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Rotten

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"Rotten"
SVU, Episode 4.13
Production number: E3119
First aired: 24 January 2003
  th of 366 produced in SVU  
th of 366 released in SVU
  th of 1106 released in all  
Les Cooper Fin Benson Rotten
Written By
Judy McCreary

Directed By
Constantine Makris


A prisoner dies in jail after being brutally sodomized. Benson and Tutuola suspect corrupt cops.

Plot Edit

Episode plot

Summary Edit

The body of a prisoner, Carlos Torres, is discovered on his cot; he had been bleeding from his rectum. Benson meets Warner at the scene and learns that he had been sodomized violently--the attack ruptured his colon. Warner determines that the attack occurred not more than five hours before his death.

Benson and Tutuola retrace the victim's movements. Benson says Stabler is busy working with federal law enforcement (he does not appear in the episode). A feud between the Dominican victim and Mexican gang members is a possibility, but the detectives rule out other prisoners and guards at The Tombs. After an autopsy, Dr. Warner tells them that the victim had been sodomized with a wooden object, before he arrived at The Tombs. Olivia concludes a cop sodomized him at the 29th Precinct, just after his arrest.

According to his file, the victim had been arrested for hitting Officer Edmunds during a brawl outside a nightclub. Officers Cooper and Grant put him in their patrol car while Edmunds went to the hospital. The detectives visit the officers, who stick to the story in the arrest report. But the bartender at the nightclub gives a different version of events. He says that the victim was partying in the club when the police came and pulled him outside--before the street fight started.

Benson decides to question Edmunds while Fin takes a forensics team to examine the precinct. Fin discovers a wooden handle of a plunger that is covered in blood. Edmunds capitulates, confessing to raping Torres. Edmunds' P.B.A. Representative bargains with Cabot, who agrees to charge him with manslaughter-2 and a sentence of 10-20 years. The officer maintains that he acted alone, but Olivia knows he had accomplices. The bureaucrats in charge want this matter handled quietly and ten dropped, but Cragen tells Olivia to "work fast and stay under the radar."

Dr. Warner informs Benson and Tutuola that Torres was raped by one man and held down by another. Olivia decides to examine Edmunds' phone records. She finds many calls to Officer Cooper, and Fin determines that Edmunds is paying for the cell phone of a woman named Stephanie Grayson. She says Edmunds had a vendetta against drug dealers ever since his brother died from an overdose. Stephanie tells Fin and Olivia that Edmunds focused on a dealer named Vasquez, shooting him in self-defense.

Fin and Olivia see a pattern so they examine Vasquez' death. In fact his throat had been cut and some drugs had been stolen. Fin decides to look for similar deaths, but Olivia returns to the 29th precinct. She says she is working a different case and would like to see the logbook for two months ago (the time of Vasquez' murder). The desk sergeant tells her that Edmunds and Cooper were partners when a drug dealer named Vasquez died.

Olivia goes to see Cooper at his home. She notices his new Mercedes sedan and a vintage Corvette in his garage. Still Cooper maintains his innocence. Back at headquarters, Fin confronts Olivia about her visit to the 29th precinct. Fin tells her it was a risky move, but he would support her.

The detectives pore over Cooper's financial records. All of his assets are in his wife's name, and he claims his lifestyle is supported by gambling winnings. Olivia asks Alex Cabot to authorize a tap on Cooper's phones, but Alex tells her there's not enough evidence.

Meanwhile Warner has found five other dealers whose deaths fit the pattern. All of them died in the 29th precinct. Cabot confronts Edmunds with this evidence. Edmunds admits killing drug dealers out of revenge. But he is shocked to learn that Cooper killed dealers for profit. Edmunds tells about a drug dealer named Willy Angel that he and Cooper shot. Angel survived, so they planted a gun and drugs on him. Angel corroborates the story, so he will be freed.

Cragen reprimands Benson for her visit to the 29th and docks her ten days' pay, but he recognizes that pursuing Cooper is the right thing to do. Olivia and Fin arrest Cooper, who gives up Hector Ramirez as the man who ordered the hits. Ramirez had been suspected of killing Torres in the Tombs, but he didn't have the opportunity. Instead he paid Cooper to do his dirty work. Olivia is interrogating Ramirez when she learns that Edmunds hanged himself in his cell.

Cast Edit

Main cast Edit

Recurring cast Edit

Guest cast Edit

References Edit

References

Quotes Edit

  • Olivia Benson: If I find out that you're a murdering bastard, I'm going to nail your ass.

  • Alex Cabot [to Olivia]: You are on a crusade to get Cooper!
  • Olivia Benson: You're damn right I am! He's a murderer. How many bodies do you think he racked up to pay for that new Mercedes?

  • Alex Cabot: You still haven't answered my question, where is your evidence?
  • Olivia Benson: He's a murderer. How else could he have afforded that new Mercedes?
  • Alex Cabot: That's a very good question.

  • Olivia Benson: You wouldn't do what they did.
  • Fin Tutuola: It's not like I haven't thought about it, every cop alive has.
  • Olivia Benson: There's a difference in thinking about it and actually doing it.

  • Edmunds: We got called out on a domestic case. The husband and wife were going at each other, as soon as we walked in the door, I didn't see the gun. Cooper jumped in front of me and held the bullet in his hand.
  • Olivia Benson: And you've been repaying the favor since?
  • Edmunds: He saved my life.
  • Olivia Benson: He did it for two Mercedes' and a condo.

Background information and notes Edit

  • This episode appears to be ripped from the headlines of the Abner Louima case in which Louima was arrested, beaten, and sodomized with a plunger by officers in the bathroom of a police station.
  • One of the photos of the dead drug dealers is of Shorty Esposito, who was killed by Nicky "Machete" Crow in season two's "Baby Killer," not by cops.

Episode scene cards Edit

1 2 3 4

Office of
The Medical Examiner
Monday, January 6

29th Precinct
623 West 54th Street
Tuesday, January 7

Club Rendezvous
523 West 40th Street
Tuesday, January 7

29th Precinct
623 West 54th Street
Tuesday, January 7

5 6 7

Apartment of
Stephanie Grayson
340 West 36th Street
Wednesday, January 8

Rikers Island
Interrogation Room
Friday, January 10

Sing Sing
Correctional Facility
Ossining, New York
Friday, January 10


Previous episode:
"Risk"
"Rotten"
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Season 4
Next episode:
"Mercy"
Seasons 123456789101112131415161718

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