Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999–…): Season 14, Episode 8 - Lessons Learned - full transcript

A retired English teacher's suicide sheds light on a long-secret sex abuse scandal at a prestigious boy's prep school.

In the criminal justice system,

sexually based offenses are
considered especially heinous.

In New York City,
the dedicated detectives

who investigate
these vicious felonies

are members of an elite squad

known as the Special
Victims Unit.

These are their stories.

Come on.
Move your feet.

Oh.

Yeah, I spoke
to the ME and--

- Excuse me. Sorry.
- Uh...



- You work here?
- Hold up, Captain.

I need to talk
to a detective.

You can talk to me.
I'm Detective Amaro.

Just take a seat at my desk.
Yeah.

It's about this letter
which I received.

A letter.
Look, in a few minutes.

Just sit tight.
Yeah, Captain.

On your desk.
Yeah, I'll check.

Right here, sir.

You don't know
who you're dealing with.

Come with me.

[Loud thud]
Come on, man!

- Sir, sit down.
- Let go of me.

You're lying,
you son of a bitch!



- She is certifiable.
- That is enough.

Both of you stop.
Toni, have a seat.

Can you please tell me
exactly what you saw.

He was in my daughter's
bedroom.

You're safe now, okay?

We're gonna take you
to the hospital.

- Lock him up!
- I was just holding her.

- Holding her?
- Oh! Whoa, whoa!

Hey, Toni, enough.
Sit down!

Whoa! Hey!
[Overlapping shouting]

She's crazy.
You see that?

[Woman sings in German
operatically]



[Dramatic note]
♪ Ah

Harold Lassiter.
75.

Retired private school
English teacher.

- Neighbor found him.
- Suicide?

- How'd we catch this?
- They found my card.

He must have taken it
from my desk.

He came into the squad room
last night.

Last night?
It was a zoo.

- Yeah, I barely spoke to him.
- Nice work.

- What'd he want?
- We didn't get that far.

This letter was on his desk.

Suicide note?

No. I think he had it
with him last night.

It's to him.
"You abused my trust.

"I can never erase the images
of your hands on my body,

Mr. Lassiter,
I will never forgive you."

And then he quotes--

"I am lost forever
on the endless sea."

Signed Curt.
No last name.

The handwriting appears
different--"I am sorry."

So Lassiter
gets Curt's letter,

comes in to confess,
and then what--

decides to go
a different way?

Maybe. Or maybe Curt
decided for him.

Sync & corrections by Alex1969
www.addic7ed.com

Harold Lassiter.

Taught at Manor Hill Academy
for over 30 years.

- Retired in '02.
- Manor Hill?

Fanciest school in the city.

25 acres up in Riverdale.
Tennis courts.

Kid from my block
got a scholarship there.

- Opened doors.
- Well, not for Curt.

We found his letter
in the apartment

alleging abuse.

Listen to this.

"I was too young and powerless
to say no."

One of Lassiter's students?

So what do we think?
Curt went there for a visit

and staged a suicide?

Hold on. There was
no sign of a struggle.

The ME's checking to see
if he was killed first,

then strung up.

But she puts the time of death
between 9:00 and midnight.

So is Curt a victim
or a suspect?

Maybe both--either way,
we gotta track him down.

Well, how are we
gonna do that?

No last name.
No print hits from the letter.

So we start with Manor Hill,

get a list of
Lassiter's students.

Think somebody
up at that school

wants to talk about abuse?
Have a nice drive.

We will. And in the meantime,
Detective Tutuola,

why don't you check in on your
friend with the scholarship

and see if they knew Lassiter
or Curt.

Mr. Lassiter taught
thousands of students.

Do you have a year?

Well, there must be
an alumni database.

There can't be that many
Curts with a "C."

Next time it's mandatory
conflict resolution, Seth.

Trust me.

You have better things
to do.

Everything okay, Rose?

These are SVU detectives,
Mr. Lennox.

You must be the headmaster.

That's what they tell me.

Let's talk in my office.

This is...

disturbing.

If it's true.

You hear about this
at other schools, but...

Manor Hill--
we're vigilant.

I've been here nine years,

and I assure you, this is
the first I'm hearing of this.

Because you obviously

would have reported
any allegations.

Of course.
It's the law.

Do you know when
this was written?

We don't but, uh,
it was on Lassiter's desk

when he was found dead
last night.

My God.
What happened?

We're waiting
on the medical report.

So how well did you know him?

Well, he, uh...

He retired the spring
before I got here.

But I gather
he was much admired.

Well, even so,

Curt's made some serious
allegations,

and we need to find him.

We'll do everything we can
to help, obviously.

- It's been a long time, Fin.
- Good to see you, Damon.

I figured you was on your way
straight to the joint.

- Could've been.
- Hi.

He told me when we were kids

that he'd have a Beamer
by the time he was 20.

- I got lucky.
- And you were smart.

You got a scholarship
to Manor Hill.

Yeah, well, Fin here,
he could've had one too

- if he just put his mind to it.
- I don't look good

- in blue blazers.
- Well, it fits you fine, man.

Come on, please.

Um, so speaking
of Manor Hill,

do you know
a Harold Lassiter?

Oh, yeah.
I had him for English. Why?

He was found dead
last night.

What was the word on him
back at school?

He was a good teacher.

We're not... here
to talk about his teaching.

I heard some things.

- Go on.
- He got a little touchy-feely.

Hugs, whatnot,
after drama rehearsals.

He ever hug you?

He tried to.

I must have looked like
a target.

Scholarship kid.
Just happy to be there.

Not gonna rock
any boats, you know?

What'd he do?

He gave me
a shoulder massage

and, uh, said it was
to loosen me up.

It didn't.

So then he tried rubbing me
somewhere else.

And I told him that if he
ever did that again,

I'd break his arm.

Did you report it?

No. He was right
about one thing.

I wasn't gonna rock
any boats.

Do you remember
a student named Curt?

Curt. No, not in my class.

We're trying
to track him down.

As an alum, you have access
to the website.

Manor Hill saved my life.

I met people
who are still my good friends,

got me to the Ivy League.

I'm on the board.

Yeah, but this Curt...

Lassiter... hurt him.

Okay?

And maybe others too.

This would be between
just you and us, Damon.

School
doesn't have to know.

I've got a list.

Every alum
going back to 1886.

Their sports teams,
their clubs.

Curt--
start with the drama club.

Yeah, that was me.
About 30 pounds ago.

- More hair.
- And your drama teacher

- Harold Lassiter?
- We did Billy Bud.

"Lost forever
on the endless sea."

That's in the libretto,
right?

- What's this about?
- Did you write this, Curt?

A while ago.

What, did Lassiter file
a complaint?

He's full of crap.
I never called him.

- I never went near him.
- Slow down, Curt.

But you did write it.

My new therapist
thought it would help.

To get some of
the feelings out.

You lie to yourself,
suppress it for so long

it just feeds the dragon.

What, did he try
and deny it?

Can you tell us
where you were last night?

I was working my program,
my survivors of abuse group.

- Why?
- Because Harold Lassiter

was found dead last night.

What?

With your letter next to him.

- My God, what happened?
- We're not sure.

We're waiting for the medical
examiner's report.

I didn't kill him!

I-I thought about
killing him.

What he did to me--
I can't hold on to a girlfriend.

I got into drugs.

Be-before Lassiter,
I wanted to sing at the met.

- Now I work at a dog hotel.
- An abuser like Lassiter,

they don't just do this once.

Do you know of anyone else
that he may have targeted?

Lately I've been talking
to some of my former classmates

at Manor Hill.

It's, uh, pretty heavy.

Did you or any of your
classmates

- ever file a police report?
- No!

We need to get the truth.

If Lassiter was
a career pedophile,

even if he's dead...

Keeping the dragon buried--

that's just gonna hurt
a lot of people.

The people I'm talking to--
they are not in recovery.

They are struggling!

If we could talk to them,

we might just get to
the truth.

I don't get it.
I thought this was

some kind of memorial?
Who invited detectives?

Guys, here's the deal.

What we say here stays here.

- What we say about what?
- I'm not broken up

that he died, okay?

But none of us here
had anything to do with it.

We're here to investigate
Lassiter's death

and his life.

Right. What are you gonna do,
prosecute a dead man?

No. But we need to
find out what he did.

Who might have known about it,
who failed to act on it.

Guys, we have
nothing to hide.

We are not the ones
who did anything wrong.

Gentlemen, if I may...

I've been doing this
for a long time,

and I understand the shame

and the stigma.

But keeping
the abuse secret...

doesn't make it go away.

She's right.

I kind of put it away
all these years and, uh,

it all just came flooding back
when I heard that he died.

He, uh, started with...

What did we, uh,
what did we call it?

The Lassiter lasso.

He'd rope his arm around you,

pull you in, and poke you
under the ribs.

You remember, right, Nathan?

I don't know what
you're talking about.

Look, you guys wanna blame
everything that's wrong

with your lives
on someone tickling you--

[Scoffs]

Peace out.

[Door opens and slams shut]

Lasso?

It was a test.

If you laughed,
didn't back off,

the next step
was the massage.

He'd say, "Young boys
shouldn't carry tension

in their shoulders.
You'll stoop when you're older."

[Cell phone rings]
And if you went with that,

then he would say there was
another part that was tense

that needed massaging.

Lassiter was a coward.
He'd back off.

Strepek?
Ten times worse.

Strepek.
Another teacher?

He raped me.

I steered clear
of Strepek, but...

Morton.
He caught me off guard.

He waited until I was drunk
at the junior prom,

and then he offered
to drive me home.

Are these teachers
still at the school?

Strepek's dead,
and I wish I'd killed him.

The son of a bitch
gave me gonorrhea too.

- Liv.
- Excuse me.

The ME just finalized the case,

and Lassiter was a suicide.

What about Mercer?
In the locker room?

He hit on the whole
swim team.

We don't have to stay...

Mike.

Jonathan, Ken.

Welcome.

Yeah.

We do.

Lassiter wasn't
an isolated predator.

We're looking at three decades
of sexual abuse,

a dozen victims and counting.

At least four of the teachers
were serial abusers

all under
the previous headmaster.

Terrific graphic work.

Any of this happen
in the last five years?

- No.
- Are any of the victims

- under 23 now?
- No, but we've got--

Okay, different states
do have different statutes.

Did any of this take place
on a field trip

or a sports team road trip?

- Connecticut, Massachusetts.
- You ever think about

- going off caffeine?
- That'd be a no.

- So why are you here again?
- If you'd let us

get a word in, counselor...

Thank you.

The systemic abuse.
It is highly unlikely

that no one in the school's
administration knew about it.

Highly unlikely?

That's a long way from
beyond a reasonable doubt.

Have you been to the school?

Obviously they were
less than forthcoming.

We had to get names and
yearbooks from a friend of Fin's

who went there on scholarship.
He's now on the board.

Okay, back up.
Lassiter hanged himself.

Are any of the others
still working?

The previous headmaster
and Strepek--

they're both deceased.

Mercer, the swim coach,
he's in Thailand.

At least, that's where his
social security checks

are being sent.

But Morton here...

He did teach until
a few years ago.

So it is possible
that his abuse

falls within the statute.

If he did abuse students,
he won't admit it.

Tell him you already know.

He might try to save himself
by turning on Manor Hill.

Schools like this,
there's an insularity,

a culture of secrecy
and self-preservation.

If you want those
field stone walls to tumble,

you're gonna need
heavy artillery.

[Train whistle blows]

Ah, yes,
the boys of summer.

[Chuckles]
There were so many of them.

It's hard to remember.

Mr. Morton, you only stopped
teaching six years ago.

Can you remember
any of these students?

Well, which year?

Eli Fromson,
class of '92.

He said you invited him
over your house for drinks.

Isn't that lovely?

I like to come down here
and build things.

Play stationmaster.
It helps me forget.

At do you want to forget,
Mr. Morton?

What happened with Eli?

Eli was one of my stars...

along with David and Charlie.

- Three boys?
- Oh, more than that.

Cambridge was wonderful--

We're talking about
Manor Hill.

Is this...
before or after Chosin?

- Chosin?
- Mm.

You talking about
the Korean war?

I thought he died there,
Terrence.

But we held our position.

[Bell ringing]

[Quietly]
Time for tea.

Just come this way,
Mr. Tompkins.

Thank you for coming in.

Just, uh, have a seat
right in here.

I'll be right with you.

Who's that?

Former teacher.
At Manor Hill.

He wants to talk.

He's a Walter Tompkins.

None of the victims
mention that name.

You said
you taught at Manor Hill?

40 years.

I'm still in touch
with many of my former students.

I've heard that you're
investigating some events.

Yes.
Allegations of sexual abuse

of students by teachers.

Sexual abuse--

two words that should
never go together.

Has anyone named me?

Should they have?

I had sex with students.

Older students.
Two.

And I was physically
affectionate with a third.

Okay.

And when was this?

In the '70s, early '80s.

A different time.

I know you won't understand,

but I don't mean this
as a confession

as if we did something wrong.

Our relationships were...

warm, spontaneous,

caring.

And how old were these
students?

17, 18.

Well, that's convenient,
isn't it?

You breach their trust,

but you know that there's
nothing we can do about it now.

I'm not here to avoid
responsibility.

Why are you here,
Mr. Tompkins?

My actions may have had
consequences I didn't foresee.

If any of them feel
that I harmed them...

If I did harm them,

perhaps it would be help
for them to confront me

or through you
to share their anger.

Did anybody
at Manor Hill know

that you were having sex
with students?

No. Our relationships
were private.

No one was out
in those days.

It would have stigmatized
the younger men.

Only now are they coming
forward.

Some of my students
emailed me just a few days ago

to tell me about
coercive relationships.

I'm horrified.

Wait. So you didn't know
about other teachers?

Lassiter, Morton,

- Strepek, Mercer.
- No, no, no.

I've been beating myself up
that students were abused

and I failed to see it,
I failed to help them.

Thank you,
Mr. Tompkins.

Mr. Tompkins?
Why are you guys talking to him?

He's everyone's
favorite teacher.

Because he came in
and confessed.

He had sex with students.

I've talked to 25 victims.

Well, he feels
that the school may have known.

Of course they knew.
They're still covering it up.

Tompkins had no proof,
and as of now, neither do we.

So you're just gonna
drop this case?

There is no case.
Lassiter and Strepek are dead.

Mercer's halfway
around the world,

and Morton is senile.

I'm getting calls and emails
from more survivors.

People who have repressed
all of this.

Most of us never
talked to each other before.

This is more widespread
than any of us knew.

It's an outrage.
I agree.

But the only possible case
is against the school,

if it knew about the abuse
and covered it up.

They knew.

My dad told 'em.

- What?
- After I got gonorrhea,

my dad became suspicious
of Strepek.

I told him nothing happened,

but he went straight
to the school.

He confronted the headmaster.

- This headmaster--he deceased?
- Yeah.

Can your father
confirm this meeting?

He's gone too.

I'll testify.

- If it comes to that.
- The school won't let it.

I sent the board
an email petition.

I got a call back
from their lawyer

threatening to sue me
for defamation.

That's a legal maneuver.

It doesn't rise
to the level of a crime.

I don't care about
charges.

I mean, would it kill them

to just acknowledge
that something bad happened?

How 'bout an apology?

He's right.

An apology can make a huge
difference in getting closure.

And it can also be perceived
as an admission of guilt.

Which leaves the school open
to liability claims.

They'd rather close ranks.

So abuse means never having
to say you're sorry.

We have to push back.

A DA asking to meet
with the headmaster?

That's heavy artillery.

I took the liberty of inviting
Brett Forrester,

our board chair.

And your attorney?
Long time no see, Ms. Calhoun.

I'm glad Manor Hill's
taking these charges seriously.

Like hell we are.

I have no idea
why we're meeting.

It never hurts
to listen, Brett.

Well, we've spoken
with two dozen

Manor Hill alumni

who were abused while they
were students here.

Alleged they were abused.

And they waited what--
20, 30 years to come forward?

I'm sure that you know,

given the stigma
of this kind of abuse,

that the time delay
is not unusual.

It's also unverifiable
and subject to manipulation,

which is why the statute of
limitations was put into effect.

That doesn't apply
if the school

failed to report the abuse

and continues to cover up
its failure to report.

If you had any evidence
of that,

you wouldn't be here
on this fishing expedition.

Or is there something specific
you wanted?

Uh, yes, for starters,

the victims would like
an apology.

Excuse me?

It would help their healing

to hear an acknowledgment
of wrongdoing.

It would also help them
sue Manor Hill.

I am sorry for their pain.

But you have to understand

the school's reputation
and mission are at stake.

You're worried
about your reputation?

Talk to anyone in PR.

You want to get in front
of this thing

- before it explodes in your face.
- I've heard enough.

My grandfather, my father,
myself, my son

all graduated from Manor Hill.

Four generations.
We created leaders

in art, science, business,
politics.

It also created victims

who suffer with
failed relationships,

unemployment, substance abuse.

I could go on.

They drink too much
and get divorced?

A lot of people have
disappointing lives.

These failures

are just trying to excuse
their own behavior.

Okay, we're only asking
Manor Hill

to do the right thing.

The right thing is to
protect this institution.

Now, if you'll excuse us,
we have to prepare

for our capital campaign
reception tonight.

Nice campus.

As a kid growing up
in the South Bronx

going to Catholic school,

I would've given anything
to go here.

Smart guy like you
couldn't get a scholarship?

Only kids they took
from my neighborhood

were the athletes.

With all due respect,
this was a waste of time.

I'm a prosecutor,
not a healer.

All due respect,
as a prosecutor

don't you want to
make a case?

I know something criminal
went on here.

[Keys jangle]

So do you.

[Engine starts]

Okay.

Their lawyer thinks
we're on a fishing expedition?

Let's go fishing.

Curt is trying to prove
that a complaint

was indeed made to the school.

Vincent gave us access
to his medical records.

He did have an STD
as a student,

and he's ready to testify.

What's on our side--

a way around the statute
of limitations.

If the school received
an allegation and didn't report

and has continued efforts to
block discovery of the abuse.

What's against us--
all the witnesses

to the report we heard about
are dead--

Vincent's father,
the old headmaster, Strepek.

I may have another way in.

I'm going over
the alumni news letters.

Manor Hill gave Strepek
a going-away party

nine years ago.

He wasn't even 60.

Pretty young for that school.

Maybe they forced him
into early retirement

because they knew?

Well, if they knew,
they kept it to themselves.

Look at this.

Two months later,

they've got no problem
congratulating Mr. Strepek

at his hire at a charter school
in Harlem.

We're getting closer.

Talk to that charter school.

Give me something I cake
to a grand jury.

[School bell rings]

Benjamin Strepek.

Highly recommended teacher
from the famous Manor Hill

coming to our inner city
charter.

It was a sign we'd arrived.

He didn't work out for you?

I fired him a month
after he got here.

- What happened?
- I heard voices

coming from the boys'
locker room

and walked in and saw him
with a eighth-grade boy.

Too close.
Nothing was actually happening,

but I got a bad vibe.

You talk to the student?

He was nervous.

He said Strepek
was tutoring him.

In the locker room.

Yeah. Exactly.
I called headmaster Lennox,

and he said
he'd get back to me.

Then I spoke to his secretary,

and she said, "Off the record,
go with your gut."

I canned Strepek that day.

You said Manor Hill gave him
a good recommendation?

Glowing.
I'll send you a copy.

Thank you.

Detectives,
I'm terribly sorry,

but this is a private event.

- Yeah, we won't stay long.
- We have a subpoena.

Detective, can we
take this outside, please?

Sure, you can.
Take that with you.

You're on private property.
Leave now.

I have a cordial invitation
to you for the grand jury.

This is harassment.

Let's call it
a fishing expedition.

Headmaster Lennox,

did you send this letter

recommending Benjamin Strepek

- to a charter school in Harlem?
- Yes, I did.

I'd never worked with
Mr. Strepek personally,

but he had an impeccable
reputation.

But when the principal
of the charter school

called you to follow up
on Strepek,

you never called her back.

It's possible.

I was new to my job,
overwhelmed.

I see.

It wasn't because
you had suspicions

you'd passed off damaged goods
to the charter school.

That Strepek
was a sexual abuser.

Of course not, I--

I had no knowledge
of any such thing.

Again, I had just arrived
at the school.

So you wrote a glowing
recommendation for a man

you hadn't even met.

Did anyone on the board

tell you that a father
of one of the students,

Vincent Moran,
had made allegations

of sexual abuse
to the school

about Mr. Strepek?

No. They did not.

If they had, I never would have
sent that recommendation.

You told the principal
of the charter school

to "Go with her gut."

- What did you mean?
- Nothing.

Just that she should do what she
thought was best for her school.

She didn't ask you
about her school.

She asked you
about Mr. Strepek.

I just thought maybe
he wasn't a good fit there.

Because he sexually
abused students.

- No.
- Mr. Strepek left Manor Hill

before retirement age.

Why wasn't he a good fit there?

- I really couldn't say.
- You couldn't, or you won't?

- How's it going?
- Manor Hill witnesses

are playing close to the vest.

Too careful with their answers.

My sense--
the jury's smelling smoke.

Well, it sounds like
you don't need me.

Actually, I do.
You're my star witness, okay?

You'll testify to the abuse,
the STD.

The fact that your father
confronted the school.

That's gonna make the grand
jury connect the dots.

- Cool.
- Okay.

Of course I knew
Ben Strepek.

He taught my son.
A true intellectual.

We didn't socialize,

but he seemed totally
devoted to his work.

Then why was he forced
into early retirement?

I wasn't aware that he was.

We have his personnel file,
Mr. Forrester.

We can see that he received
financial compensation

for his departure.

Were you at the board meeting
where this was discussed?

Of course I was
at the board meeting.

Can you tell us
what happened?

Nine years ago?

I serve on 15 different boards

in three different time zones.

That's why they take minutes.

See, those minutes
seem to be missing

from the school files.

I'm the chairman,
not the damn secretary.

But you were aware
that at least one parent

had complained that Mr. Strepek
had sexual contact with his son.

I am not aware of that,
and I don't believe it.

Forrester acted like

he was talking to a room
full of bad cheese.

The jury's gonna love
taking him down.

Where's Vincent?

He's not here.

He was.
He was right there.

We're on it.

[Knocking at door]
Vincent!

- Vincent Moran!
- Hey.

Whoa, whoa, hey, hey,
where's Vincent?

He said his name was Fred.

Got him.

SVU portable.
I need a bus at the Dover Hotel.

They picked Vincent up
at a dive hotel

with a hooker
and some bad coke.

The doctors hope that he'll
be coherent by tomorrow.

- That's just terrific.
- Hey, he screwed up.

But it speaks to your case
'cause of what happened to him

- at Manor Hill.
- What he says happened.

There's no record
of his father complaining,

and Vincent's credibility
is shot now, even with me.

We need something tangible.

Well, what about
the gonorrhea?

Medical records
prove that he had it.

Doesn't prove
who he got it from.

What if we get Strepek's
medical records,

see if he had it
at the same time?

That's good.

The jury might make that leap.

But medical records are
privileged, even after death.

You need permission
from Strepek's next of kin

if you can even
find out who that is.

We're on it.

Strepek's only living relative

- is a second cousin.
- And?

An awkward conversation,
but we got the records.

Strepek did have gonorrhea

three weeks before
Vincent Moran was diagnosed.

Gonorrhea--
the gift that keeps giving.

Sorry to interrupt
the celebration.

- Ms. Calhoun.
- I understand you're looking

at Benjamin Strepek's
medical records.

- That was fast.
- Manor Hill is beloved.

You can't use those records.
They're privileged.

Next of kin waive privilege.
Please come again.

CPLR, section 4504,
subsection C.

"No one can waive

"a dead person's patient/doctor
privilege

"with respect to records
that would disgrace

the memory of the decedent."

Here is our motion
to the supervising judge.

Always a pleasure.

You can't speak ill
of the dead

because that would be
speaking ill of the dead?

- She's gotta be joking.
- She's not. It's a law.

- An obscure one, but a law.
- So what are we gonna do?

Argue that it doesn't apply.

But what Strepek did
was disgraceful.

Maybe not, if we can put this
thing in a different context.

You think it was disgraceful.
I think it was disgraceful.

That teacher that you
interviewed, uh... Tompkins.

He said back in the day,
sex with students

was warm and affectionate,
not disgraceful.

Get him to tell that
to the judge.

So we're going to argue
that...

raping boys
is morally acceptable.

Raping boys.

Tompkins said that it was
loving, consensual sex.

[Laughs].

Lose the battle.
Win the war.

I know that times
have changed.

We all understand more now
than we did then.

I understand more now
than I did then.

How so?

Well, at the time,
I felt relationships

between teachers
and older students

were not necessarily wrong

if one's heart was in it.

Maybe I was naive.

I didn't mean
to hurt anyone.

But was this a common attitude
at the school

among both teachers
and students?

It certainly wasn't condemned
the way it is today.

- Thank you.
- So you're saying

that this kind of thing
was not disgraceful.

Well, it didn't
necessarily seem so, no.

So did you announce it
publicly

whenever you had sex
with a student?

Of course not.

If it was all hunky-dory,
why not?

It was private.

It was wrong.
Your Honor,

this argument
is preposterous on its face.

What's next?
Is Mr. Barba

going to bring in a cannibal

to tell us how eating people
is wholesome and healthy?

We're talking about
attitudes toward sex

that shift over time

and the attitude
that Mr. Tompkins is describing

was apparently prevalent
at Manor Hill Academy.

How else to explain
so many unreported incidents

of teacher/student
sexual contact?

They were as common
as trust funds.

Save it for the next march
on Wall Street.

All right, Ms. Calhoun.
I take your point.

The release
of these medical records--

no matter how you spin
the alleged acts--

would bring disgrace
to the deceased.

Your grand jury can proceed,

but without
Mr. Strepek's medical records.

I'm sorry.
I'm sorry for it all.

Well, that was enlightening.

We're not done with this.

Oh, I think we are.

I'm sure you'll be
interested to know

that the school will be
issuing a statement shortly.

Taking responsibility
for the culture of abuse

and the damage it caused?

I don't know that there
was any culture.

There was one bad apple.

Your witness.
Tompkins.

So you're gonna scapegoat
the one person

who's come forward--who
no one even complained about.

I'm scapegoating?

You heard him on the stand--

a self-confessed pederast.

I'm...

shocked and dismayed
that he worked for us.

It's very upsetting.

A news brief just posted
by The Ledger.

"Manor Hill has been made aware

"of the pedophile
who taught there decades ago.

The school is outraged
that he can't be prosecuted."

Otherwise, everything
is all good there,

- always has been.
- Smart play.

Burying the big story
with the little one.

Barba have a plan
to get past this?

He says he's open
to suggestions.

That was one
of the former students

Tompkins
had a relationship with.

He saw the article too,
and he wants to come in.

So are you gonna arrest
Walter Tompkins?

No. It's been too long.

I'm so sorry if you wanted
to testify against him.

Against him?

I want to testify for him.

You said that he had sex with
you when you were a student.

I was 18.

Look, I'd known I was gay
since I was 6.

It's very hard.

Walter let me know
it was okay.

Well, we've met a lot of
former Manor Hill students

who don't feel okay about what
happened to them there.

Then they weren't
involved with Walt.

But you've heard about
this other teacher, Strepek?

The name's come up.

Strepek.

Somehow... found out about
the relationship

between me and Tompkins.

I guess I seemed like
easy pickings.

Came on to me.
He was pushing himself on me.

I told my mother
what Strepek was up to.

She wrote a letter to the school
complaining about him.

Do you have a copy
of that letter?

No.

But I saw the letter
they wrote back.

It was signed by a member
of the board--Forrester.

- Brett Forrester.
- Yeah.

Son of a bitch.

Is there any chance
your mother kept that letter?

I don't know.

You wrote this to a mother
of a student who complained

that he'd been sexually
assaulted by Benjamin Strepek.

"Your son must have
misunderstood

"or exaggerated what happened

"between him
and the teacher in question.

"Mr. Strepek's character
and behavior

are beyond reproach."

If you told the grand jury
you weren't aware

of complaints against Strepek,
you committed perjury.

May I see that, please?

28 years ago, and you
expect me to remember this?

But you do now?
That's convenient.

It's the truth.
Try to prove it isn't.

And this is true too.

Strepek was not
a sexual predator.

And you know that how
exactly?

You didn't know the man.
I knew him--my son knew him.

- Is this your son Nathan?
- Yes.

I asked him about
the complaint at the time.

He told me the boy the made it
was a crybaby, a screw-up.

And he said
that it couldn't be true.

Yes. My son
was in Strepek's class.

You think I would have
left him there

if the man was
a sexual molester?

Is your son here now?

He has an apartment
in our guest house. Why?

Nathan, these are detectives.

We met.

A few nights ago
with Curt Haskins

and some other alumni.

Yeah. I still don't know
what you were doing there.

We're investigating
sexual assaults at your school.

One name came up
after you left.

One of your old teachers.
Mr. Strepek.

I told them what you told me

when he was first
falsely accused.

Can you tell us, Nathan?

I don't really remember.

But we heard he sexually
assaulted your classmates.

That's not true.
That never happened.

Really?
And you have no idea

why you were invited to the
little reunion the other night?

Not a clue.
It was ridiculous.

So you
live here by yourself, Nathan?

What does that have to do
with anything?

Your son doesn't work

at the family brokerage firm
with you,

- does he?
- What is the relevance

of that question?

What do you do, Nathan?

I--[Ahem].

- Been writing some songs.
- Nice.

Can we hear them anywhere?

I haven't...
published them yet.

I'll invite you
to the first concert.

Leave. Now.
We're done.

Not quite.

You know, when we first met,
Mr. Forrester,

you told us that some people
live disappointing lives.

- And?
- Are you disappointed?

That Nathan didn't join
the family firm,

that he writes songs
here in your house

that nobody will sing?

I really don't see how
that's any of your concern.

It is if it has to do
with Benjamin Strepek.

He's already told you

the answer to those
ridiculous charges.

So I'm gonna ask you
one last time, Nathan.

Are you sure that Mr. Strepek

didn't rape any students?

Tell them again, Nathan,

so they'll get out of here.

And what, dad?

No, you're right, dad.

Must save the good name
of Manor Hill.

That school.
Manor Hill.

That's all your father
ever cared about, isn't it?

Meant a lot to Nathan, too.
He did well there.

Did you, Nathan?
Really?

Until, uh, upper school,
and then, uh...

I had Mr. Strepek.

And, uh, after that, my...

grades kind of went to hell,

and so did a lot of
other things.

Did you ever look at me?

Did you ever notice what was
really happening to me?

He was...
a tough teacher.

He challenged you.

Yeah, he challenged me.

I couldn't tell you, dad,
you'd just...

call me a fairy
like you did that other kid

whose mother
wrote the letter.

And then the school!

It would have hurt
your precious school.

It was a long time ago.
I don't remember.

[Whispers]
Nathan.

Strange days.
They sent a car for us.

How you doing?

- Better.
- You coming in?

We wouldn't miss it.

Today...

our school begins
a healing process.

We are gonna talk about
what happened here,

try to learn from it,

and make absolutely certain
that it never happens again.

This is not
going to be easy...

You happy, Detective?

As a matter of fact, I am.

The grand jury
could probably

still indict some of these
people for something.

I can get the indictment.
I'll never get the conviction.

But that was never really
the point, was it?

The chairman of our board,
Mr. Brett Forrester.

Mr. Forrester.

Nothing can ever undo
the damage

that was done here.

But we will help
and support those

who were victimized.

We will launch a thorough
investigation

of those responsible.

For whatever it's worth,

on behalf of Manor Hill
Academy...

I apologize.

Sync & corrections by Alex1969
www.addic7ed.com