'Factor' Producer Confronts Massachusetts Lawmaker Blocking Jessica's Law

This is a rush transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," March 31, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Unresolved Problem" segment tonight: Since "The Factor" began its campaign to get Jessica's Law passed in all 50 states, 42 have passed some version of it. That is tough mandatory prison terms for child molesters.

In the coming weeks, we will deal with the eight states that have rejected Jessica's Law. Perhaps the most egregious is Massachusetts, where Democrat Eugene O'Flaherty is preventing the folks from voting on Jessica's Law.

This is on the heels of Massachusetts Judge Richard Moses releasing dangerous sex offender Corey Saunders from custody after the man served just four years for attempted child rape. So you can see how soft the law is in Massachusetts.

Anyway, after Judge Moses let him out, Saunders was arrested again, charged now with raping a 6-year-old boy in a library. Nevertheless, O'Flaherty remains against Jessica's Law, so Jesse Watters paid him a visit.


JESSE WATTERS, "FACTOR" PRODUCER: What's holding up Jessica's Law? Are you going to get this passed?

REP. EUGENE O'FLAHERTY, D-MASS.: The practical effect of Jessica's Law is a chest-thumping, sound-tough-on-crime piece of legislation when, in fact, what ends up happening is prosecutors have their hands tied when it comes to plea bargains and other arrangements.

WATTERS: So are you saying that attorney generals for 42 other states of this nation are chest-thumpers?

O'FLAHERTY: No. I'm saying that the attorney general here in Massachusetts has come out just the other day and said that this piece of legislation, although it sounds good, the practical effect of it is such that it will cause more people to go free.

WATTERS: Would you have anything to say to the victims of these child rapists that — you know?

O'FLAHERTY: That's a ridiculous question.

WATTERS: What's so ridiculous about it?

O'FLAHERTY: An absolutely absurd question for you to ask me.

WATTERS: What's so...

O'FLAHERTY: Ridiculous. What do you think I'm going to say to them? My heart goes out to them. What do you think I'm going to say to a victim, a family, seriously? Is that a real question?

WATTERS: Yes, it's a real question.

O'FLAHERTY: Yes. It's a ridiculous question. It's a stupid question. Go back to journalism school. Go ahead. What's next?

WATTERS: This isn't about me, sir. This is about you. This is about the state of Massachusetts protecting children.

O'FLAHERTY: It's about you pulling this little stunt on my street out in front of my house.

WATTERS: Sir, with all due respect...

O'FLAHERTY: You could have called me and I would have met you.

WATTERS: We have called, and you haven't agreed to come on the program. We invited you on the show before.

O'FLAHERTY: You read the newspaper as well?


O'REILLY: All right. Joining us from Boston, Sheriff Thomas Hodgson of Bristol County, where Judge Moses let that guy out. And Representative Karyn Polito, who has sponsored Jessica's Law in Massachusetts.

Ms. Polito, we begin with you. O'Flaherty doesn't want you guys to vote on the law. For two years this has been going on. And there's got to be something more to it. What is it?

REP. KARYN POLITO, R-MASS.: Well, you know, Massachusetts is on the cutting edge of many issues. But when it comes to protecting our children from sex offenders, dangerous ones like you just saw here, they're really, really behind the curve.

And you know, I'm a lawyer. I understand that maybe the judiciary chair has the ear of a lot of lawyers. But we're talking about our kids here. And Massachusetts needs to do more. We're failing our children. And I don't believe that the current system is working.

O'REILLY: But O'Flaherty is blocking it, see. He's the guy that won't introduce it into the legislature so you guys can vote. Now, why is he blocking it? Why?

POLITO: Chairman O'Flaherty, yes. He wants more time to study the issue.

O'REILLY: That's bull. He's had two years.

POLITO: ...more information.

O'REILLY: It's bull. He's had two years. You know that, Ms. Polito.

POLITO: That's right.

O'REILLY: He has had two years. This is bull. What is the real reason this man won't put this up for a vote?

POLITO: They like the flexibility, and they like to give the liberal judges and courts in this state all of the discretion in the world. Well, that's the problem with the system.

O'REILLY: All right. So you think it's an ideological thing? Or is the man in the pocket of the trial lawyers? Is he in the pocket of the trial lawyers?

POLITO: There is some of that. And there is some of the status quo. They feel it is working. It's absolutely not working.

O'REILLY: All right, but Ms. Polito, we live in a republic where you're supposed to represent the people of Massachusetts. Let's vote on Jessica's Law rather than — do you think O'Flaherty is a corrupt man? Do you think he's a corrupt man?

POLITO: No, I do not think O'Flaherty is a corrupt man.

O'REILLY: OK, so you don't think he's taking money from the trial lawyers or anything like that?

POLITO: I do not.


POLITO: I do think that he has some very strong beliefs. I mean, you heard him say...

O'REILLY: But he's one man. He's blocking a law for the whole state. He's one man.

POLITO: This has been two years in the making. And I know if this bill comes to the floor for a vote, it will pass almost unanimously.

O'REILLY: So you've got O'Flaherty, one man, standing between tough sentences for child rapists. And he won't put it up for a vote. That's corruption, madam. That's corrupt.

Now, Sheriff, you are in the county, Bristol County, where Moses is a superior court judge. And Moses lets these guys out all the time. Am I wrong?

SHERIFF THOMAS HODGSON, BRISTOL COUNTY, MASSACHUSETTS: No, you're right, Bill. And you know, this is a judge that is 0-6. He's had six sex offenders before him, and he's let all six of them go. And that's indefensible. Absolutely indefensible.

O'REILLY: And three of them have now got new charges against them, right?

HODGSON: Oh, yes. Three of them have reoffended. One of them raped a 20-year-old man. Another one was found in a bathroom, and he had in his possession a bag with a mask and tape and said that all he was doing was he going to peep at a woman that was in the stall.

O'REILLY: And by far the worst is this 6-year-old in the library, allegedly raped by the Saunders guy, who every — you, the prosecutor, the psychiatrist, they all said to Moses, "Don't let him out. You can keep him in." He lets him out, and now a 6-year-old looks like he was raped.

HODGSON: But Bill, we had three — we had three experts that told that judge that this guy is definitely a threat to children.

O'REILLY: All right.

HODGSON: The judge still let him out.

O'REILLY: Is this a corrupt man? Same question that I asked Ms. Polito about O'Flaherty. Is Moses corrupt? What is his problem? He wasn't repentant when we paid him a visit last week.

HODGSON: Yes, well, that's another problem with judges. They don't have to explain. They're the only ones in public life that don't have to explain their decisions that affect the public.

But you know, I think that this judge either doesn't like the fact that you can keep people in prison on a civic commitment — a civil commitment after they've finished their criminal sentence so he just won't do it or this is a guy who has some other experience that's influenced his decision making.

But in either case it's unacceptable, unacceptable that our children continue to be put at risk when a man has an opportunity to keep him in. Particularly when he has experts, three experts in the field telling him not to let him out.

O'REILLY: There's no doubt. There's no doubt.

Now, the family of the 6-year-old boy allegedly raped by this monster Saunders, how are they doing, Sheriff?

HODGSON: Well, they're not doing very well, obviously. A 6-year-old, the mother was 10 feet from her son, thinking it is perfectly safe in a library. She's working on the computer. And this predator lures the child and commits a sexual act on him right there, 10 feet from his mother. I'm sure there's a lot of difficult feelings for the mother, and certainly the trauma this kid is going to live with for the rest of his life is really sad and outrageous.

O'REILLY: Well, we appreciate you coming on. You've got a lot of guts here, because a lot — most, not most but a lot of sheriffs won't come up against these judges and you have courage to do it.

One more question for you, Ms. Polito. This situation is untenable here. Something has to be done. And I'm not going to let this O'Flaherty guy stand in the way of this. Is there any hope here?

POLITO: I am very concerned. We have a short session. We recess in July. And the people really need to get out and push their legislators and they need to change this. They need to take away the discretion from these liberal judges and do the right thing for the people and for our children. The children need a voice. And it's the right thing to do to have a mandatory minimum in Massachusetts.

O'REILLY: All right. And if O'Flaherty wants to come on this program, he's welcome to come on this program, as Jesse said. We've asked them, and that was a whole bunch of bull that he threw out there.

Ms. Polito, Sheriff, thanks very much. We will stay on the story.

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