Debating Debra Lafave's 'Dateline' Interview

This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," September 13, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: Our top story tonight, another view of the Debra Lafave "Dateline" interview. Joining us from West Palm Beach, Florida, Michelle Suskauer, criminal defense attorney.

So counselor, I mean, come on, this just turns my stomach, this whole spectacle. And you must be offended by it as well.

MICHELLE SUSKAUER, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I'm offended by the fact that women and men are treated so differently. If this was a man, there'd be no question. We wouldn't even be hearing about this. This person would be in prison.

O'REILLY: For how long?

SUSKAUER: So I think she definitely...

O'REILLY: If this was a male teacher, all right, 23-year old male teacher, middle school, 13, 14-year kid, the guy in Florida — it's not Jessica's Law in Florida because it's 12 and under — What does the man get?

SUSKAUER: Right. You know, he could get up to 15 years.

O'REILLY: Well, he can get up to 30 years...

SUSKAUER: But most likely...

O'REILLY: But mostly likely he gets what?

SUSKAUER: I'm talking about for each count...

O'REILLY: He gets what?

SUSKAUER: For each count...

O'REILLY: All right.

SUSKAUER: Well, each count is for 15 years. So most likely, he'd get probably five years, between maybe four and seven years.

O'REILLY: I think he gets more.

SUSKAUER: But that's not — well, I mean, in the guidelines, it really depends on prior record, etc. But you know what? There's a reason why this case was plead this way. And you're pointing the finger at Judge Timmerman. I'm pointing the finger at the state attorney's office.

Judge Timmerman was presented with a plea deal from the state attorney's office. And they decided not to sit on the victim...

O'REILLY: Timmerman could have rejected it, just like the other judge did. Timmerman's a coward.

SUSKAUER: You're right.

O'REILLY: And Brad King, our buddy, Brad King, the Jessica Lunsford guy. He's the prosecutor who made the deal because the mom allegedly said, and I believe this, she didn't want the kid to go in. The kid's so screwed up, that you don't want the kid to have to go in through the trial — national trial, da, da, da, da.

SUSKAUER: Well, that's right. But you know what? In Florida, we have some laws to protect child victims. So he wouldn't have had to have gone in. He could have appeared by closed circuit television.

O'REILLY: OK, but the notoriety.

SUSKAUER: There are protections available...

O'REILLY: The notoriety the mother said.

SUSKAUER: No question about it.

O'REILLY: And for all of you guys who are going to write letters [to me] and going har, har, har, I wish my 23-year old teacher had done that to me when I was 13 or 14...

SUSKAUER: Right. Well, you know.

O'REILLY: .this kid — according to the mother, this kid is really screwed up.

But wait, wait, wait. Let's get back to Lafave. OK? I mean, come on.


O'REILLY: Come on. This woman goes on, "I'm bipolar, I got raped when I was 13," you know, lady, you're responsible.


O'REILLY: There are millions of bipolar people in the country who do not molest children. All right? So that goes flying right out the window.

SUSKAUER: You know, Bill, Bill, I agree with you. I don't think she did herself any justice by going on TV because certainly at least from what I've heard from the interview, she doesn't really explain this whole bipolar thing. And she really just sounds like an incredibly selfish, self-absorbed person, who's in denial that she actually did anything wrong.

But putting that aside, this is a woman who yes, she got three years house arrest, she is now labeled in Florida a sex offender. That's going to carry with her for the rest of her life.

Plus, she lost her teaching license, she lost her job, she lost her husband. And she lost her ability to profit from this, which she should. So she can't have any book deals, get paid for posing in Playboy, or anything like that. So she did lose a lot by doing this plea.

Yes, it may seem like a slap on the wrist because she didn't get prison.

O'REILLY: Yes, but you know what?

SUSKAUER: ...but she still lost a lot.

O'REILLY: You know what? I'm going to — there are ways that she can get a book out there written by somebody else. And she cooperates. And then, her brother gets paid.

SUSKAUER: Her husband wrote a book.

O'REILLY: Right, you know, this is a whole bunch of stuff. But look, like [Mary Kay] Letourneau.


O'REILLY: ...up in Washington state, these women are shameless. Instead of just staying in her house for three years, saying boy, am I the luckiest person on earth getting away with this, I can watch my cable TV, I can smear my lipstick on. — I mean, how much lipstick can those lips take?

I'm saying to myself, we...

SUSKAUER: That was a nice choice of (INAUDIBLE).

O'REILLY: America - so you know, here's the worst part about it. Here's the worst part about it. I'm angry about this. I'm mad, but I know, I know that most Americans aren't. Aren't.

SUSKAUER: No, they're not.

O'REILLY: They're watching this.

SUSKAUER: They're not.

O'REILLY: They're watching this. They're watching her. They're looking at it as a circus sideshow. That's what this is.

SUSKAUER: And you know why? And you know why? Because she's beautiful. And because the men are going, you're right Bill, it's just like you said...

O'REILLY: Oh, I know I'm getting letters...

SUSKAUER: ."Why didn't I have a teacher like that?"

O'REILLY: I got them.

SUSKAUER: Sure. And you know what? Because they're not looking at this kid as a victim like you are. They're looking at him as lucky. Why wasn't I so lucky?


SUSKAUER: But if she was ugly, if she wasn't an attractive woman, if this was a man, I'm sorry, she is the unattractive teacher or the man's in prison.

So we have some problems here with equality and the way these people are treated. And they're all sex offenders. There's no question about it.

O'REILLY: So you don't feel sorry for this woman...

SUSKAUER: She was treated differently.

O'REILLY: You don't feel sorry for this woman at all? Bipolar, rape when I was 13, you don't feel sorry for her?

SUSKAUER: No, I don't feel sorry for her.


SUSKAUER: She got a wonderful deal.

O'REILLY: All right, counselor.

SUSKAUER: Thank you.

O'REILLY: You're on the same page with me. And that's always a good place to be.

SUSKAUER: That's unusual.

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