No Justice in Vermont?

For the second time in less than a year, Vermont child has been brutally assaulted and a sexual predator allowed to escape justice. We first reported story last Friday. And tonight, we have more information for you.

The victim is a little boy, four-years old, who told his aunt he was scared to be around 37-year-old Andrew James. The woman checked his story and learned that that James had been abusing the boy in a terrible way — too terrible to describe on television.

The Manchester, Vermont police were called. And according to the affidavit, the boy told investigators and a social service agent that he had been molested 10 times by James. And the child described what happened to him by pointing to a series of drawings.

The little boy is poor and may have a learning disability, but his story was backed up by his older brother and his mother, who said this to "The Factor" about how the little boy is doing:


MOTHER OF VICTIM: They told me he was having problems in school, you know, acting out a little bit and stuff, when it was, well, mostly happening.


The predator, Andrew James, has two previous assault convictions, one felony where he attacked his wife with a screwdriver in front of their children. For that, he served 30 days.

For molesting the 4-year-old, James will serve no prison time at all. Judge David Howard sentenced James to probation and treatment. If he violates probation, he could go to prison.

Prosecutor Andrew Costello asked for probation, but the judge could have rejected this ridiculous sentence. He had the power to do it. "The Factor" producer Jesse Watters caught up with Judge Howard:


JESSE WATTERS: Hey judge. Jesse Watters with the FOX News channel. How are you doing? Can I talk to you for a second about that?


WATTERS: That guy sexually assaulted a 4-year-old and you didn't give him any jail time. Can you explain that, sir? Don't you think you owe us an explanation? What, you don't believe in punishment? Judge, don't you think you need to — owe us an explanation?


As we told you on Friday, Vermont authorities say putting the little boy on the stand would have harmed him and might have led to an acquittal. But with testimony from the mother, the aunt, the brother, the police and the social services person, it is hard to believe James would have beaten the rap.

"Talking Points" believes Vermont authorities simply don't care about this poor child and are OK with James being out on the street where he is right now.

That, of course, is appalling.

The local newspaper, The Bennington Banner, is in the tank for the prosecution and did no original reporting on the case. We confronted Banner editor James Therrien about that:


WATTERS: Are you guys going to run an editorial? What's your position on the case? What is the editorial board's position on the case? You guys approve of the sentence?

Should a guy who molests a 4-year-old boy walk off scot-free? Is that the position of your paper? To let something like that slide?

Wouldn't the people of Bennington want to know that this guy's running around?



The Bennington Banner is owned by the Media News Group. We have invited CEO William Singleton to appear on this program tomorrow. We doubt he will show up.

You'll remember that last year, Vermont Judge Edward Cashman sentenced a man who raped a 6-year-old girl over a four year period to just 60 days in jail. The outcry embarrassed the state of Vermont, but still Jessica's law was voted down by the legislature.

Republican Governor Jim Douglas continues to behave in a cowardly manner, failing to speak out. Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell also says he has no comment on the James case. Vermont Senators Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders have declined comment as well. Leahy, as you may know, is a big human rights guy but apparently not in his own state.

We have posted e-mail addresses for the governor and the two senators on If you do contact them, please be polite when making your points.

"Talking Points" is considering boycotting Vermont. But if that happens, thousands of good people will get hurt because the state depends on tourism. Many Vermonters are just sick over the situation.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it's absolutely not OK. It's — he should be put in jail forever or the death penalty. It's terrible. Absolutely. I mean what do they get out of a 4-year-old? That's crazy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it's really a sad state, because anybody who sexually molested another child can just say oh, I did it and get away with it. It's disgusting and it's — I don't know, sad.


It is sad, but it's also irresponsible. Vermont has become a secular progressive enclave — a state that believes in restorative justice, that is healing for the criminal as well as the victim.

I doubt the 4-year-old boy will ever be healed. As for the criminal, he's walking free this evening thanks to Judge David Howard.

And that's the Memo.

Most Ridiculous Item

One of the bad things about doing "The Factor" is that we have to concentrate on what's wrong in America. We're watchdogs. That's our mandate. Sometimes it gets ridiculous to dwell on so much bad stuff.

But over the weekend, I was out in Scottsdale, Arizona. I had a benefit for a group called Childhelp, the largest charity in the USA assisting abused children. Now, this is a terrific group that literally saves lives every single day.

So we posted information on, should you want to help them out. They have a hotline for abused children that you can call 24/7. That is posted, as well on I hope you check it out.