Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999–…): Season 17, Episode 12 - A Misunderstanding - full transcript

Two high school students blame one another for their date ending in rape.

In the criminal justice system,

sexually based offenses

are considered especially

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.

So, Richard, the father,
had a ruptured spleen

and internal bleeding.
And Tess...

The teenage daughter
who was raped.

Yeah, she's traumatized.
That's gonna be a long road.

But it also turns out
that Joe, the ringleader,

and his girlfriend were both
serially abused as children.

He had brain damage
from beatings,

from drug use.

So, I mean, this is
an endless cycle of abuse.

What would happen
if you stopped?

I can't.
Rollins is still out.

I have a new sergeant
who's barely up to speed...

You just said
it's an endless cycle.

Yes, but I...
I don't feel that way.

I have hope.


Look, I'm fine.

I wasn't actually shot.

My injuries were powder burns.

No nightmares?
No flashbacks?

Yeah, I do.
I have both of those.

It's nothing new.

And Noah?

I can barely let him
out of my sight.

No, he's all I could
think about...

When you were
being held at gunpoint.

But you have to go back?
No one but you can do this job?

I came here because I'm fine.
I came here because I'm ready.

Now I just need you
to sign off on that.

[bell rings]

'Sup, brother?

[indistinct chatter]


Chris Roberts is, like,
staring at you.

Really, me?

He's a senior.

I know.

- Dude, I'd hit that, bro.
- If you don't, I will.

- Unless you want the shot.
- Yeah.

Sure. Totally.

Come on.

So on the one hand,
the Montagues.

On the other hand,
the Capulets.

[phone chimes]

Two houses divided.

Fate versus free will.

The family the heroes
are born into...

Chris just asked me
to the solstice dance.

Tell me when you're done, Abby.

The family the heroes
are born into

versus what's in their hearts.

Just giving Chris a sneak peek.

You gotta get sexy to be sexy.

You guys look so nice.

That's a pretty dress, Abby.

Andrew, where's the camera?

- Totally prepared.
- Dad.

Come on, both of you, smile.
Come on.

Ah, that's right.
Babe, get in there.


- Mom.
- Oh, that's great.

- Okay! Okay!
- Oh.

That's great.
Dad, we gotta get ready.

We get it, we get it.

[phone buzzes]

Look, from Chris.

♪ Closer


Oh, that's good.

That means he's into you.

♪ When we touch...

♪ Let me see your bass face ♪

♪ Your bass face

- You want some?
- Sure.

♪ Watch that dirty break,
break ♪


I'm thinking we should
maybe go downstairs.

How about you?


Get... get-get it, son!

Shh, stop it.

Wait, slow down.
Not down there.


You feel nice.
Is that good?

[groans] Not so hard.

♪ See your bass face

Oh, you're so hot, Abby.


There she is.

Hey, how was the party, honey?

I'm just tired.

Good night.

[phone buzzes]


[phone beeps]


[phone buzzes]


[dramatic music]

- sync and corrections by Zac -
- -

Wow, she's beautiful.

Not at 4:00 A.M.,
she's not.

Oh, she's a newborn.
It gets easier.

Enjoy maternity, Amanda.

When my sister had
to go back to work,

it was the most
wrenching thing.


coming back soon, right?

Well, NYPD only gives
six weeks maternity.

No, she can use
her accrued vacation time.

She'll figure it out.

They let you take a year
with no pay.

That's not gonna happen.

Okay, guys, can we not
discuss me in front of me?

Lieutenant Benson.
Oh, look, a baby.

Liv, you got a minute?


I'm representing
a 15-year-old freshman

at the Dowland School.

What's he been accused of?

No, her name's Abby Stewart.
She's the victim.

Working as an advocate?

What is this, penance for
representing a serial killer?

You're still holding
that against me.


Well, her mother and I
went to Dowland together.

Abby was raped at
a school dance last Friday.

Okay, so almost a week ago.

Disclosure wasn't that late.

But when they went
to their local precinct,

they were told
there was no case.

Well, that's how precincts
keep their rape stats low.

I've known Abby since birth.
She's not making this up,

but the boy is a schoolmate,
Chris Roberts, 18.

She was his date,

went with him willingly
to a makeout room

where they had
consensual foreplay.

None of that matters, Rita.
You know that.


So a late disclosure,
so no rape kit.

No, but the maid saw
Abby's dress was stained.

Showed it to Laura, her mom.

So when the mother
asked the daughter about it...

The story tumbled out.

Abby's introverted.
She was a virgin.

Will you meet with them?

Of course.

We so appreciate you
coming to our home.

Rita says you're the best.

Well, I hope she
also explained to you

that cases like this
can be complicated.

The local cops
treated our daughter

like she was the one
who was at fault.

That won't be happening
with SVU.

Okay, so how does this work?

Well, we'll need
to take a statement

from the three of you.

Also we'll need access to Abby's
friends and social media.

We understand
that there was a dress.

There is.

Okay, we'll send it to the lab.

So in terms of speaking
with your daughter,

sometimes it's easier
if the parents aren't around.

They're aware.

And so is Abby.

I've known who Chris is
for years.

We were in drama club together.

Okay, so you were friends.

Not really.

He didn't even notice me
until a couple weeks ago.

He started texting me.

Sexting, really.

Did you text him back?

I wasn't slutty.
Maybe a little flirty.

We saved the texts,
and I've cautioned Abby

against communicating
any further with him.

I still do see Chris at school.

That's got to be difficult.

So have you had any
communication with him since?

Well, yes.

Sort of...

Just saying hi.
Didn't know what else to do.

She came home
around 11:00.

I... I could tell
there was something wrong.

How do you mean?

She always wants to talk
after a night out.

- She went straight to her room.
- She said she was tired.

She was in distress, Andrew.

I should have
made her talk to me.

All right, but when
you did find that dress,

you asked her about it.
That was good.

Well, my housekeeper,
Pilar, found the dress

in the trash on Tuesday.

When Abby came home
from school,

I asked her
why she'd thrown it away.

She said that she had sex,
that she didn't want to,

that she was raped.

We went straight
to the police that night.

Did your daughter tell
anybody else what had happened?

Any friends?

Not that I know of,
but something did happen.

We were making out.

He asked if I wanted
to go somewhere private.

I liked him.
I wanted him to like me.

You liked him, you kissed him.

That doesn't mean
you wanted anything more.

Okay, Abby, so where
did he take you?

The school darkroom.

It's where people go hook up.

Go to the darkroom,
see what develops.

First we were just making out.

Then he put his hand
under my dress.

I got nervous.

Okay. Did you
tell him to stop?

I told him
not to go down there.

To slow down.

And did he?

He wasn't listening.

He pushed me up against a wall.

I felt him get...

He pulled down my underwear.
He put a finger inside me.

So what happened next?

I said, "Wait."
So he stopped.

But then he tried to put his...

penis inside me.

Okay. Did you say no
when he did that?


Did you say yes?

I couldn't move or speak.

- It was like I was paralyzed.
- That's not unusual.

She's right.

It wasn't really getting in.

He kept saying I was hot,

and then I guess he... came.

I don't understand.
Why would Chris do that to me?


Abby and I are friends.

Okay, good.

The two of you went to the dance
together last Friday?

- Yeah.
- What happened?

What exactly
is she saying happened?

We just want to hear
your son's side.

His side?
He didn't do anything wrong.

Then there's no harm
in telling us about it.

Go ahead, son.

Okay, Abby and I were dancing,
and we made out a little.

She was into it.

Anything else?

I asked her if she wanted
to go to the darkroom.

That's code for...

We started fooling around.

"Fooling around"?
That's it?

Yeah, just messing around.

Is this girl making
a rape allegation?

She's saying something happened
that she didn't want to happen.

That is so not true.
We didn't even have sex.

Okay, if that's the case,
just give us a DNA sample,

and this whole thing goes away.

- Whoa, I don't...
- Do you have a warrant?

- Yes, we do.
- Oh, my God.

You should have told us.

And I'll be contacting
a lawyer.

No, it's fine.
Nothing happened.

No, I'm sure nothing happened.

I... listen, I know how these
things go, how girls are.

We understand this is
very upsetting, ma'am,

but right now
we're just investigating.

No, before our daughter
went to college,

I'd overhear
her friends talking,

saying that they would
accuse a boy of rape

if he didn't call them back.

We do have a warrant
for your son's DNA.

We can collect that here

or we can take him
down to the station.

It's your call.

So what's your take on the boy?

He's privileged
but not arrogant.

No record, straight As.

Waiting on an early
decision from Stanford.

He seems genuinely surprised
by the allegation.

Okay, so it sounds like
a teenage he said/she said.

It's more like


Chris's mom,
he's her only son, the golden boy.

And the father of
a teenage virginal daughter?

Like, my dad with my sisters.

If a guy so much as looked
at one of them, it's rape.

Hold on, Chris puts himself
in the darkroom with Abby?

He does, but he swears
nothing happened

beyond some kissing
and touching.

Well, he's lying about that.

The lab confirms
that the semen stains

on Abby's dress
is a match for Chris.

Okay, that's contact,
but that's not proof of rape

or even intercourse.

Whoa, this might be.

Chris posted photos
of the two of them

on his Instagram account,
hashtag "picked that cherry.


"Picked that cherry," really?

Kids fronting on social media
doesn't mean it happened.

They lie all the time.

And these pictures don't look
like she's complaining.

Bring him in.

- What can I do for you?
- I heard about the DNA match.

I assume you're going
to arrest this boy?

Where did you hear that?

I didn't, but you
just confirmed it.

Rita, you don't have
an all access pass here.

Hey, Lieutenant,
Barba's in there.

Rita, the boy's
lawyered up already?

Actually, I'm here
for the victim.

Oh, so you take money
from both sides.

Don't ever change.

You do know that you can't be
privy to the boy's interview.

- She does and she's leaving.
- And Buchanan's here.

Well, now it's a party.

As much fun as it would be

to get the band
back together, Rita,

the Robertses have
retained only me this time.

They'll be up in a bit.

I'm here representing
the Stewarts.

Victim advocacy.
That can't pay well.

It's pro bono.

Not all of us have to worry
about our next meal.

Getting personal,
that's promising.

Rita was just leaving.

I'll be right down the block.

This won't take long.

In about 20 minutes,
you'll realize you have no case.

This is serious.

We got a DNA match.

And you lied
about sexual contact.

- I didn't...
- Let me answer, son.

This is awkward, but it was the
boy's first sexual encounter.

He got excited and finished
before anything even started.

Not according to Instagram.

He was trying
to impress his friends.

Then why did Abby
accuse you of rape?

How do you expect him
to explain that?

This girl is obviously lying.

- Why don't you let Chris talk?
- I'm here to speak for him.

Chris was shocked
by these allegations.

As far as he knew,
he and Abby were friends.

She still thinks we are.

Help yourselves.

"I don't know
why this is happening.

I like you.
I hope you're not mad at me."

See? She's fine.

Oh, boy, that's not good.
Am I right, counselor?

Like a broken clock.

Okay, so she's
an imperfect victim.

Call your friend Calhoun.

My friend.

I never thought I'd say this,

but thank God for texting.

[chuckles] I'm tempted to send

that girl's family
my legal bill.

So I assume
this will be the last

we hear of the matter,

We'll be in touch.

Rita, we have a problem.

No, we don't.
I've already spoken with Abby,

and this isn't anything
we haven't seen before.

Really? Because if you were
that boy's defense attorney,

you'd tear her to shreds.

Put this into context.
Abby's insecure.

She's non-confrontational.

If she were more assertive,
we might not even be here.

She was assertive enough
to text him.

She was answering
his texts every time.

There's no social protocol
with teenagers.

Do you un-friend?
Do you block?

They don't think
things through.

I understand,
but Buchanan's gonna

crucify her in front of a jury.

This boy lured Abby
into the school's darkroom,

boasted on the internet
they had sex,

lied to the police.

What do you want me to do?

There were a hundred kids
at that dance.

Have you talked to any of them?

Everyone knows the darkroom
is where you have sex.

Once you go down there,
you can't change your mind.

Actually, you can,
Daniella, at any time.

Maybe, but there's
no way Abby did.

She's obsessed with Chris.

So you think she's just
making this up?

I don't know.

She could just be mad that Chris
didn't ask her out again.


Will Moore?
Jack Peters?


We got a couple questions.

About Chris?

What people are saying
is unfair.

He didn't do anything to Abby
she wasn't asking for.

She was asking for it?

That's what you heard too?

Yeah, I guess.
I got to go study, so...

Look, I don't want
to bad-mouth her,

but Abby's just trying
to get attention.

Trying to avoid us, Jack?

No, I just don't know anything.

What's the matter,

were you down in that
darkroom with her too?

You know, she's only 15.
You're 18.

Know what that means?

Whoa, whoa, whoa,
I did not touch her.

Yeah, but Chris did though,
didn't he?

Come on, talk to us or we're
gonna have to call your parents.

You know what, why don't
we just call Notre Dame?

He's the one waiting to hear

about that football
scholarship, right?

Wait, wait, wait, wait,
don't... don't do that.

Give us a reason not to.

Chris needed a name
on his list.

What list?

This secret society
for seniors.

Nos Messis Cerasa.


It's Latin for
"Cherry Pickers Club."

What's the big secret?

It's this competition

to see how many virgins
you can bang,

and everybody had a name
on the list except for Chris.

So, here, it's behind
this portrait.

[dramatic music]

- How old were these girls?
- I don't know.

The ones on mine were,
like, 16 or 17,

but they came after me, okay?

I could show you
the selfies they sent me.

That's okay.
We get it.

Chris only has Abby listed?

Yeah, it's a good thing
he didn't get shut out,

'cause that wall's there

Basically, Chris just
needed to make the wall.

Good to know.

Oh, counselor, you're not gonna
use this list though, are you?

It goes to motive.

Yeah, but it also outs
a lot of teenagers.

I mean, the guys, whatever.
Who cares about them?

But these girls...

They don't want
this list going public.

Come on, like they haven't
posted darkroom selfies

on their Facebook pages

We're dealing with
hormone-flooded teenagers.

I know things are grey here,
but this is 50 shades of it.

I'm with Dodds.
I don't think this kid

knew anything was wrong
till we showed up at his house.

- He lied to your faces.
- Yeah, and so did she

when she said she wasn't
texting him anymore.

Okay, I think that
the kid is good for it,

but going to trial
with where we are now...

I think you need
to sit both families down

and hammer out a plea.

I'll see what I can do.

A plea?

Of misdemeanor
sexual misconduct?


I can't offer felony rape
or even attempted rape.

A public defender
would balk at that.

There are other felonies.

What about sending
indecent material

to a minor via the texts.

The texts are pathetic,

but I'm not sure
that they're indecent.

Sexual misconduct does get him
on the sex offenders registry.

Even if he doesn't
do jail time,

his DNA goes into the database,

and being on the registry
is quite severe.

- As it should be.
- No.

He raped my daughter.
He should go to prison!

We're all upset
about what happened to Abby,

but putting her
through a trial?

There's a good chance that
does not result in a conviction.


Mr. Barba
is making good points.

Even with the rape shield law,

the press will be all over
this story if we go forward.

The press?
My life is over.

Everybody at school
is whispering about me,

- laughing at me.
- Abby, honey, please...

Chris' friends hate me.

My friends hate me.
I wish I'd never said anything.

I'm sorry.

This is all I can do.

We'll take sexual misconduct.

As long as Chris Roberts
goes on the registry.

The registry?
Absolutely not.

This is the best plea
I can offer.

Your son would avoid the
publicity and trauma of a trial.

But he'd be put on a list
with rapists and pedophiles.

What about college?

Chris just got
early acceptance to Stanford.

That's nice.

If he goes on the list,
he can't have a smartphone.

He can't even access
the internet.

To make this go away,

we'd consider endangering
the welfare of a child.

He had unwanted sexual
contact with a minor.

He has to go on the registry.

Did Benson and Calhoun
prepare that sentence for you?

We all know what this was.

A misunderstanding

between two sexually
inexperienced teenagers.

One of whom is 15 years old.

That's automatic
sexual misconduct.

That's your best argument?

There's a Romeo
and Juliet exemption.

Not if he forced her.

That's her story,
after the fact.

This train is leaving
the station.

I've offered you
no prison time.

If you say no
and your son is convicted,

prison time is what
he could be looking at.

But he didn't do
anything wrong.

Chris, is this what you want?

To go to trial?

Does that mean I'm on the news?
Everybody knows who I am?

Once you're arrested
and charged,

your name is made public.

Anytime anyone Googles you
for the rest of your life,

this is what will come up.

Don't threaten my son.

This girl's slandering him.
We need to fight this.

Mr. Barba, what if I just say
sorry to Abby and her family?

You have nothing
to be sorry for.

No, absolutely not.
Let's go.

We're calling your bluff.
No deal.

You want to take this to trial,
you'll regret it.

Chris Roberts, you are charged
with one count of attempted rape

and two counts
of sexual misconduct

and forcible touching.

How do you plead?

Not guilty on all counts,
Your Honor.

People on bail?

The defendant has a passport
and the means to flee.

We request 1 million.

For an 18-year-old
high school honors student

with no priors
who lives at home?

In lieu of bail,
we ask that he be released

into his parents' custody.

I'll split the difference.

Bail is set at 500,000.

The defendant will
surrender his passport.


Dodds, glad you made it.

You know, it's helpful
for the victims

to see us in the gallery.

Yeah, about this victim,

I'm sorry I brought it up
in front of everybody.

Don't be.
It's not a problem.

It's just that
these two teenagers

both seem like good kids.

I don't think they know
what happened in that darkroom.

Do we?

Look, he may not realize

that what he did
was a sexual assault,

but Abby didn't make this up.

She's just not
a manipulative girl.

Yeah, okay,
but he's not a predator.

This is a high school
make out session gone bad.

They shouldn't be going
to trial.

I don't disagree with you.

- Not our call.
- It wasn't theirs either.

This whole thing
is a runaway train.

Good morning.

Wow, they made Chris
look like Harry Potter.

Well, we've seen
that before, right?

The nerd defense.


The night Abby came home
after being assaulted,

the defendant texted her.

"I had a great time tonight.
See you Monday."

She wrote back, "K."

A week later, while Mr. Roberts
was being interrogated by SVU,

she texted him again.

"I don't know why
this is happening.

I like you.
I hope you're not mad at me."

In your years
as an SVU detective,

sergeant, and now lieutenant,

have you ever seen
this kind of communication

between a young victim
and an assailant?

Yes, it's more common than not.

Look, teenagers have
imperfect judgment.

I mean, in my experience,
a young, naive girl

who also attends the same
high school as her rapist

would be scared
of causing conflict

or, worse, being stigmatized
by her peers.

In your experience,
this would be true

of someone like Abby?

Yes, girls like Abby
who are shy

have trouble speaking up
for themselves,

and teenaged predators often
prey on less-assertive victims.

Okay, so one last question.

Abby didn't file a report

with the police
immediately afterwards.

How unusual is that?

Oh, it's not unusual.
At all.

It happens with many,
many victims.

Thank you, Lieutenant.

Good morning, Lieutenant.

If I understood you just now,

it's because the assailant
is naive or shy

that she waited four days
to disclose?

No, that's not what I said.

I said it's not unusual at all

for any victim
to wait to disclose.

Victims often need time to
process what happened to them

before approaching police.

You mean before
approaching you.

She went to her local
precinct first,

and they chose not
to pursue an investigation.

Because local precincts
aren't properly trained

in sexual assault.

That's why the NYPD created
the Special Victims Unit

in the first place.

Where apparently
you're trained to believe

that victims with certain
personality flaws

are more likely to be targeted.

Also not what I said.

I know how difficult
it is to be professional

and politically correct
at the same time,

but you did just say
that a more assertive girl

might not have been targeted.

It sounds to me
like you're blaming the victim.

No, I am not.

It's always the rapist's fault.

Again, twisting
what I'm saying.

So there is nothing
that the accuser can do

that would contribute
to this situation?

If she's sexy?

Willingly going
to private areas?

Enthusiastically engaging
in foreplay?

None of this
could possibly lead on

a young, inexperienced
teenaged boy?


More like common sense,
Your Honor.

But I'll withdraw.
Nothing further.

During the course
of our investigation,

we became aware that
Chris Roberts was a member

of the school's
unofficial secret society,

the Cherry Pickers Club.

What did your investigation
find out about this club?

Club's one purpose,
to deflower female students,

and then to record
the names of those conquests

on a wall in the library

behind a portrait
of the school's founder.

The defendant recorded
Abby's name on that wall?

- Yes, he did.
- How many names

had he recorded before hers?

- None.
- Were the other members

of his club more
successful this year?

Well, they claimed to be.

And while interviewing them,
it became clear

that Chris was getting
taunted as a failure

who needed to step up.

So by assaulting Abby

and writing her name
beneath his,

that meant
in the eyes of his peers

that he was no longer a loser?

- Objection.
- Rephrase.

Did he write
Abby's name on that wall

as someone whose cherry
he had picked that night?

- Yes.
- Did he subsequently brag

on social media
that he had done so?

Yes, he did.

Thank you.

Detective, we heard
your lieutenant explain

that teenagers
tend to have poor judgment.

Have you ever heard
of teenaged boys

bragging about
their sexual conquests

even when no such exploits
took place?

Are you asking me
if your client's a liar?

I'm asking you
if he's a teenager

who, as you said,
was being pressured

to claim he'd scored?

- Yes.
- Redirect.

Detective Carisi,
let me ask you again.

During your initial
interview with the accused,

did he lie to you?

Yeah, he flat-out denied

having any sexual contact
with Abby.

It was only when we confronted
him with the DNA evidence

of his semen on Abby's dress
that he admitted the truth.


My client has always maintained

that all contact
was mutual and consensual.

Sure, except when
he was lying about it.

Spare us the grandstanding,

The objection is overruled.

Why don't you two calm down
and we will resume after lunch?

At which time we'll be
calling our next witness,

Abby Stewart.

We said no makeup.
Remember, Abby?

But I'll look
like a little girl.

They're making him
look like a saint.

You can't look like a sinner.

[door opens]

Mrs. Roberts,
would you give us a minute?

I'm just washing my hands.

Abby, did they tell you

that Stanford requested
Chris withdraw his application?

This isn't the time.

Do you understand that you're
ruining my son's life?

Hey, you need to stop talking.

A woman cop like you,

you always take
the girl's side, don't you?

That's not
what's happening here.

Yeah, well, I've seen it.

The sweet little girl
becomes the victim,

and then the boy
is made out to be a brute.

- Oh...
- And do you know why that is?

Because teenage girls
are better liars!



Chris and I danced,
we made out,

and then we went downstairs
to the darkroom.

And you agreed
to all that willingly?


We were kissing
when we got inside.

And you were okay
with that as well?


Then what happened?

He got aggressive.

He put his hands
under my dress,

and then he put his finger
in my vagina.

Did you agree to that?


Did you tell him
that you didn't agree to that?


I told him to slow down.

I said I didn't want him
to touch me down there.

And did that stop him?

No, he pushed up against me

and tried to put
his penis inside me.

I said no again,

but he kept
rubbing up against me.


he came on my dress.

Was that something
you wanted?


He was hurting me.

I'd never had sex
with anyone before,

but I knew that was not
how I wanted it to be.

You didn't tell anyone
about it that night.

You even... you texted
the defendant.

I was... humiliated.
Too afraid to tell anyone.

I eventually told
my mom the truth.

We went to the police,

and I told them I'd been raped.

Abby, thank you.

Uh, I'm sorry you had
a regrettable experience, Abby.

Is it all right
if I call you Abby?

Yeah, sure.

Let's you and I

try and figure this out
together, Abby.

Starting from the beginning.

Is it fair to say that you had
a crush on Chris Roberts?

I guess.

Were you flattered
when he texted you?

Kind of, but...

I'm not saying
it was love and marriage.

Must be a nice guy.

Why else would you go
to the darkroom with him?

I thought he was nice.

Were you aware of
the darkroom's reputation?


It goes to her
state of mind, Your Honor.

- I'll allow it.
- At the very least,

you probably knew
you weren't going there

to develop photographs.

I thought we were
just going to kiss.

You mean like this?

Defense exhibits
6A through D, Your Honor.

Now, I know Mr. Barba

already asked you
about these photos,

but it appears as if
you were enjoying yourself.

No need to be ashamed.
I have a daughter too.

I know how much she likes
going to the dances.

Your Honor,
is there a question here?

There is.

Now, this was your first
real date, wasn't it, Abby?


You really wanted him
to like you.

Maybe you were
a little nervous.

Sort of, a little.

Sure you were.
Alone with a boy you liked.

It was dark too.

And maybe it was loud too,
I'm assuming,

what with all the music.

Yeah, it was.

So there was a lot going on.

So is it possible
that you got overwhelmed

and were unsure about
what you really wanted,

and that's why
you never said no?

I didn't exactly say no,

but I told him
not to go down... there.

Down there?

On the floor?

That's not what I meant.
I wasn't into it.

Into what exactly?

- Sex.
- You said the word "sex"?


I meant I wasn't into
having sex.

He knew that.

But how could he know that?
Chris was nervous too.

He was in a loud, dark room,
the same as you.

Did you think
he could read your mind?

- Objection.
- Withdrawn.

You were texting
and talking in school.

You didn't even think
you'd been raped for four days.

He had no idea that you'd
had a bad evening

until the police arrived
at his door.

Your Honor, objection.

Ask a question,
Mr. Buchanan.

Well, I'm just trying
to understand,

as I'm sure
Chris and the jury are,

how did we get here?

I knew I didn't want
to have that happen to me.

But did Chris know?

I think he did.

You think?
You think you were raped.

You think you told him to stop.

Isn't it possible that you
went completely along with this

and then regretted it later?

- Objection.
- Withdrawn.

[tense music]

Nothing further.

I don't know
what just happened.

It wasn't your fault, honey.

- Let's go.
- Testifying is never easy.

You could have
protected her more.

Abby, the worst is over.

No, it's not.
Chris is going to testify

and tell everyone
lies about me.

Mr. Barba won't let him
get away with that.

We were
in the darkroom kissing.

I kept asking if everything
I was doing was okay,

and she didn't say no,
so I kept going.

How far did you go?

I put my fingers inside her.

I couldn't have done
anything else

even if we both wanted to,
because I finished early.

Did you have sex
with Abby Stewart?

No, I did not.

When you got home that night,

how did you feel
the evening had gone?


I didn't think
anything was wrong.

I texted her.
She texted me back.

So it sounds like she was
sending you mixed messages.

If she was upset,
I couldn't tell.

Now, Chris,
there were two instances

where you admit
that you had lied.

- What was the first?
- To the police.

When I said we hadn't touched,

we had touched
under our clothes,

but we didn't have sex.

- And the second?
- To my friends.

I told them
I'd had sex with Abby

because of the pressure
to get a name on the wall,

but it wasn't true.

The club is
disrespectful to girls.

Me playing into that
was stupid.

I was afraid
of being ridiculed.

By volunteering your
testimony here today,

you're risking just that.

I know,
but I owe it to my family

to explain my behavior,

and I owe it
to Abby's family too.

If I upset her, I'm sorry.

I wish things
had gone differently.

I know now that mixing
dating and alcohol

is a recipe for disaster

and that clear communication
is very important.

Thank you.

I admire your courage

for testifying so frankly
here today.

You lied to the police

and to your friends.

Is that your story?

I'm not proud of it.

You did so because
your friends were taunting you

that you hadn't scored?

- I wouldn't put it that way.
- You'd call it making love?

Or cherry picking?

- Objection.
- It's the name of the club.


Doesn't matter
what I'd call it.

I didn't do anything
Abby didn't want.

So she went to the police,
testified on the stand,

was publicly humiliated
and ostracized by her friends

for something that she made up?

No, she probably thinks
she was raped.

Well, what does that tell you?

That she thinks that now,
but she did want it at the time.

How can you be sure
of what she was thinking

or what she wanted?


Witness will answer.

I don't know if I can be sure,
but she didn't say no.

She didn't say it
or you didn't hear it?

- I don't know.
- Did you ever ask her?

- No.
- Did you ever hear a yes?

No, because you weren't
listening to her at all, were you?

Your only concern was
getting what you wanted,

scoring, making it up
onto that wall.

Well, congratulations,
you made it.

Nothing further.

[tense music]

- Hey.
- Hey.

I just wanted to thank you.

That was a good cross.

You know, no matter
what the jury decides,

you did your job.

Did I?

It was always a murky case.

Exactly the kind
that we need to be fighting.

The world is changing.
We need new rules.

Rules of sexual engagement
for teenagers?


California just passed
affirmative consent.

We'll see how that goes.

Well, something
needs to change.

The problem is
is that teenage boys

even in college
don't know what behavior

might constitute rape.

We need to make
the lines clearer.

[knock at door]

Jury's in.

Here we go.


Members of the jury,
have you reached your verdict?

We have, Your Honor.

On the felony count
of attempted rape,

how do you find?

We find the defendant,
Chris Roberts,

not guilty.

On the misdemeanor count
of forcible touching,

how do you find?

Not guilty, Your Honor.

On the misdemeanor count
of sexual misconduct

in the first degree,
how do you find?


[crowd murmurs] What?

Members of the jury,

the court thanks you
for your service.

You are free to go.

[bangs gavel]

I hope you're happy.
Look what you did to my son.

- Abby.
- Chris.

Don't you talk to her.
Don't you even look at her!

- I'm sorry.
- Now you're sorry?

Don't you apologize
to him, sweetie.

Now is not the time.

Abby, you have nothing
to apologize for.

You can't tell me
that she didn't know

what was gonna happen
when she went into that room.

You all can lie to yourselves
all you want!

We know exactly
what your son is!

And now he's on the registry,
and everyone will know!

- We know what your daughter is!
- Enough! Enough!

Enough! Enough!

[gentle music]


Abby, let's go.

- sync and corrections by Zac -
- -