This is a partial transcript from "On the Record," June 21, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: Does gender of the teacher matter when a teacher gets involved sexually with a student? Well, something that does not matter in Connecticut is the age of the student. No teacher, male or female, can have sex with a student even if he or she is 18 years old. Is this fair?
Let's bring the legal panel back.
Jeanine, I'm going to go to you first, because I want to set up my dear brethren on the panel, who last week seemed to be quite sympathetic in the situation down in the state of Texas, where they had a 25-year-old woman teacher having sex…
JIM HAMMER, FORMER SAN FRANCISCO ASST. DA: Not sympathetic, Greta.
VAN SUSTEREN: …with an 18-year-old student. Now it's switched around in Connecticut.
Any problem with this law, any enforcement of this law, in Connecticut, Jeanine?
JEANINE PIRRO, FMR. WESTCHESTER COUNTY D.A.: OK, the genesis of this law has to do with power and authority, and the fact that a school teacher — supposedly, there's an imbalance of power. There's respect for authority, and therefore they passed these laws saying teachers can't have sex with students.
Greta, you know how I feel. I don't care if the student is a male or a female, or the teacher's a male or female. It's about a level playing field. And I don't like this "atta boy," you know, you had sex with the teacher, it's great.
I'm a little concerned about the idea of 20 years for having sex with an 18-year-old. Think about it. An 18-year-old can vote, can join the army.
VAN SUSTEREN: But I don't think anyone's going to get 20 — I mean, that's the other thing, too, is that the statute may allow for it, but it also allows for probation all the way up to 20.
PIRRO: Right. But here's the bottom line. If these guys say it's OK for a female teacher to have sex — you know, a male teacher — it's not OK for a male teacher to have sex with an 18-year-old girl, but it's OK for the female to have sex with the 18-year-old guy. Then they have to admit right off the bat that they're not being fair and that they're prejudiced.
VAN SUSTEREN: And you know what, I've been waiting all day to ask Ted Williams this question. Ted, I've been...
HAMMER: Poor Ted. Be strong, Ted.
VAN SUSTEREN: I've been on a plane all day, all the way to Louisiana and back, just thinking, how are you answering this one tonight, Ted?
TED WILLIAMS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I called everybody in Lake Charles, Louisiana, to find an answer. Listen, there's a bottom line here.
VAN SUSTEREN: Yes, let's have it.
WILLIAMS: It is not appropriate for any teacher to have sex with their student. But...
WILLIAMS: ... criminality — this should not be a crime. My thing is, you take that teacher, you tar, you feather him, you do everything you want, but you do not make this a crime. These are consenting adults, and if they want to have sex, so be it.
VAN SUSTEREN: So you have a daughter that's — if she were 18 and you had a male teacher — you do have a daughter, I know. Do you have any problem with her dating her teacher, her male teacher?
WILLIAMS: I said don't do it, don't try it. No. Listen, I would hate for any of my daughters — Tracy, anybody, to do this. But the fact about this — this is a fact of life and we shouldn't criminalize this. And I think a lot of people out there agree with me. Send those e-mails to Greta.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Jim, you want your shot at this?
HAMMER: I'm — in the words of Jeanine — not prejudiced and not biased. I feel the same way about both situations. But, Greta, you should be ashamed. Last time we won this debate 3-2. You stacked the deck tonight. It's going to be a tie. And I think you should be ashamed of that, Greta.
PIRRO: We're on the side — Greta, we're on the side of truth and justice and equity and fairness for women.
VAN SUSTEREN: I — the thing — I mean, last week, the discussion focused on the fact that the student was 18, which is simply not the issue. It's what goes on in our classrooms. And it's like the military thing. You don't have officers having sex with enlisted...
WILLIAMS: You knew, I knew you were going there. Let me ask you a question. Suppose you are a doctor — suppose you're in a college. You're a college professor, you're 29 years of age, there is an 18-year-old student that comes in and you want to have a physical relationship. Should you be criminally charged?
VAN SUSTEREN: Wait until the end of the semester.
WILLIAMS: Greta, answer the question.
VAN SUSTEREN: You know what, I think that the legislators have a right to make that law. And I think in a state that the state has a right to make that law.
WILLIAMS: Consenting adults – there’s a constitutional question here.
HAMMER: Greta, if this — if you can show — this wasn't two cases, Greta. But you show me a total absolute avalanche of these cases, I might consider your position. Having said, there's two that we found recently. Firing these people, barring them forever from teaching.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, there's actually one — there's one creeping up.
HAMMER: Your producers are working overtime to find these cases.
VAN SUSTEREN: There's one creeping up in North Carolina, hate to tell you, another. Go ahead, Jeanine, you got 20 seconds.
PIRRO: It's not about the number of cases. It's whether or not we want to criminalize sex between teachers and students, the imbalance in power.
HAMMER: Between adults!
PIRRO: Yes, but you know what? We're talking about students here. And I agree with you. I mean, some of these laws are harsh. But I understand the thinking behind it. You don't want that imbalance of power. You don't want kids who can be influenced.
VAN SUSTEREN: Maybe if we just draw the line at high school — at high school might be a good place.
PIRRO: High school. We agree.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, panel, thank you. We'll probably be back tomorrow night with another one, unfortunately.
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