Return to Transcripts main page
CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Police Name Person of Interest in Videotape Sexual Assault Case; Young Girl in Tape is Found; Anti-Anorexia Campaign; Republicans Refusing Debates
Aired September 28, 2007 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RICK SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, Bill O'Reilly is making news threats again. We're going to be all over it.
First, though, there may be a big break in the case of that horribly abused little girl. We're going to be all over this story.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nothing that I have seen in my career has come in anywhere close to what this girl has gone through. This is vicious.
SANCHEZ (voice-over): No suspect named yet, but here's the good news, a person of interest. And they want to talk to him.
Gloria Estefan on Castro and immigration.
Bill O'Reilly and apologies, or lack thereof.
Perhaps the most brazen ATM heist to date. A backhoe hauls the whole thing off.
Ten years of washing dishes, $59,000 snatched in an instant. Who did this? Why? You would be surprised.
And you see him on street corners looking for work. What's it like when I walk in their shoes? A first look at day laborers brought OUT IN THE OPEN.
SANCHEZ: Hello again, everybody. I'm Rick Sanchez.
We're going to begin with some breaking news. We're just getting some of this information. So, let me go over it for you. Tonight, we want to get right out to the information that is coming out of Nevada. Who hasn't heard, by the way, of this story and doesn't feel horrible about what happened to this little girl?
We have got some video we can show you. You see her here. She's about 4 or 5 years of age, a child being sexually abused on videotape, a case so horrible, in fact, that even the police officers call it one of the most vicious that they have ever seen, and have broken their own rules in this case by actually releasing the tape or pictures of her. Here's the new information that we're getting. They have identified a person of interest in this case. They know his name. And also, they now also have a name for the little girl. We're going to talk to the guy who's running this investigation in a minute.
But, first, let's get the latest from Kara Finnstrom, who is in Pahrump, Nevada.
Kara, I'm being told by my producers, as we get going here, this is just seconds ago, that there may be some late-breaking developments even as we were preparing to sit down and present this newscast. What do you know or what do you think they're going to be saying?
KARA FINNSTROM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we don't know what those developments may be.
I actually tried to contact the detective in this case because there have been lots of rumblings. He's not available on his cell phone. You will be speaking with the sheriff in just a moment. He tells me he cannot tell me what is going to be announced. But he does tell me that his detectives say they have some new information that they will be sharing with us in two-and-a-half-hours.
So, I will continue to try to get ahold of the detective. And you can speak with the sheriff yourself.
FINNSTROM: But, at this the point, we don't have anything confirmed.
SANCHEZ: What do we know about this person of interest that we have been hearing about? What do we know about this guy at this point?
FINNSTROM: His name is Chester Arthur Stiles.
And what we know is that he's a fugitive that is already being sought by authorities. He's already facing charges of lewd act with a minor and also sexual assault. At this point, authorities are saying they don't know where he is. So they have released these pictures of him today, hoping that people out there can help identify this man and help hopefully bring them a little bit closer to getting a chance to talk too him.
They stress at this point he is not a suspect, although they say these pictures look an awful lot like the pictures they have released of the attacker in that video. But, at this point, they say he is just a person of interest in this case and that they really want to talk with him.
SANCHEZ: What about the little girl? And people all over the country have been writing about her and trying to do everything they can to figure out her plight.
We still don't know where she is. But I understand they have a name now. How do you reconcile those two?
FINNSTROM: Well, they say the attacker actually calls her Madison in that video. And they think this attacker knew her. They say things in the background of this videotape suggested that he was entrusted with her care, which is just heartbreaking.
They also say that this little girl showed little to no emotion as she was being repeatedly raped. So, they think -- and this is just really one of the painful parts of the story -- that she's been brutalized before and that's that's why she had the reaction she did.
SANCHEZ: What an amazing story.
We're going to stay on top of this.
Kara, stay where you are, because we have told our viewers we're going to stay with this story. If there's any new development, we will get back to you. And, hopefully, we will learn whatever they are.
Meanwhile, we know that ordinarily police wouldn't release pictures of a child in such hideous circumstances and we would normally not even put it on the air, because we certainly wouldn't want to cause any more harm. But they did put out these images from this video because they want the public's help, your help, in trying to somehow find her. This is a desperate situation for these police officers and for everybody involved.
And it seems that was the right decision. Now, I asked somebody who's a powerful advocate for victimized kids. His name is Ed Smart. You know who he is. His daughter Elizabeth was 14 when she was kidnapped and she was held for nine months before finally being found alive. Here's what he says about identifying child victims, and you may be taken aback somewhat by his response. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ED SMART, FATHER OF ELIZABETH SMART: I think that it is critically important that these children that are, you know, sexually abused or at least tapes and pictures of them being found, that the media helps us get the information out there, because they are victims and they continue to be victims.
And whether that child ends up surviving that ordeal is a huge question. But justice needs to be brought down on these people that will victimize children.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: Ed Smart.
Now we have got a chance to talk to the man who's really been in the middle of this investigation.
Let's bring now the sheriff of Nye County, Nevada, Tony DeMeo. Sheriff, let's start with this, because I have never seen a police officer be so affected by a case. Every time you have talked about this you have mentioned how you have been personally affected. How so, sir?
TONY DEMEO, NYE COUNTY, NEVADA, SHERIFF: And, Rick, I appreciate it.
It's kept me up at night. I know it's kept my detectives up at night. And I have been involved in law enforcement for over 32 years now. I spent 25 years as a police officer in Jersey City. I grew up in Brooklyn, New York. I have seen quite a bit during my career.
And this is the most horrific. And I only saw a small portion of the video in order to help my detectives try to get some screen shots, so we can put for -- as far as trying to identify this suspect and this victim. I didn't see the whole video. And believe me, I do not want to see it. My detectives unfortunately had to scrutinize this video to get evidence from it.
But I tell you, every time I talk about it, people know I get a little teary-eyed. I get emotional from it. I still wake up 2:00 in the morning praying to God for some information out there to bring this girl to safety. And thanks to the media, and we believe that thanks to the media and the attention you have given it and by now releasing the name, is that we may have a quick resolution to this case.
SANCHEZ: What do you mean by you might have a quick resolution to this case?
DEMEO: Well, because the pictures are one thing. We have gotten a lot of photographs. But, no, names resonate through people.
Madison is not a very common name. In fact, it's a very rare name. And we believe that even though maybe somebody would not see the picture per se but someone would say in conversation, hey, what do you think about Madison, the plight about Madison?
And somebody may think about, well, what are you talking about Madison and then share the story. And that would get out by word of mouth. And it was very critical for us to release that name at this time. I made the decision yesterday to do that.
SANCHEZ: Sheriff, how close are you to finding this little girl?
And, boy, we're behind you 100 percent, sir.
DEMEO: Thank you.
SANCHEZ: We would like to see this little girl found. It seems like everybody in the country is behind this. But how close are we? Are we going to get some good information from you tonight that is going to make us all sleep well before the weekend?
DEMEO: We believe -- I have got to talk to my detectives. My detectives are about two hours out from following up on some leads and some tips. They will be coming into the office in about two hours.
I'm going to sit down with them. We're going to discuss what they found and we're going to make sure. Like I told -- Rick, I told the press, I told your staff here, is, when we have relevant news, I'm not going to leave you guys hanging until the next morning and wondering what's going on.
I said right then the promise I made to the media was, when I have something relevant to share with the press and the nation, I will make sure that happens as soon as possible, and I'm keeping up on that promise because you kept up on your word and in keeping this story up there.
DEMEO: And you guys have been a great asset to us. And I appreciate it very much. And so does the sheriff's office.
SANCHEZ: Let me ask you the question this way then, sir, without giving away the Normandy invasion plans.
SANCHEZ: Are you going to present something relevant on this case tonight? Is there new information that leads you to believe that you will?
DEMEO: Yes, yes. Yes, definitely there will be new information, information I promise to share with you. It will be...
SANCHEZ: Does it have to do...
SANCHEZ: Does it have to do with the disappearance of her or finding her?
DEMEO: Well, let me just say that the news for us is going to allow us to have -- we believe it's going to be good news. I haven't seen my detectives yet to find out what they found out.
Communication on that cell phone system is kind of sporadic because of our -- the desert community out here. And so, like I said, I'm going to make sure -- they said they have relevant information. They said it's news worthy to set up the press release tonight, and they knew my commitment to the press.
So, at 7:30 our time, Pacific time, is we are going to have a news conference, and we're going to make sure that whatever we know, the press knows. But we believe it's going to be very relevant to the case and we believe that that will that will bring some resolution and some -- I can't say too much about it.
(CROSSTALK) SANCHEZ: Let me just ask you one final question and just press you. And you will bear with me.
DEMEO: Sure, Rick. Sure.
SANCHEZ: Will you announce that she either has been found or that you're much closer to finding her? Yes or no, if that's all you...
DEMEO: We're going to believe that -- I would say that stay tuned at 7:30 tonight and we're going to share some relevant news and some very important news.
SANCHEZ: Sheriff DeMeo, you're doing some good work, sir. We thank you for taking time to talk to us.
DEMEO: You guys are doing a great job. And thank you so much.
SANCHEZ: No, thank you, sir. Keep it up.
Also, on to another issue we have been following, Bill O'Reilly's controversial words about a restaurant in Harlem that many African- Americans say belittled and offended them.
O'Reilly has tried mightily all week to change and focus of the controversy by putting blame on us and a bevy of others in the media. But there's no escaping clearly what started all of this. Bill O'Reilly said a stupid thing and he should apologize for that stupid thing that he said.
But O'Reilly has done just the opposite, going on a tirade yesterday and threatening many of his colleagues in the media, us, for allegedly smearing him.
He said -- and I quote here -- "You're all on notice now. I'm going to hunt you down. I'm coming to your house. You will have a camera up your nose."
Wouldn't it just be better to apologize and then be done with it?
Let's bring in a crisis communications expert. Maybe the only person who could help us try and figure this out is Peter Mirijanian.
PETER MIRIJANIAN, CRISIS COMMUNICATIONS EXPERT: What a lead-in, Rick. That's a great lead-in.
SANCHEZ: What do you think of those comments? And I guess -- I have never asked this about a colleague, but has he lost it?
MIRIJANIAN: No, it's the seven-letter word, Rick, ratings. I mean, this is all about Bill O'Reilly and his audience. Jesse Jackson was on the show yesterday. He had Al Sharpton essentially giving him a pass on this. Distinctions have been made between this and Michael Richards or Don Imus. So, he's running with it and his viewers want to see him react the way he's reacted. And this plays right into his personality.
SANCHEZ: If you ask my wife -- and I happen to think that wives are real good with these things, settling arguments, that is -- when you say something that offends someone, you should, even if you didn't mean to offend, say, I'm so sorry I offended you. I'm sorry you're offended.
But somewhere there should be some kind of apology. It doesn't mean you're a bad guy, right?
MIRIJANIAN: Right, absolutely.
But we're living in the different world here. O'Reilly has a bunker mentality. When he can turn this, turn the attention to the media and to his critics, it only mollifies him. It strengthens him and it gets his viewers energized.
And that is what he really cares about, Rick. This isn't about convincing the people who don't watch your show that he's a good guy.
SANCHEZ: Well, what about the African-Americans out there who have just come out and said, look, we don't necessarily think that you're a bad guy; we just were offended by what you said? Don't they matter in this?
MIRIJANIAN: That's a question for O'Reilly. I think that again, the fact that Jackson and Sharpton have not spoken out on this, he feels he's gotten a pass. And excuse the pun, but they have basically given this to him on a silver platter. He can run with this now and make it about the media.
SANCHEZ: But, when do you this, though, at least it's been my experience in my marriage, and I will just use that as a comparison, when you allow something like this to fester, it gets worse, doesn't it?
MIRIJANIAN: Well, it does.
But, again, I hate to sound like a broken record.
MIRIJANIAN: He's a unique -- it's a unique circumstance with him. Look, if I were advising a celebrity or a corporation like Mattel when it comes to lead in the toys, you approach it much differently. Look, you want to make sure that you contain the damage. You want to make sure you communicate the fact that you apologize. You're going to take steps to correct the problem.
This is much different. This is about being in the bunker and either you're with him or you're not with him.
SANCHEZ: Let me ask you about -- maybe this is a personal thing. And I'm going to ask you because it was a thing between Bill O'Reilly and myself.
When I first heard about this, I called him, expecting that he would give me a reasonable explanation and maybe we would or wouldn't do the story. Instead, he belittled me. He screamed at me. He used profanity. He did everything he could to make me feel like perhaps he was perpetuating the very thing that people are accusing me of.
Do you think he did that on purpose or is that just who he is? You understand FOX News. You have been over there.
MIRIJANIAN: Yes, I have been on there, and I have done interviews there and on other networks.
But, look, the O'Reilly thing, it's a very peculiar thing. And he has a persona that says, look, you're going to push me, I'm going to push harder. You're going to challenge me, I'm going to challenge you even more.
And his attitude is the best defense is a good offense. And, now, he has given print interviews. So, maybe, Rick -- I don't know. Maybe it's just you.
SANCHEZ: One more time.
Bill O'Reilly, if you're watching right now -- and I'm sure you are -- you're invited to come here and explain this for yourself, so I don't have to have Peter sitting in for you.
But, nonetheless, Peter, you're a great guest. Thanks for being with us.
MIRIJANIAN: And, Rick, you're a great guy. And I will come on any time.
SANCHEZ: I appreciate it. Peter Mirijanian joining us now and bringing us his insight into this thing that many people are now seeing as bizarre, frankly.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: Yes, yes, of course. I have put calls into all the agencies. I just figure we would make as many calls as we probably could.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: Yes, spent the day making a whole lot of phone calls, working the phones, trying to get some answers about this immigrant we told you about last night. You saw the interview I did with him here. Got an amazing response, by the way, whose life savings were seized one day by the feds.
SANCHEZ: There's breaking news and maybe even a reason to smile.
The story that we have been telling you about, the one involving the little girl whose name we just learned is Madison. There is news developing as I speak. I have just been told and CNN can now confirm that she has been found. The little girl seen on tape, according to police, which is the reason that they put this picture out because she was seen being horribly assaulted by a man they are now looking for, this little girl has just been found, information CNN is breaking as of this moment.
The Associated Press is also reporting that the little girl is with her family. Not exactly sure which family members, because we have been trying to piece this thing together for quite some time. By the way, let me tell you what else I know at this point. We're told there's going to be a news conference at 10:30 p.m. That would be Eastern time, 10:30 p.m. Eastern time.
We are told that this man that we will told you about that police have been looking for as a person of interest, there he is, Chester Arthur Stiles, is still on the loose. They're also telling us at this point that they don't or won't say -- but, yes, let me stop talking for a minute and show you that picture. I didn't know that we were going to have that up.
Now, the reason I want you to take a close look at this picture is the following. All right? There's Chester Arthur Stiles on the left, right? There's the man who is seen in the video. In fact, that's an actual still taken or extracted from the video that you see on the right.
Your decision, folks, at home as you watch this right now, is that the same man? Police seem to be, seem to be moving in that direction. They have only called him a person of interest at this time. By the way, they still haven't been able to find him.
And police have been telling us throughout this investigation, which is one of the reasons that we have gone with this is, that they have never seen anything quite as horrific as what they saw when they looked at this tape. I mean, officers with years of experience on the force said it brought tears to their eyes.
Kara Finnstrom is joining us now. She has been following the story. She can try and bring us up to date or take us through where we are on this case.
And what's interesting about this, Kara, and one of the things that I didn't mention is, police were brought into this case by a man who brought a videotape to them and said, I just found this somewhere in the desert, which seemed, in and of itself nonsensical, doesn't it?
FINNSTROM: Yes. Well, they say they have a lot of questions about what Darren Tuck has told them about that videotape. They also say he's apparently held on to it for five months. They say he told them that at one point. And so that whole investigation is kind of going on, on the side.
But the real focus here has been finding this little girl. And, as you know, we spoke you a little bit earlier. The sheriff wasn't able to confirm for us that she had been found.
But one of our producers -- we have been trying to contact this lead detective in the field. And one of our producers finally got through to him, David Burkowtiz (ph). And he says that she has been found. And she's with some family members, we're hearing from the Associated Press reports.
But it will it be very interesting to learn a little bit more who those family members are and what they may know about this person of interest, Chester Arthur Stiles. We don't know what type of relationship he may have had with Madison.
But from things that are in the background of this videotape, detectives believe that he may have been entrusted with her care. And, if that's the case, any family members who are in contact with Madison may be able to provide police with some more information to hopefully find this person of interest.
SANCHEZ: Yes. And I got to tell you as we talk about this case just for a minute, because I have got a little girl, and I could not even begin to imagine if something like this happened to her, how I would feel.
So, I'm just asking if there's any way we know at this point -- and I know it's very early in the investigation -- what is going to be done for this little girl? Because if the scenes that have been described by police officers are as vivid and horrible as they are, she's obviously going to need some kind of help or some kind of counseling, right?
And, you know, that's one thing that the sheriff's detectives have been talking about is getting her safe and getting her help, because one of the things that disturbed me the most about this story was they said this little girl showed little to no emotion as she was being repeatedly, brutally raped.
FINNSTROM: And they say that this to them suggested she had been brutalized before. So, this little girl obviously going to need some help.
SANCHEZ: Yes. And what about this character who apparently police are looking for at this point? And, you know, it's interesting because we just got -- hey, Chris, put those pictures up once again. I think it would be illustrative for our viewers to see those once again, the pictures side by side, Jeff, of the two -- of the suspect -- or -- pardon me -- that's not the right choice of words. It's the person of interest who you see on the left, Chester Arthur Stiles.
SANCHEZ: That's how police describe him, a person of interest at this point, very different from a suspect, has not been charged. And then you see the man there in the video. And it certainly appears that police seem to think there's some kind of resemblance.
What else can you tell us about this guy at this point, Kara?
FINNSTROM: Well, they tell us that they do feel there is a resemblance. They feel there are a lot of similarities physically, but they also stress at this point, he is not a suspect. As you mentioned, he's a person of interest.
FINNSTROM: Now, he's a fugitive. The FBI and Las Vegas area police both looking for him. He's also wanted on some charges of having lewd conduct with a minor who was 14 years old and sexual assault. So, this guy already has some past allegations against him. They don't have any idea they said at least -- when we had the last press conference, of where he might be.
He's been fleeing from the FBI and from Las Vegas police long before he was a person of interest in this investigation.
SANCHEZ: Kara, people sometimes don't realize, but to actually do your job, I need to let you go for a little while, so you can make some phone calls, get some more details and get back to us and report it for our viewers. So, go ahead. We appreciate your time on this. Go ahead and do that. We will get back to you in a little bit.
In the meantime, let's bring in Ed Smart. I understand we're able to talk to him once again.
Ed Smart's kind of been taking us through this case and others. And he joins us now on the line to bring us his reaction to the story.
Ed, is there anything you can add to this at this point that perhaps we don't know?
SMART: You know, I don't know any further details, but I am so thrilled to hear that she's been found. And what she needs more than anything is love and support from her family.
You know, the one thing that's amazing about children is how resilient they can be when they're put into a loving environment. And I know that's what she needs more than anything and to realize that she is not going to have to go through the hell that she's been through for heaven only knows how long.
SANCHEZ: Oh, my goodness. You're so right. And, you know, I'm thinking now of her mother. And I almost wish I had the mayor -- pardon me -- the sheriff back to ask him questions about that. But, boy, wouldn't you think, if anything, a female custodian in this case, whether it's her mother, her grandmother, her aunt, or somebody, would have been watching out for her, so something like this doesn't happen?
And I ask that question because there are reasons to believe, the sheriff told me, that this man who abused her has some kind of familial relationship with her. That's why I asked that question. What's your take on that?
SMART: You know, if that's the case, I hope they lock him up. I'm curious to find out if he's a sex offender or not. If that's the case, I mean, that is just so horrific. And, you know, my hope is that she didn't have any understanding that any of this was going on.
But I just -- that's one thing that's been brought up time and time again, that, you know, in almost 75 percent of the cases, it does happen to be a family, a familial relation. And that's why kids have just got to be taught and they need to understand what is right and what is wrong, what is wrong type of behavior, and understand that these people of trust have to be...
SMART: They have to understand what trust is, what's reasonable, what's fair. And I have been working with a program called radKIDS for the past couple of years.
And our kids have got to be trained. They have got to understand what is right and what isn't, and that people can't just you know throw themselves on them and abuse them the way they have been abused.
SANCHEZ: Well, Ed Smart, you certainly can speak from firsthand experience. You have been through trauma like this. In your case, it wasn't a familial situation. It was some stranger who seemed to really just come out of nowhere in the case of your daughter.
We thank you, sir, for taking time to join us.
And let me, by the way, give you kudos before I let you go. You said to me -- and we played this for our viewers earlier in the newscast -- the smartest thing they can do, even if it offends some of the parents and others, is show the picture of this little girl on national television, because that will help to find her.
It appears, at least from the preliminary argument -- or the preliminary statements that the sheriff made with us just a little while ago, that you may have been dead on, sir. So, again, Ed Smart, thanks so much for joining us.
We're going to be staying on top of this story.
And we do expect that we will probably be getting more developments. And, as we get them, we will be sharing them with you. We expect, by the way, that Kara Finnstrom will be joining us in just a little bit. She's making phone calls, checking on things, and checking with her sources there at the site.
Meanwhile, we're also following the story of a guy who came to this country and worked his butt off to try and save money, so that he could live out his dream. And he spent more than a decade washing dishes and pinching pennies, only to have the government seize his savings at the airport, all $59,000 of it.
Why? And is there any hope that he will ever be able to get some of it back?
Well, our own John Zarrella has been looking for answers for tonight's "Immigration Nation" segment.
JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN MIAMI BUREAU CHIEF (voice-over): These are the people Pedro Zapeta says needed his help when he came to America illegally looking for work, his elderly mother and sisters, living in this tiny house behind a cornfield in the mountains of Guatemala. Now the money he made to buy land and build a new life for them is gone.
CANDELAIRA ZAPETA, SISTER OF PEDRO ZAPETA (through translator): My brother is very humble. We feel so badly for him. He has gone through so much work and poverty and lose it all.
ZARRELLA: Thirteen years ago, Pedro crossed the border here in Brownsville, Texas. He made his way to Stuart, Florida, where a friend took him in.
For the next 11 years, he worked as a dishwasher, most of the time making no more than $5.50 an hour. He rode a bicycle to his jobs. He saved every nickel he could, and he hid the money, all cash, in the apartment he shared with three others.
Two years ago, Zapeta decided to go home to Guatemala. He was tired, in his duffel bag, $59,000 in cash, his entire American savings. But, as Pedro's bag went through security at Fort Lauderdale Airport, screeners spotted the money. U.S. Customs was called, the cash seized. Pedro had broken the law. He had not filled out the required document declaring he was leaving the country with more than $10,000 in cash.
ZAPETA (through translator): Truthfully, I didn't know I had to declare the money. There was nothing bad about that money.
ZARRELLA: We first told Pedro's story last march, so did other news organizations, since then nearly $10,000 in donations has poured in. At one point, federal prosecutors offered Pedro a deal. Leave with the donations plus $10,000 from the original cash seized. He said no, he wanted it all. After two years, the government is still holding every penny of Pedro's $59,000. We've tried getting answers multiple times from officials to explain what seems like excessively harsh punishment.
(on camera): Voice mail. I'll leave a message.
(voice-over): We did not hear back from the assistant U.S. attorney who prosecuted the case. Through his court clerk, the judge who presided said he appreciated the opportunity to comment, but would continue his policy of not talking with the media. Congressman Tim Mahoney, who respects the district where Pedro lives, respectfully declined to comment. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Miami told us they will not comment while the case is on appeal.
Under an agreement with Immigration, Pedro must leave the United States by the end of January, more than likely without any of the money he earned. He knows he was wrong, he didn't pay taxes, he was here illegally. But Pedro believes in all of this, he is the noble figure.
ZAPETA (through translator): They should be ashamed. They are poorer than me.
ZARRELLA: The punishment he says does not fit the crime.
John Zarrella, CNN, Miami.
SANCHEZ: And interesting story. Here we go, now. Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform. Got to feel for this guy, right?
DAN STEIN, FED FOR AMERICAN IMMIGRATION REFORM: Oh, let me tell you, it sounds like a tragic story if all the facts you guys are asserting are true.
STEIN: But you know, if you want to avoid tragedies like this we need to enforce immigration laws, stop employers from exploiting people, not properly withholding and paying people under the table. You got an awful lot of people here who's hands are unclean including people who helped this guy break the law...
SANCHEZ: When you're right, you're right. That's a good point, Dan. Although in this particular case, I mean, just from a humanistic standpoint, don't you think they should give him back the money?
STEIN: Look, as I say, you're asking me to accept facts I can't prove and I don't know because it seemed like he might have made some of this money in a drug deal. I haven't been following this guy around for 10 years. But look, Rick, why do we have these law?
SANCHEZ: But wait, Dan, Dan, Dan, Dan, Dan. Why would you say that this guy made that money on a drug deal if you don't know? That's not fair.
STEIN: Of course it's exactly fair. You're asking me to accept uncorroborated self-serving declarations about how he got the money. Well, why do we have these rules enforced? They're anti-terror rules, they deal with anti-drug trafficking. I can't take 20, 50, $80,000 across the border without declaring it. I can't work under the table. Hey you know what, Rick? Let me ask you. Would you be better off financially if you didn't pay your federal tax?
SANCHEZ: Of course.
STEIN: Well, I would, too. You know what? I work until about May every year just paying my taxes. And you know, just because you're working hard doesn't give you the right to break the law. O.J.'s working hard --- O.J.'s working real hard, but he's still breaking the law.
SANCHEZ: All right, Dan. The argument as to whether or not these guys pay their taxes is a different one and I'll enjoy having that argument with you one day, by the way, because there's some who say -- but I've checked on this law that you're talking about, this all-important law. Made a lot of phone calls myself, today. Talked to a lot of old immigration guys back from when it was called INS.
STEIN: Lay it on me.
SANCHEZ: Here's what they said. They said Rick, the spirit of this law is aimed at catching people with money that is ill gotten, people who are somehow involved in either the drug trade or money laundering or some other profession where they broke the law. I can tell you right now that everything we've done and everything that John Zarrella has done to check on this guy shows that he has not broken the law, is not a delinquent is not a criminal and really did wash dishes for 11 years. How do you defend that? What do you say to that?
STEIN: Look, you're still asking me -- I can't prove what you're saying true, but you got to keep one thing in mind. There's a lot of legal ways for people like this guy to ship, as we do, billions of dollars from illegal aliens -- ship it back through currency exchanges, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, this guy's been here for 10 years and he doesn't know much English.
You're telling me that he couldn't figure out what any of the laws were? He's working with all people who were paying under the table, paid in cash. I find it very suspect that this is an example of someone who thinks he can just carrying cash. Who does he know that's walking out of the country with $60,000 of bills in his satchel? Particularly after -- he was here during 9/11.
SANCHEZ: It's a complex issue. Dan Stein, I really enjoyed talking to you. Come on back. Let's do this again. It's an important debate that everybody in this country should be having. We appreciate it.
STEIN: My pleasure.
SANCHEZ: We are on top of this breaking story. We brought you this information just a little while ago, and it actually brought a smile to my face as I reported it. This little girl that we have been telling you so much about this week has been found. We are making calls, we have correspondents and other interviews on this coming your way. Stay right here for the very latest on CNN, nowhere else. We'll be right back.
SANCHEZ: All right, That's little Madison. Welcome back, I'm Rick Sanchez OUT IN THE OPEN. We've got even more new information for you about this case of this little girl, the whole nation seemed to be somehow looking for. She has been found. And we now have the sheriff back, Sheriff De Meo from Nye County is good enough to join us, now.
Sheriff, go ahead and tell the viewers -- go ahead and tell CNN's viewers the good news in your own words, sir.
SHERIFF TONY DE MEO, NYE COUNTY, NV: We have found the child, Madison, she's safe. The detectives say she's in good condition. We're getting cooperation from the mother. We're blessed that this has turned out to be -- that this case was resolved very quickly. Mostly because of the -- our detectives and with the leads they got in.
But that was a lot of the partnership with the media has given us attention. We knew that once we released the name that that name Madison was rare that that might resonate some type of recognition in a community which it did. And the mother did contact the Nye County Sheriff's office, the deputies made contact and so we're going to have a news conference at 7:30, because there is some still -- there's still some parts of this investigation that we're still developing at this time. And I -- we're going to share that at 7:30 so we can give the media a complete factual statement of what has occurred.
But I wanted to let you know right now, I know it's a story of interest with the public, she's been found, she's safe. We're going to do whatever we can to assist the family. We're going to do whatever we can to assist the agency that will probably now take over a certain aspect of that investigation and we're going to talk about that at 7:30.
SANCHEZ: And we should mention that's 10:30 Eastern for our viewers in the east part of the United States. You'll see that here on CNN live on ANDERSON COOPER 360.
The mayor, pardon me, the sheriff also has another piece of information he wants to share with us. Apparently the status of the person we have been calling a "person of interest," Mr. Stiles, whose picture we put up a little while ago who seems to have an uncanny resemblance to the man on the video. There it is. I understand, Sheriff, that you've now elevated his status. Go ahead and share that with our viewers, as well.
DE MEO: That's correct. We're looking for Mr. Stiles. He's a suspect in this -- he's a suspect. We have warrants for his arrest as far as from Las Vegas Metro who were looking for him for their lewd behavior with a minor you the age of 14. The FBI is looking for him as a suspect. Like we said before, is that we want him in custody because he has these open warrants. We consider him a danger to the community. We want him into custody so that we can start doing the interview process on behalf of the case we're working on here in Nye County.
But we believe that -- the information we have right now -- that that investigation will also, you know, encroach in another jurisdiction, as well.
SANCHEZ: I'm going too ask you about that in a moment because I think what that tells me is that he's on the move. But, explain to our viewers what the difference is between a person of interest and a suspect and what makes you want to elevate his status at this point.
DE MEO: Well, we're looking at the warrants he has, the community, the proximity to where this young girl was located. There's other information that we're gathering at this time. The difference between person of interest is something that the police want to talk to that person because we believe they have some relevant information to a case that we're investigating. And so we just want to talk to him. In a location that we can't find them, in order to approach him directly, so we put the information out so the public can help us search for him. And also, for the person themselves to realize that hey, the cops want to talk to you, make contact with us.
Mr. Stiles and the information we got was from the FBI originally, Metro, at the same time shared that information with us. It was like one right after the other. We got some other cooperating information to address Mr. Stiles as someone we want to the question in this case. We worked on leads yesterday and into the afternoon and to the evening and decided to make that information public this morning at the news conference, 11:00 our time, and also release the name of the victim that we believe that was her name because it was mentioned in the video.
And what that has done is quickly brought some information to our attention so that we can pursue those leads and those leads -- and believe me, we're not going to wait till 7:30, but the information spread so fast because this case has actually grabbed the hearts of our country, of America...
SANCHEZ: It has.
DE MEO: Law enforcement, as well.
SANCHEZ: And I got to tell you, you guys...
DE MEO: I dong't getting calls...
SANCHEZ: You guys have done a fabulous job with this and you really are to be commended. There's one other question though I have to ask you because a lot of people have been wondering, what is Stiles' relationship to Madison? If any? How did he come to know her, if you believe that he did?
DE MEO: Well, that's information the detectives had and they were sharing that information with me, the communication got blocked because of the cellular telephone service that we have. You know, remember, they're coming from another jurisdiction, and there's about 60 miles of open desert out here, before they come to Pahrump, Nevada and the cell phone service is very sporadic in those areas.
So, that information I'll release at 7:30, because I want to make sure that I'm not guessing at it, that you have the facts at it, and I believe that would be fair for the press to make sure they have the factual information, everything that's relevant to this case, it's updated at this time. And just letting you know, I actually had people from my jurisdiction back in Jersey City contact me and asking what they can do, as well as other jurisdictions, as well. Believe me, it pulls our country together. It pulled the median and law enforcement together. It pulled that community together. I just want to really appreciate what the media has done on our behalf and they served us very well...
SANCHEZ: Well, let me just ask you this, Sheriff then, and you can answer, you know, yes or no. Is he -- is Stiles the little girl's father? Can you just tell me that?
DE MEO: No.
SANCHEZ: He's not her father.
DE MEO: No.
SANCHEZ: OK, we'll leave it at that. I pressed you, I suppose, enough. And you've been so kind and so gracious to take time out of your busy schedule to take us through this. And when I said this earlier, I really mean it. I think there's a collective smile all over the country tonight on this news you've shared with us. It's really great news and you and your guys, tell your detectives they'll be commended for a job well done, sir.
DE MEO: Thank you so much, Rick. And I appreciate the compliment and you know, my wife doesn't know yet. I haven't -- even had time to even tell my wife. So, if she finds this out, I hope I get her after this news conference, so she'll be a little -- I'll have to buy her dinner or flowers or something, but...
SANCHEZ: What is your wife's name?
DE MEO: That's Linda. She's been up with me at night also praying and wondering about the fate of this girl, so Linda, we've been married now 32 years, so...
SANCHEZ: Linda, he'll be calling you in just a moment. Thank you for your patience, as well. All right, sheriff. We'll talk to you in a little bit.
All right, we've been following breaking news, this little girl seen in this horrible sex assault videotape. We released the video -- or the picture, I should say, not the video, so that all of America could see it and apparently it has paid off. We are so happy to report. We're staying on the story, so will Larry King, so will Anderson Cooper. You're watching CNN.
SANCHEZ: Welcome back, I'm Rick Sanchez. Let's get right to presidential politics, now. Who doesn't like that, right? Hillary Clinton inching further ahead in the polls, putting even more distance between herself and the No. 2 Democrat, Barack Obama and it looks like her husband and chief supporter, Bill Clinton, is stepping in to try and seal the deal.
In an interview to today, Bill Clinton said Obama's experience, today, is closer to his own in 1988 when he decided not to run. What's he really saying, here?
All right, here's the quote, "I came within a day of announcing because most of the governors were for me and I had been a governor for six years. And I really didn't think I knew enough and had served enough and done enough to run."
Who's he really talking about here, folks? Is he talking about himself or is he talking about Barack Obama? CNN's contributor, Roland Martin sat down earlier today for what was a up-close and personal look at the experience of Barack Obama. What'd you find -- Roland.
ROLAND MARTIN, CNN NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well Rick, we talked about several different things and one of the issues we discussed was this dustup a couple weeks ago with Reverend Jesse Jackson, Sr. making a comment that Obama was acting kind of White when it came to the situation in Jena, Louisiana. Obama said: Look, I've been out front on Jena. Here's some of what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: First of all, I was the first presidential candidate to say anything about Jena. We put out a statement early in this process. It was a strong as any elected official has put out. Ironically, that statement was prepared in consultation with Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. who's on my National Steering Committee.
So, I think the reverend just didn't know some of the background or the work that we had already put in on this when he spoke and he called me and, you know, I think it all got smoothed out.
MARTIN: I want to speak about a fellow Harvard graduate, W.E.B. Du Bois. He said that, "the problem in the 20th century is the problem of the color line." Look at O.J., look at Michael Vick, look at Jena. Stories come up all the time when it comes to this whole issue of race and American is split.
Bill O'Reilly made some comments that some people said were critical. He said wait a minute, It wasn't critical, I was simply talking about what do Whites think about African-Americans. Any thoughts that have you regarding Bill O'Reilly's comments, but also how do we address what some people say continues to be a problem, that is a racial divide? OBAMA: We've had racial division in this country since its founding. It's not going to go away overnight. We have made progress. To deny that we've made progress I think would be to dishonor the memories of all those who fought for our civil rights throughout the generations. We've got a long way to go. And I think the Jena situation indicated that.
MARTIN: Iranian president, Ahmadinejad, what did he say? That -- made some comments this week, ticked some folks off. You said you would meet with him at the CNN/YouTube debate? Based upon his comments, will you still do it?
OBAMA: Absolutely. What I've said is that I find his views -- many of his views odious and reprehensible, but, you know, we had meetings with Mao who had killed millions of his own people, Stalin who killed had killed millions of his own people because we thought it was the United States security interests to meet. Strong countries and strong presidents meet with their adversaries and tell them where America stands.
So, if we meet with the Iranian president, we're going to tell him we don't agree with him when it comes to nuclear weapons. We detest his views of Israel and his denial of the holocaust, but here are some carrots and here are some sticks to see how we can negotiate and cooperate together. That, I think, is the kind of forward-looking diplomacy that the next president is going to have to engage in to repair the damage that's been done by President Bush and Cheney's policies.
MARTIN: You're wife, Michelle Obama, she said in Iowa this week, "If Iraq doesn't win Iowa is just a dream meeting." You talk to her about that?
OBAMA: When, you know, when she's in Iowa, I want her to make sure that folks in Iowa know we think they're important. When she goes to South Carolina, she'll be talking about South Carolina. So, there's no doubt that our strategy is to do well in the early states and we want to emphasize our campaign efforts in Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. If we're successful there, then I think that gives us a launching pad to be successful all across the country.
MARTIN: Is it a matter of you also being on the national stage for basically two, three years?
OBAMA: People don't know as much about me. They're learning about me, now. We've got positive name I.D., but they haven't seen us, Michelle and myself, go through the ups and downs of politics the way they know some of the other candidates in this race.
And you know, I've always believed that will the African-American vote is a sophisticated vote, they don't just jump at somebody. They want to get to know you, lift the hood, kicks the tires. Their vote tends to break late.
(END VIDEO CLIP) MARTIN: Hey Rick, at the talk, you talked about experience. Obama has said on many occasions that he has more years as an elected official than Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. She's in her seventh year, he's in his 11th year, eight years in the State Senate in Illinois, three in the U.S. Senate. So, on the whole issue of experience, he frankly has more years than she does. I wonder what President Clinton would have to say about that.
SANCHEZ: Yeah, well, you know why he says that. I mean, he's got a stake in this thing.
MARTIN: Absolutely. But again, Obama he continuously says that if you want to count the years of experience, you can't discount what you do as an elected official on the state level. He said, because it's not always just about national, because if it is about national, even when Bill Clinton ran for president in '92, had he zero years as a national official.
SANCHEZ: Right. That's a good point. That's a good point. And you know what? That was a good interview. Roland Martin, my friend, thanks so much, appreciate it.
MARTIN: Thanks. Appreciate it, Rick.
SANCHEZ: Have a great weekend.
We are going to bring you up to date on the story we have been telling you about, the little girl we just learned earlier today, her name is Madison. We were hoping that she would be found and she has. For those of you who have not been watching us throughout this hour, we have been reporting breaking news that this little girl has been found and the man police were calling a person of interest is now officially a suspect in this case.
We are hoping to get a lot more on this story from our sources, our reporters and we'll bring it to you in just a little bit. Stay with us. We'll have a lot more on Chester Arthur Stiles and Madison in just a bit.
SANCHEZ: Welcome back to OUT IN THE OPEN, I'm Rick Sanchez with this breaking news. Once again, consider this, this little girl, Madison, at the beginning of this week was just that, it was a still taken from a videotape. No one knew where the tape had actually come from, no one knew anything about her. They didn't have a name, they didn't know her family, they didn't know the person who may have been associated with her or even suspected or accused in this case -- or not accused, but suspected of actually accusing -- or assaulting her on that video.
So, in just four short days, we've come from that to this. This little girl has now been found. They say her name is Madison. They say she's with her family and they say this man, that we're about to show you, here, Chris, Chester Arthur Stiles, is the man who's now suspected in her assault and they're looking for him, and the sheriff of Nye County, Sheriff De Meo who we talked to just moments ago, seemed to be intimating that this man has somehow crossed state lines because they now have a BOLO (ph) out for him, they're looking for him.
All right, this is interesting. Take a look at that picture we're showing you now. We focused on this earlier in the newscast. The picture you're seeing on the left is actually a still that's taken from the videotape of the assault on the little girl.
The picture that you're looking at on the right is the suspect photo of Chester Arthur Stiles. Do you see a resemblance? Police seem to say that there is a resemblance. They have been hot on his tail throughout the course of the day.
They're telling us now that the detectives are hoping to be able to nab him soon so they can, in fact, bring him in or question him. They have officially now, called him a suspect as opposed to a person of interest in this case.
And now a programming note, police are telling us that they're going to be holding a news conference tonight at 10:30, it's a news conference that you're going to see right here on ANDERSON COOPER 360 during that newscast and they'll bring you the very latest on that. We should also tell you that LARRY KING LIVE is going to be coming up next and no doubt going to begin the very start of their show with more information on this, as well.
So there you have it. It's a good way to finish the week. We'll stay on top of the news for you. Thanks for being with us. Larry's next. Hasta lunes.
TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.voxant.com