Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Episode 14.18 : Legitimate Rape

  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
    • Next Show Eps 19.20: The Book of Esther
      May 02, 2018
    • Episode Premiere : March 27, 2013
    • Distributor : NBC
    • Genre : Drama, Crime
    • Seasons : 14
    • Show Period : 1999 - Now
    • Production Company: NBC, Studios USA Television, Universal Network TV
    • Official Site :

Cast and Crew

The Story

A sports news network anchor throws to his reporter in the field, a beautiful up-and-coming sports reporter named Avery Jordan. Avery manages to hold her composure in a locker room filled with chauvinistic, adrenaline-pumped jocks. Later, Avery meets with Benson. Unfortunately, their meeting is interrupted by eager sports fans who recognize Avery, so she postpones her meeting with Benson.

Avery returns to her apartment to find an envelope filled with incriminating photos of Avery engaging in sexual acts with her network's anchor. It seems she has a stalker. Avery immediately heads to the police station to meet with Benson and Amaro. Avery tells the detectives that she is being stalked by her cameraman, Rick Purcell, who also raped her six weeks ago. Avery doesn't want to draw attention to the case, she just wants Purcell to leave her alone. The detectives explain that it doesn't work that way.

Fin and Rollins meet with Purcell to get his side of the story. Purcell claims that the sex was completely consensual, and that Avery was having a relationship with her fellow anchor. Rollins and Fin meet with Avery's co-anchor/lover, who tells them that Purcell hid a camera in Avery's hotel room to catch the two of them in the act. Barba feels that he has enough to issue a warrant for Purcell's arrest, and Fin and Amaro head across town to book him.

Benson meets with Avery to explain what's happening. Avery says she's feeling strange, and Benson discovers that she is pregnant with Purcell's baby, despite Avery's belief that she was unable to conceive. Months later, it's time for the court date. By now, Avery's pregnancy is showing. After a few testimonies from witnesses, Purcell is not pleased with his attorney's performance. He convinces the judge to let him defend himself in court, which means he'll be allowed to cross-examine Avery.

In the courtroom, Purcell proves ruthless but competent. However, he's having a tough time convincing the jury. Purcell calls his own witness, a congressman and former doctor, who claims that a woman's body will not allow her to become pregnant from rape. Barba cross-examines and quickly discredits the congressman as an unreliable medical source. Nonetheless, one jury member was convinced by his testimony. In the end, the jury finds Purcell guilty of stalking but innocent of rape.

Immediately after the trial, Avery goes into labor and is rushed to the hospital. Shortly after she gives birth to her son, Theo, she receives a court summons. Purcell is trying to claim custody of the baby. In a civil court trial, Purcell tries to claim that, because of the stress caused by his actions, Avery has quit her job and is currently taking a number of prescription medications to cope with PTSD, thereby making her an unfit mother.

In the end, the judge decides that Avery should get custody of her son, but she grants Purcell weekly monitored visits with Avery's son. Avery is crushed by the decision, feeling that she'll never be able to escape from Purcell and that the criminal justice system has failed her.

The next week, Avery doesn't show up to Purcell's supervised visit. Purcell heads to the precinct to report Avery. The detectives take turns stalling Purcell. Benson finds Avery in her apartment, preparing to leave the country to get away from Purcell. Benson urges Avery to stay, but Avery says that the courts have failed, and she refuses to be victimized for the rest of her life. Despite Benson's protests, Avery takes her son and leaves the country, vowing never to return.

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