FOX News Producer Confronts Convicted Sexual Predator

This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," March 13, 2007, that has been edited for clarity.

BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Back of the Book" segment tonight, New York Governor Elliot Spitzer is expected to sign a bill authorizing the civil confinement of dangerous sexual offenders after their prison sentences.

Now, The New York Times editorialized against the proposed law today, saying it's too expensive and will lead to abuses. But there's no question that predators, especially those who commit crimes against children, present a complex problem to society.

In Vermont 38-year-old Andrew James was sentenced to parole, if you can believe it, after admitting he molested a 4-year-old boy. James has a prior record for domestic abuse.

Nevertheless, Judge David Howard has allowed James to walk free, and "Factor" producer Porter Berry caught up with him.


PORTER BERRY, "FACTOR" PRODUCER: Mr. James, can I talk to you for a second?


BERRY: Mr. James.

JAMES: No comment.

BERRY: Why did you do that to a 4-year-old boy?

JAMES: Get out of my way.

BERRY: Why did you do that to the 4-year-old boy, sir?

JAMES: Back up.

BERRY: Can you explain to us why you did that to the 4-year-old boy, Mr. James?

JAMES: No comment.


O'REILLY: Now there's no evidence that James has violated his parole, but as you saw, he is out on the street.

With us now, Natasha Lapiner-Giresi, a criminal defense attorney who has obviously done — not obviously, but you're a public defender so you've seen these kinds of situations.

It bothers me this guy is out on the street. We haven't been able to follow him extensively, but we've been watching him. We don't think he's violated his parole. But he might have. But the fact of the matter is, he can do anything he wants.

NATASHA LAPINER-GIRESI, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, he can within reason, because if he has been registered as a sexual offender, there's certain places he's not allowed to go. If he has a parole officer that can make spot visits to his house, they could check his computer and his mail. So there are checks and balances.

O'REILLY: But in Vermont it's all reactive, not proactive. And that's the problem. If you're living in Vermont, and where this guy lives it's a small place. It's rural. He's got a truck. He can go where he wants. OK?

This guy has a rap sheet. He's a bad guy. Do you want him living in your town near your kids?

LAPINER-GIRESI: I don't want him living in my town or near my kids. But we can't group all these men and sexual predators together.

O'REILLY: Let's talk about him. He molested, admitted, a 4-year-old boy. Horrendous. OK? And they gave him parole. He can walk around. Now, he is under supervision. But, again, it's reactive, not proactive. He's not on a bracelet.

LAPINER-GIRESI: Well, you have to also — I mean with the little — with the little bit of facts that I know for a judge to have given him that sentence, no jail time, there has to be more to the case than we know.

O'REILLY: Yes, they brought it down. They didn't want to put the kid on he stand. We went all through this. Vermont is a restorative justice state. He has to go to rehab. They believe in rehab up there.


O'REILLY: We think it's insane. But that's what they do. But you are admitting to me that you wouldn't want him in your town near your kids?

LAPINER-GIRESI: Well, I would not want him unsupervised.

O'REILLY: But he is unsupervised.

LAPINER-GIRESI: But you know, there's so much you can do. You know, they're saying — you know, in our state, as you said before, we are talking about civil confinement. That's going to be signed into law.

O'REILLY: Right.

LAPINER-GIRESI: And that, I think, is just so wrong. If you arrest someone, try somebody, and convict them and they do their time, you should then not be able to give them...

O'REILLY: OK, but if the psychiatrists that examine him for the state of New York say, "This guy is going to go out and re-offend, we know he is," you're going to let him out anyway?

LAPINER-GIRESI: Well, you're saying that in Vermont they're saying that we think that we can treat him.

O'REILLY: Yes, in Vermont they believe that. But there's no evidence of that.

LAPINER-GIRESI: Right. There's no evidence in any state that any of these people can be treated.

O'REILLY: Correct.

LAPINER-GIRESI: So to say civil confinement and to get this law passed by saying it's therapeutic and not punishment, that's the reason it's not double jeopardy.

O'REILLY: It's therapeutic for society because they don't have to deal with this guy.


O'REILLY: And they put him in a place where he can ostensibly get more treatment.

LAPINER-GIRESI: But it's also a lockdown facility. It's not just a mental hospital.

O'REILLY: Of course it is. If a psychiatrist says that the guy is going to kill again, you don't let the guy out.

LAPINER-GIRESI: But then you just say it up front. If this society says we want sexual offenders — if we want sexual offenders to be put away forever, tell us that up front.

O'REILLY: I think what society says, counselor, is that when the sentence is up, because the sentences have been far too lenient. Now they're getting there because of Jessica's Law. We want them evaluated by health professionals before we put them on the street.

LAPINER-GIRESI: But there's no — from what I've read, there really is no cure. They're doing aversion therapy. They're doing medical...

O'REILLY: But the psychiatrist can hopefully pinpoint the dangerous ones from the not so dangerous ones.

LAPINER-GIRESI: But it's so subjective. And if you have that kind of subjective criteria, how can you do that?

O'REILLY: Well, the legislature has decided to err in favor of protecting the kids. And I think that's a good thing.

Counselor, thanks for coming in. We appreciate it.

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