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Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Episode 14.20 : Girl Dishonored

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TV Info


Episode Premiere

April 24, 2013

Distributor

NBC

Genre

Drama

Show Period

1999 - now

Production Company

NBC, Studios USA Television, Universal Network TV

Cast and Crew


Director

Holly Dale

Screenwriter

Robert Brooks Cohen

Main Cast

Synopsis


On their way out of the station, Benson and Rollins exchange small talk. Benson comments that her relationship with Cassidy is becoming more serious. Meanwhile, at a nearby college, a group of sorority pledges are being humiliated by their superiors. Later, the girls attend a party at a campus fraternity, where one of the sorority pledges, Lindsay, is brutally raped by three frat brothers.

Fin and Rollins head to the college campus to speak with the head of campus security, who tells them that he doesn't believe Lindsay was raped. Lindsay's mother intercepts the detectives to tell them that Lindsay called her claiming that she was raped. While interviewing Lindsay, Rollins learns that the head of campus security instructed her to shower, thereby removing a significant amount of evidence.

The next day, Benson heads to the sorority house to question Lindsay's sorority sisters, but they're remarkably uncooperative. Instead, they say the attack was the result of Lindsay's "slutty" behavior. Back in the bullpen, Cragen orders the detectives to go after the frat boys hard. Amaro and Fin head to the frat to question the suspects. Amaro learns that, the morning after the incident, Lindsay sent a topless photo to one of her attackers.

Lindsay tells Rollins that she sent the photo in hopes that Travis liked her, but Travis posted the photo to an underground university website where she immediately became the target of bullying and ridicule. Lindsay tells Rollins that she doesn't want to press charges because it will create problems for her, like it did for a former university student, Renee, who filed rape charges the year before against the same frat brothers.

Rollins and Benson visit Renee in a psychiatric hospital where she is undergoing electroshock therapy to erase the memories of her attack. After the session, they speak with Renee, who is reluctant to talk to authorities because she fears that they won't believe her. She tells Benson that, after her attack, university officials tried to cover up the event. The detectives turn their investigation on the university.

The dean of the university tells Rollins and Fin that she doesn't believe Renee was raped. They also meet with the school's psychiatrist, who tells them that Renee's claims were unsubstantiated. The frat has a reputation of sexual deviance, but the frat's members are prestigious and wealthy boys. It seems that it's in the school's best interest to cover up the reports of wrongdoing from their most prized (and wealthy) students.

Benson and Rollins return to the psychiatric hospital to solicit Renee's help in convicting Travis. The story of her attack is remarkably similar to Lindsay's story. She also tells them that campus security, the dean and the school's psychiatrist told her to forget about the incident. Barba stops by the SVU headquarters to advise. He tells the detectives to find more victims in order to help the case against the frat brothers.

The SVU detectives begin canvasing the university campus to provide rape-avoidance literature. After their session, one of Lindsay's sorority sisters tells Benson that, three years ago, she was raped by the same boys. Unfortunately, her case went unreported as well. So far the detectives have plenty of testimonies, but not a lot of hard evidence.

Back in the bullpen, the detectives identify one suspect, Travis, who has been implicated in all three attacks. They decide to target one of the boys, Joe Dawson, who was only implicated in one attack. Barba believes that Joe may have seen the error of his ways after his first offense, and therefore might be willing to cooperate with the detectives.

After questioning the head of campus security, Amaro and Rollins begin to form a clear picture of the school's procedures in handling rape accusations: the dean and head of security talk down the offense so that the school's sexual crime statistics will stay low. If the rape isn't officially reported, then it doesn't go on the school's record. Barba decides to pressure the school's authorities with a grand jury, in hopes that the school will turn on the frat boys and stop protecting them.

At the Grand Jury hearing, Barba calls the three rape victims to the stand for testimony. He then interviews the dean and the school psychiatrist, where he systematically points out the school's negligence and active covering of the crimes. During the hearing, it becomes very clear that the school's administration has been protecting a thriving rape culture within the frat.

After the successful grand jury hearing, the detectives' high hopes are immediately crushed when they receive word that their first victim, Lindsay, has committed suicide by jumping from the roof of the school. On the scene, Amaro speaks to Joe, who tells him that everyone involved knew that Lindsay had been raped. He gives Amaro a cell phone video of the three suspects confessing to raping Lindsay.

When they present the evidence to the dean, she offers to resign. Barba tells the dean that her resignation won't cut it. He's charging the frat boys with rape. Additionally, he'll be charging the dean and the school's head of security as accessories to rape. A culture of anti-rape awareness sweeps through the campus. It seems that, unfortunate as it was, Lindsay's suicide had a positive effect on the school after all.

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PREMIERE PHOTO

Dann Florek
The Film Set of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit
Dec 22, 2010
Dann Florek
The Film Set of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit
Dec 22, 2010