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tv   Nightline  ABC  December 22, 2017 12:37am-1:07am PST

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cares about himself. "nightline" is next. good night, everybody. this is "nightline." >> he said he wanted to kiss me. >> it's the practice of shuffling teachers accused of sexual misconduct to different schools sometimes with recommendations. the criminal charges and the new alleged victims now coming forward. plus -- >> $17 million to release him. >> all the money in the world. >> i don't have any money. >> get it from your father-in-law. >> we're inside the last-second hollywood scramble to replace leading man kevin spacey. accusations of sexual misconduct threatening to sideline director ridley scott's new film. >> i made the wrong choice, didn't i. >> and michelle williams takes
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on the fallout. >> we're all living in the aftermath of their actions. >> but first, the "nightline 5."
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really? really? really? really? really? see zero in a whole new way. get zero down, zero deposit, zero first month's payment, and zero due at signing on select volkswagen models. now with the people first warranty. good evening. we begin here tonight with a major update to a "nightline"
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investigation from last spring. the practice known as passing the trash when administrators unload teachers accused of sexual misconduct to other schools. the new mexico attorney general opened a grand jury investigation. now even more alleged victims are coming forward. here's abc's amy robach. >> he started touching us in improper places. >> reporter: this is the rarely seen footage of a young girl alleging abuse in her elementary school classroom. >> are you more comfortable in that chair? >> yeah. >> reporter: struggling to find the right words to describe the inexplicable as part of a 2009 police investigation into alleged abuse at fairview elementary school in espanola, new mexico. >> he touched us like right here and all that and sometimes he stuck his hand deeper in and then i used to always wear my jacket and then i never wear skirts. i would wear pants because i was
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afraid. >> so when you say he stuck his hands right here, what does that mean, on your clothes or on your skin? >> on my skin. >> reporter: she's pointing a finger at her fourth grade teacher gary gregor who now sits behind bars more than a decade after his students allege he committed sexual abuse. she says the memories of that school year still haunt her to this day. >> makes me mad because he's standing next to so many children who are unaware of the person he is. >> reporter: a person who had a trail of allegations of misconduct following him for years across two school districts from state to state, classroom to classroom. she says the class was different from the start gregor showering girls with gifts. >> i remember getting a white t-shirt with purple flowers on it that said my name on it. i got a little notebook that was green, my favorite color.
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>> reporter: singling them out for special treatment. >> he would have us sit next to him in the classroom as we had elected officials, members and i was always on that council. i felt like i had some kind of power in the class especially above the other students who didn't get elected. >> reporter: in front of the classroom she became a target for abuse. >> i drew thoughts on the spots where we were touched and different colors are for different girls. it just felt strange to have to talk about it at such a young age when i wasn't even comfortable saying the words. >> he told you to go in the closet and then what? >> he said he wanted to kiss me. the thing that i remember the most was feeling the warmth of his breath next to my face on my ear where his lips touching mine. and it just didn't feel right.
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and i didn't want it and i wanted it to end but i was so afraid. >> reporter: her story is familiar, part of an explosive reality. the u.s. department of education estimates that 4.5 million students experienced sexual misconduct at the hands of a school employee some time between kindergarten and 12th grade. another government report found that in its study on average one child predator in schools had as many as 73 victims, sometimes without ever being caught. >> serious loopholes in the state system make it easy for predators to evade detection. >> reporter: school leaders continue to allow predatory teachers to move from one classroom to another. >> passing the trash is how many refer to it. an easy way for administrators to unload problematic teachers on to other schools by hiding alleged misconduct through confidential agreements and other means sometimes even providing recommendations then looking the other way. >> they basically say, we'll grease the wheels so that you can go get a job somewhere else,
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as long as it's not here at our school. >> reporter: attorney dave ring says he's litigated passing the trash cases for 21 years. why do you think administrators allow these teachers to just move on? >> it's the easy way out. it's the quickest, most efficient solution to get rid of a dangerous teacher. get him out of our school. let someone else deal with him. hold our breath. >> reporter: long before nigelli, gregor taught fifth grade in utah. in 1995, the state charging him with sexual abuse of a child. a district judge dismissed the charges citing insufficient proof and the state board of education issued gregor a reprimand. he then turned up as a teacher in two other schools, in montana and new mexico before becoming a fourth grade teacher in santa fe. there, during a field trip in 2004, museum staff reported seeing gregor inappropriately touching student.
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the school investigated finding that gregor hugged and tickled the girls saying i believe this is grooming behavior. he signed an agreement that he would resign and not apply for another position within that school district and in exchange he would receive a neutral recommendation enabling him to find his next job in espanola. agreements like this, freeing teachers to move on to other classrooms, have been banned in only seven states across the country. nigelli says she and three of her friends worked up the courage to report it to the principal only to get an unexpected reaction. >> her response was that he was a good friend of hers. she knew that he wouldn't do that. >> reporter: they placed the blame squarely on the girls and even going into the classroom to reprimand them. >> she told the class that we shouldn't be making false
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accusations because she was pretty much calling us liars. >> reporter: after the public scolding, she kept quiet. >> i felt trapped. who was going to believe me? >> reporter: in a statement through her attorney, principal montoya denied any wrongdoing saying that she investigated and took action regarding all alleged infractions and that the class was regularly monitored and a grandmother sat in on a good portion of his class. the state claimed there was never any report from nigelli made to ms. montoya. eventually nigelli told her own parents who contacted police who conducted their own investigation. the case languished for years. but new mexico attorney general hector valdarez has stepped in since "nightline" first began reporting on nigelli's case. you said, we have a system right now that favors employment rights over student safety
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rights. do you still believe that's the case? >> i absolutely believe that. the system right now is a playground for predators, and simply they have the wrong set of priorities. we've done a very poor job in proportionately responding to the sex abuse crisis that exists in public schools across this country. >> reporter: soon after our report first aired in april, he opened a grand jury investigation where nigelli testified once again sharing the sensitive details of the alleged misconduct. >> i know my story. every time i have to tell it, it brings back emotions. >> reporter: gregor was convicted on sexual penetration of a minor, kidnapping and sexual contact with a minor. >> ensuring that mr. gregor has absolutely no contact with any minors. >> reporter: abc requested a statement from gregor through his attorney, which he declined but he denies the allegations. >> are you entering a plea of not guilty? >> we are, your honor.
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>> i got the chills. feels nice to know that finally something's being done about what happened to us. >> reporter: ten years after those difficult days, nigelli says she's ready to face gregor in court. >> he can't intimidate me the way he did when i was a little girl. now i talk about it and he's there, i won't let him have any control over me. >> reporter: if convicted on all charges, gregor could face a maximum pen alt of 165 years prison. since his arrest, three more women have come forward with their own stories of sexual abuse by gregor while they were still in elementary school including multiple counts of sexual penetration, criminal sexual contact and one count each of sexual exploitable of children and kidnapping. >> you are going to trial. >> reporter: abc requested a comment from gregor through his attorney about these charges,
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but he declined. attorney general valderas says this case is not over. his office will continue to examine the responsibility if any of school administrators where gregor taught. >> for these predators to go from school district to school district is absolutely appalling. >> reporter: nigelli says she remains hopeful that justice will finally be served. >> he can't hurt anybody else by doing what he did to me and the other girls. >> reporter: for "nightline," i'm amy robach. >> our thanks to amy robach and that trial is scheduled for january. next here when all the money in the world becomes all the headaches in the world and then some. the high stakes big screen hollywood gamble. t blood clot... i sure had a lot on my mind. my 30-year marriage... 3-month old business... plus...what if this happened again? i was given warfarin in the hospital, but wondered, was this the best treatment for me? so i made a point to talk to my doctor.
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it really is an unprecedented cinematic scramble. the acclaimed director ridley scott reshooting kevin spacey's lead role in the upcoming movie "all the money in the world" when sexual misconduct allegations sidelined the star. plummer and scott are up for golden globes. how did they pull this off? here's abc's nick watt. >> you have all the money in the world. >> reporter: "all the money in the world" has become the title of not one but two powerful men. john paul getty and the man originally cast to play him, kevin spacey. had you completely cut the film already? >> oh, yeah, i was done. i was delivered. i was walking away. i had already started another
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movie. >> reporter: then october 29, less than two months before the scheduled release of the film, the actor anthony rapp accused spacey of pushing him on to a bed and climbing on top of him during a party in the '80s when rapp was just 14. spacey claims not to remember the incident but apologized for any hurt. were you surprised when the revelations came out about him? >> not completely surprised. i knew he had a bit of a reputation. i keep out of that. i don't read tabloid. don't touch it. all i'm concerned about is the individuals as an artist. >> how how much would you pay to release your grandson? >> reporter: spacey was starring alongside michelle williams in the true tale of the kidnapping of getty's grandson. were you friends with kevin spacey? were you surprised at these accusations, revelations? >> we had very little interaction. >> reporter: within weeks more than a dozen men accused spacey of sexual misconduct.
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netflix soon announced their flagship "house of cards" would continue but without spacey. the trailer for "all the money in the world" to drop, spacey was in it. they were just going to release the picture anyway? >> i didn't wait for that to happen. i knew inevitably by the time you finish, there will be a reason why it won't get released. i didn't want that to happen. >> reporter: scott decided to recast and reshoot mere weeks from its then-december 22nd release. he asked veteran venable oldest ever oscar actor winner christopher plummer to replace spacey. he said screw you. why didn't you offer it to me in first place. >> reporter: he slept on it, then said he was in. >> i wanted to do it immediately. i was very surprised it was much longer than i thought. my god, what have i done? two days later we were off to london. and shooting. >> reporter: christopher plummer is 88 years old.
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ridley scott is 80. sony coughed up another $10 million to cover cost ks and a scramble unprecedented in movie history was under way. >> i love the chase. even though i don't look like i like it. cool, and my demeanor is smooth and elegant. but underneath there's a real [ bleep ]. >> and he's a bit of a door kicker. >> reporter: nine days, 18-hour days, 22 scenes, reshot in london and rome, but not in the jordanian desert from which spacey was digitally erased and plummer, shot on a green screen inserted. >> if i've got getty here and maybe the edge of michelle, then i have to reshoot that. >> reporter: so they also needed michelle williams back on set. >> i received a phone call from a producer. he said, please don't talk to anybody about this, but would
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you if you could. i said not only would i, but i'll give you back my salary if that would help and i'll give you my thianksgiving break if that would help. >> reporter: why did you feel this strongly? >> i felt like here we go again. it's all about the abuser. and that's the tyranny of abuse is that it's always about them. and we're all living in the aftermath of their actions. >> reporter: williams did not want everyone else's hard work to go to waste. >> for no one is it more painful than the people whose lives were directly affected, but it certainly infiltrated our lives and our work and our families and our time. and to have all of this for naught was really a shame. >> reporter: scott and williams both received golden globe nominations for this film. she is the star, plays gail getty fighting to get her son
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back from the mafia and try to get one of the wealthiest men in the world to pay the ransom. >> ridley scott, i want to tell it from a woman's perspective. >> reporter: plummer also got the golden globe nod, nine days work. >> we tried to find some vulnerability in the old man. i concentrated on making him perhaps more human than he deserved to be. >> reporter: and kevin spacey now eight "house of cards" employees allege sexual harassment. spacey is reportedly right now seeking treatment. we reached out to him for comment and have not yet heard back. >> have either of you spoken to kevin spacey? >> no. >> i think it's up to them to call me. >> reporter: how might history treat him? should he be allowed to have his art flourish despite what he might do in his private life? >> i think it's a big endless debate and a big question, but i
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think, yes, it should be -- "american beauty" is a great movie. what can you do, take that away from him? you can't. christopher walz on your list. >> the list is very short. only two people. and i made the wrong choice. >> reporter: the movie hits theaters christmas day, three days behind the original schedule. ridley scott claims he prefers december 25th anyway. nick watt for "nightline." >> what's in the box? a boy's surprise of lifetime. abc news "nightline" brought to you by geico. ok, so with the award-winning geico mobile app, our customers have 24/7 access, digital id cards, they can even pay their bill- (beep) bill has joined the call.
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