|←||SVU, Episode 16.05||→|
|Production number: 16005|
First aired: 22 October 2014
| Teleplay By|
Robert Brooks Cohen & Céline C. Robinson
Kevin Fox & Warren Leight
A college freshman-turned-pornography star accuses her classmates of rape.
A college student becomes a pornography star, and then she is sexually assaulted by some classmates who confuse fantasy with reality. When the case goes to court, the victim lands in the hot seat as questioning gets underway.
An 18-year-old girl named Evie Barnes sits on a casting couch for a video. She says that she needs money to pay for her college tuition. She is filmed stripping her clothes and two men appear. Meanwhile in a dorm room at Hudson University, two college freshman, Daniel and Matt, watch a pornography video called "18 with a Bang." They discover that the girl in the video is Evie and decide to invite her to a party. Later that night when Evie arrives to the party, she is lured into the bathroom by Matt and Daniel where they begin to sexually assault her.
The next morning, Rollins and Fin arrive at Hudson after they get a phone call from Evie's room advisor. Evie explains what happened and that she couldn't afford her tuition, so she answered an ad for modeling work which turned out to be pornography. When questioned, Daniel and Matt claimed that it was consensual and that she liked it when the guys roughed her up. They also say that Evie's "18 with a Bang" video was much more hardcore.
While discussing the case at the precinct, Olivia Benson says that even though Evie did porn, it has no bearing on what happened to her, while Carisi says that the guys thought that since Evie wanted it in the porn video, she wanted it from Matt and Daniel. Rollins says that Evie said no and that her medical exam is consistent with rape, but she forgets to tell Benson that Daniel may have recorded the assault. Just as Benson is about to send Rollins to find the tape, Matt and Daniel's lawyer, Buchanan, stops by the precinct and gives them a flash drive of the video Daniel recorded and a second flash drive that contains a dozen other adult videos starring Evie.
Daniel's video corroborates Evie's story, but her other adult videos are shown to be violent and Barba has a hard time with how to explain to a jury the difference between Evie's porn videos and Daniel's video of Evie's assault.
Deputy Chief Dodds walks into the precinct with a copy of the Ledger's front page headline that says "From Straight A's to XX." He is not happy that the detectives didn't know about Evie's other pornography videos and that Hudson University was informed. Benson responds that Hudson is more concerned about their Clery Act statistics instead of rape and that campus security often pressures women to not press charges. Dodds warns Benson about picking her battles.
The detectives come up with a plan to play Matt and Daniel off each other. Carisi talks with Matt, who admits that Daniel's family is paying for their lawyer. Carisi tells him that whoever cuts the first deal gets the best deal which is why Daniel is with Buchanan first and advises Matt not to let Buchanan make him take the fall for what happened to Evie. When Matt meets with Fin, Rollins and Buchanan where he is told that Daniel told the detectives that Matt was the one who invited Evie to the party the night she was raped and convinced her to make a sex tape.
When Matt claims that's not how it went down, Buchanan tries to get him to stop talking, but Matt ends up firing him, thinking that he is only on Daniel's side. Matt confesses that he showed Daniel the video and invited Evie to the party, but everything after that was all Daniel's idea.
Benson and Barba sit down with Evie and her parents. Evie's parents are upset with the choices that Evie has made and refuse to attend the trial. When Benson tries to explain to Evie's father that Evie is a victim, he leaves the room and his wife follows. Despite that, Evie wants to testify in court to show people that she didn't do anything wrong.
During the trial, Evie gets on the stand and states that in her pornography videos, she wasn't forced to do anything and that everything she did was just an act, but what Daniel and Matt did to her, she didn't not consent. She says that she knew testifying in court would open herself and her family to victim blaming and judgment, but she wants to send a message that adult film entertainers do not deserve to be assaulted.
During his cross-examination, Buchanan rips Evie's testimony apart, saying that the only difference between the adult films that she made and the boys' video was that she was paid for the adult films. Evie says that she told the boys no, but Buchanan brings up that she said no in the videos as well and asks her how the jury is supposed to know the difference. The jury ends up finding Daniel guilty of rape. After that, Evie is given papers by a lawyer which say that she's been expelled from Hudson for violating the code of conduct.
When Benson confronts the university's president and accuses her of victim blaming, the president says that Evie is being expelled for making violent pornography videos, not for accusing Daniel and Matt of rape. Benson's meeting at Hudson gets the attention of Dodds, who reprimands her for overstepping her bounds, but she asks Dodds if his concern has anything to do with Hudson University being the largest landlord of the city.
During sentencing, the judge sets aside the jury's guilty verdict upon a motion by Buchanan, which upsets Evie and infuriates Barba, who files an appeal.
Later that night, Evie's mother rushes to the precinct and reveals that Evie has gone missing. She shows the detectives Evie's computer which contains a video message of Evie holding a tablet with a text scroll which reads:
"Because I chose to work in porn, two boys raped me. Because the judge didn't believe me, one of my rapists was set free. I didn't choose any of that. My choices were taken away. And now I only have one left. Goodbye."
Evie has returned to pornography. Sonny and Rollins discover her on the set of a movie in New Hampshire where Evie refuses to go back to home or to school. There is nothing the detectives can do except watch as Evie takes quaaludes, washes it down, drops her robe, and steps on to the set where there are over ten naked men waiting for her.
- Mariska Hargitay as Sergeant Olivia Benson
- Danny Pino as Detective Nick Amaro (credit only)
- Kelli Giddish as Detective Amanda Rollins
- Ice-T as Detective Odafin Tutuola
- Peter Scanavino as Detective Dominick Carisi, Jr.
- Raúl Esparza as A.D.A. Rafael Barba
- Delaney Williams as Attorney John Buchanan
- Peter Gallagher as Deputy Chief William Dodds
- Kathleen Chalfant as President Roberts
- Hannah Marks as Evie Barnes
- Max Ehrich as Daniel Pryor
- Casey Thomas Brown as Matt Cooper
- Harry Zittel as Justin Adams
- Richard T. Jones as Judge Oscar Briggs
- Emily Donahoe as Lisa Barnes
- John Leonard Thompson as Bob Barnes
- Jonathan Strauss as Producer
- Karl Jacob as Nate
- Brian Russell as Process Server
- Polly Adams as Jury Foreperson
- Olivia: Whatever Evie did has no bearing on what happened to her.
- Carisi: Well, these guys say it does. Because she wanted it in the porn movie, she wanted them. (everyone is silent) Hello? A third of the traffic on the Internet is porn. That's how most of these college guys learn about sex.
- Olivia: Carisi, stop. It doesn't matter.
- Fin: Come on, Liv, you know sex workers don't get the benefit of the doubt.
- Olivia: That's not how we go into this and I don't want to be blindsided again.
- Barba (about the victim, Evie): Over a dozen hardcore rape fantasy videos and she thought nobody would find out? What was she thinking?
- Judge Briggs: Due to the lack of sufficient evidence, I accept the defense's motion to set aside the jury's guilty verdict.
- Evie: What's he doing?
- Barba: Your honor, this is an outrageous abuse of your power.
- Judge Briggs: Mr. Barba...
- Barba (approaching the bench): There is no basis to overturn this conviction. Her testimony, the corroborator's testimony....
- Judge Briggs: You don't need to approach the bench.
- Barba: Your honor, you are making a factual determination. That is the jury's job, not yours!
- Judge Briggs: Sit down, Mr. Barba! (to Evie) Young lady, I don't know if you desire the recently popular status of victimhood or if this was a publicity stunt to jumpstart your porn career, but given the evidence, there is no way to conclude beyond reasonable doubt that your "no" in this incident truly meant "no." I hope, going forward, you find a way to respect your body and yourself.
- Evie: No, I wasn't lying!
- Barba: What you are doing is giving men permission to assault a woman based on her sexual history. You're setting the clock back on rape law fifty years.
- Judge Briggs: Last warning, Mr. Barba. I will hold you in contempt.
- Barba: I'm making an immediate motion to appeal.
- Judge Briggs: As is your prerogative. (to Daniel) Mr. Pryor, you are free to go.
- Olivia (to Deputy Chief Dodds): Does your concern have anything to do with the fact that Hudson University is New York City's largest landlord?
- Deputy Chief Dodds: Grow up, sergeant. You are good at your job. Stick to that. If you want to change policy, get into politics. But the last time I checked, you're a cop.
- [After Evie chooses to drop out of college and continue her pornography career]
- Carisi (to Rollins): Amanda, walk away. It's not our choice.
Background information and notes
Episode scene cards
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