guilty. Now, Kendrick — there's a law in Missouri where you cannot criticize directly a judge. I want everybody to know that. All right? But Kendrick comes back with four months in prison. When you heard that, sir, what was your reaction?
MCCULLOCH: I met with the family after that, but we were awestruck by that. We had recommend that he go to the penitentiary for 10 years. And frankly, we found it both just outrageous that he not only didn't go to prison, but didn't even go to jail that day. The four months, the time that he got, didn't start for another couple weeks.
O'REILLY: And he walked out. He walked out that day. Now, the judge has never, as far as we can tell, given an explanation for this. Have you heard an explanation for this unbelievable sentence?
MCCULLOCH: Well, and judge I'm sure did what he thought was...
O'REILLY: It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter what he thought. I mean — go ahead.
MCCULLOCH: He does not and judges don't have to explain their decisions. They pronounce sentence and they move on. But no, there's...
O'REILLY: There's a moral obligation when you have a little girl brutalized for four years and you give four months to the brutalizer. There is a moral obligation to explain that situation, I believe. Is there any law prohibiting the judge from explaining it?
MCCULLOCH: You know, the case is over and done with now, so certainly anybody can talk about it to whatever extent they see fit.
O'REILLY: Can anybody in St. Louis do anything about this? Does the family have any redress? Can they do anything?
MCCULLOCH: No, no. The sentence is pronounced by the judge. We have no appeal from, you know the prosecution has no appeal in most situations. So unless Jackson violates his probation, you know, there isn't anything we can do about it.
O'REILLY: So what Missouri and every other state in the union needs is mandatory minimums with this kind of stuff, take out of the judges' hands.
MCCULLOCH: Well, you know, we do have — and this, it doesn't justify this by any stretch, but this is not a common practice.
O'REILLY: Doesn't matter.
MCCULLOCH: It's a rarity.
O'REILLY: Doesn't matter. You've got a girl...
MCCULLOCH: ... who go to prison.
O'REILLY: If you if you had Jessica's Law in Missouri, and we're going to talk to your governor in a couple of weeks, if you had it, this guy would be this jail for 25 years.
Mr. McCulloch, we appreciate you being a standup guy. Most prosecutors wouldn't come on. We appreciate you coming on.
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