Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999–…): Season 5, Episode 8 - Abomination - full transcript

A gay man who had a brief stint in a Fundamentalist Christian-sponsored sexual re-education course is found murdered, and suspects range from the conversion program itself, a bigoted church group who kept sending him threatening letters, a group of psychologists studying the nature of homosexuality, and two of his ex-lovers, one of whom is the son of one of the professors.

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.

Now, if this were
a real busy street,

there'd be lots of cars
and people, okay?

I'm telling.

Now, I want everybody
to take your buddy's hand,

all right?

I don't want to
hold her hand.

Now, what do we
do when we get

to the crosswalk?

Anybody remember?


We stop, we look, and we listen.

And then we walk
to the other side.

Now, stay inside the lines
of the crosswalk, okay?

And walk very, very fast.

I'm going to go first.

Okay, no running,
and no pushing, please.

I hope a cab doesn't
splatter you

all over mid-town,
you little brats.

Me first.

Me first.

Take them inside Melody, now.


Come on kids,
let's go.

( children chatting loudly )

Let's get inside now, come on.

White male,
twenties, naked,

wrapped in a set of
Queen-size sheets
and a blanket.

Condom's in
there with him,

fluids on the body,

which is why we
called you guys in.

Do you have any
idea how long the
body's been here?

Trash collection worked
this street at 11:00 last night.

No body then.
Neck's broken.

Bruising goes
all the way around.

Back of his scalp
is pretty torn up,

and there's white powder in it.

See this blue stuff
on the sheets?

It's not wax,
it's more like melted plastic.


the building super
around the corner

pulled this pillowcase
out of the bushes.

It matches the sheets?

His clothes?

Check for a wallet.

There's no wallet
in here.

Got something.

"Seventh and Bleeker,
Thursday, 7:00 p.m.."

Last night in the village.

Maybe that's where
he met his killer.

Must have shown him
a real good time

before she did the deed.

Marvin, right now
is a good opportunity

for you to learn.

An erection is often
a side effect of asphyxiation.

Oh, yeah?

'Cause I was going to say,

the guy was scared stiff.

Captioning sponsored by

and NBC

We've got six restaurants,
two bars, 13 businesses

and over 400 residents
near Bleeker and Seventh.

That is a hell of a lot
of doors to knock on.

Not to mention,
it's 100 blocks away

from where the victim ended up.

If his date killed him
in the village,

that's a long way to lug a body.

Meaning one of them lives
near the dump site,

or she had help moving the body.

What did Missing Persons say?

Nobody's missed him yet,
and we got no hit on the prints.


This turned out
to be a challenging one.

Well, what did the lab find?

Substance in the
hair turned out

to be gypsum particles
and flakes

of flat latex paint
in eggshell white.

Somebody bashed his head
against the wall.

It's a common
brand of paint.

It won't help
you much with
the location.

The bed sheets were
a little more interesting.

We put that
blue substance

under an infrared

It's nylon,

specifically used
for sports apparel.

Somehow, it melted
all over the sheets.

Like maybe from

a faulty dryer?

You know, it runs too hot,

you put a pair of running shorts
in there with the sheets,

you ruin the whole load.

Killed in an apartment
with white walls

and a crappy laundry facility.

I think I live there.

Yeah, but I'm guessing
you didn't kill the guy.

We blood-typed the semen found
in the sheets.

Two types.

Your victim spent his last night
with another man.

Well, there's two bars

in the village
on your list.

You and Olivia see
if any of them cater

to gentlemen.

You ever seen this guy?

Sorry, I don't
recognize him.

How late did you work?

Till 4:00 in
the morning.

It's kind of a blur
after 10:00, though.

( laughs )

Benefits of working

at a gay bar-- I never have
to buy my own drinks.

What kind of clientele
you get in here?

Hustlers strolling
for work?

No, mostly just
neighborhood guys.

What about lovers spats
getting out of hand?

Bouncer handles that.

Hey, Tony?


He come in here last night?

Never seen him here,
but I know that face.

I think he's a model
or something.

Like in a magazine?

No, posters.

You know, the kind

they plaster all over
those construction site fences?


He said the poster
was advertising

some dating service.

Sure it wasn't
Captain Zippy's Rave,

or fantastic, potent,
herbal Viagra?

This might
be something.

"We chose the
path to love."

That's him.

Looking pretty heterosexual.


Doesn't sound like
a dating service.

It's a Christian Ministry,

advocating freedom
from homosexuality

through prayer
and counseling.

It started in the '80s

as the so-called
"ex-gay" movement.

Here we go, "ReGenesis."

"A second chance
at a new beginning."

Started by Kelly
and Derek Singer,

both ex-gays themselves.

So, former gays
turn gay bashers?

Not quite.

ReGenesis doesn't condemn
homosexuality outright,

but it does believe
that it's a sin,

and like all sins,
one has to resist it

in order to enter

the kingdom of God.

Meaning, if I pray hard enough,
I'll be straight.

Or celibate.

Most ex-gays consider
themselves successful

if they resist
same-sex behavior.

The movement's
still controversial.

Yeah, but if somebody
really believes

that being gay
is a sin,

what's wrong with
trying to change?

The assumption
that one can change.

ReGenesis claims that members
of its ministry have actually

become heterosexual,
but offer little proof.

Most psychiatrists believe
it doesn't work.

So, the poster boy for the
ex-gay movement

is still sleeping with guys.

I mean, that's going
to piss a few people off.

Find out how much.

And let's put a name
to this face.

James Reed. I can't believe it.

James Reed.

When was the last
time you saw him?

Over six months ago.

I tried contacting him by phone.

I-I sent letters,
and he never answered.

Did you guys have
a falling out or something?

He thought we
were judging him,

but we loved James.

As long as he was straight.

No. That would make us

But your straight
now, right?

So, you're following God's law,
but he wasn't.

You think that we're just these
bunch of religious fanatics

who think God turned us

It's a struggle, Detective.

And Kelly and I fight it
together, every day.

So, how was it that James

wound up on the poster?

It was his idea.

He felt that people should know

you can be accountable to God
and have joy in your life.

Homosexuality doesn't have
to control you.

But he changed his
tune six months ago.

He had doubts.

I told him,
we all have crises of faith.

In other words,
he had a boyfriend?

Now, that doesn't look good
for ReGenesis.

Are you suggesting
that we killed James?

Someone may have felt betrayed.

You have this ad campaign.

Must have cost you a lot
of money.

There's James Reed,
your poster boy for success,

until he starts sleeping
with a bunch of guys again.

It makes your organization look
like a sham.

I wouldn't have cared
if James had

100 boyfriends,
if it made him happy.

I knew it didn't.

Look, we were just hoping
James would come back.

We would have welcomed him.

Yeah, you wrote him, uh,
those letters?

Yeah. We'll need that address.

There's no blood.

Doesn't look like James Reed
was killed in his apartment.

A syllabus
for a clinical psych class,

Hudson University.

Looks like he was going
for his masters.

"Me and Phil,
Thousand Islands, June '03."

They're happy.

Unless Phil's the one
he spent his last night with.

Look at this.

Four letters from Derek Singer,
all unopened.

I guess
he was telling the truth.

Those two were depressing.

Trying to convince themselves

and everybody else
that they're happy.

Maybe they are.

Elliot, you can't tell me

that repressing
your sexual desires

makes a gay person
a good Christian.

I don't know.

Maybe some people choose
to be gay,

others choose to be straight.

Oh, so you chose
to be heterosexual?

Me? No.

Check this out.

"All queers

"will burn in the eternal fire

of hell, so sayeth the Lord."

Somehow I don't think
that's a direct quote.

Hate mail.

Yeah, about 20,
30 pieces of it,

all coming
from Nebraska.

No return address.

I guess word
of Reed's defection slipped out.

Let's see if the boyfriend

in the picture knows
who sent them.

Phone number for Phil Sona.

I read about James' death

in the paper.

I'm just
sick about it.

I find it odd you didn't report
your boyfriend missing,

though, Doctor Phil.


We broke up
three months ago,

but James doesn't
have any family,

so I'm taking care

of the funeral

Look, I know
you guys have
a job to do,

but I didn't
kill James.

I was at a seminar
in Detroit

the night he died.

Why the breakup?

Just wasn't the
love of my life.

I wasn't his, either.

We both got what we
needed at the time.

A reason to leave ReGenesis.

That is where we met.

Taking the reorientation
therapy, support groups,

prayer groups.

Then we turned to each other.

We're, like, "What the hell are
we doing here?"

You thought the whole
thing was a crock?

No. For a long time,

I thought things would be easier

if I was straight.

Now, I can't imagine wanting
to be anybody

other than who I am.

And that is the one good thing

that I learned at ReGenesis.

Do you think

that any ReGenesis member
would be angry enough

to go after James?

I doubt it. They're
basically good people.

They just believe

that God has given them
a road map for how to live.

And I don't think
it's that easy.

These letters--

you know who
wrote them?

If that's more
hate mail,

it could have been anybody.

James had written some
angry articles

bashing ReGenesis.

I said, "You're making a target
of yourself."

Dr. Sona, James
may have been

with a man the night
he was murdered.

Do you know
if he had a new boyfriend?

He said he was seeing somebody.

I don't know who.

It didn't sound
like it was going to work out.

The guy was way in the closet.

Maybe he'll come out

long enough to
attend the funeral.

( people shouting loudly )

What the hell is this?

Devoted members
from the Church of
Eternal Providence,

visiting from beautiful
Danville, Nebraska.

Found our hate mailers.

They got permits
for the sidewalk.

I'm waiting for one of them
to step over it,

so I can shut 'em up.

You get a
line on the

So far, nobody claims to be,

or claims to know
who was dating Reed.

God hates you,

you hypocrites!
Get the hell out of here.

The Lord said

all sodomites should be put
to death.

Whoa, his might has been shown
to all those who believe...

Are you just going
to stand here and
let them do this?

Dr. Sona, just walk,
come on.

The Reverend has a right
to free speech.

The Lord Almighty
killed James Reed

for being a disgusting faggot...

Oh yeah, that's right.

We're all fags,
and we're not
going anywhere.

He's burning for all eternity
in the flames of hell.

All you want,
we're going to
be sitting here,

laughing our
asses off.

Okay, the protest is over Rev.

This is a legal demonstration.

Well, not anymore.
Look down.

You're trespassing.

Reverend Mitchell Shaw.

You really get around.

Protesting in Vermont,
at the Supreme Court...

...cheering at the funeral

of a six-year-old
who died of AIDS.

Maybe you should switch
to a career in publicity.

The Lord asked me
to do his work.

Did he ask you to ignore
all that, uh...

"Love thy neighbor" stuff?

"If a man also lie with mankind,
as he lieth with a woman,

"both of them have committed
an abomination.

"They shall surely
be put to death.

Their blood shall be upon them."


The Bible also says
I can sell my daughters

into slavery and be put to death
if I work on Sundays.

Twelve years of Catholic school.

Anybody can memorize
the words, Reverend.

Doesn't make them righteous.

This city is full of sodomites,

and you waste your time
protecting them...

and yet you wonder why
so many other NYPD brothers

were struck down
on September 11.

Do you not see

the Lord's judgment upon you?

I see a scared, shriveled
up piece of trash

who uses God to
justify his bigotry.

This guy doesn't
believe half of
what he says, Elliot.

He's trying to get
his name in the papers.

I speak the truth.

Well, then, you won't deny
calling James Reed a fag...

an AIDS-infested fag.

You can't prosecute me
for writing letters.

We can if you killed the guy.

The Lord passed his own
judgment on James Reed.
You're just doing

his work for him? Is that it?

I wish I had

sent Reed to hell...

but I was a thousand miles away.

Go back in there and strangle
the son-of-a-bitch.

I love the guy; I want to invite
him to the Christmas Party.

The Lord spoke to him.

The Lord sent an angel to talk
to the mother of his only son,

but he spoke to Reverend Shaw.

He's a very special guy.

How's his alibi?

Danville PD confirmed it.

Had their hands full
with another picket

organized by the reverend
the night of Reed's murder.

Then he's nothing to us.

Cut him and the rest
of his people loose.

He targeted Reed.

One of his followers
could've taken him seriously.

You connect one of the members
of Shaw's congregation

to the murder,
I might be able to get him

on the fighting words doctrine.

Till then, First Amendment says

he can enjoy his civil liberties
like everybody else.

We'll check out his followers

In the meantime, if we're
thinking Reed's killer

was the last person
he slept with,

there's a real problem
with this theory.

None of Shaw's people would ever
have had sex with Reed.

They just would have killed him.

Well, we've still got
the mystery boyfriend
out there somewhere.

What'd you get from the people
at Reed's funeral?
Not much.

After the fight broke out,
a bunch

of people left
before we got their names.

Yeah, but we got
their pictures.

Where the hell's that from?
One of Reverend Shaw's

church members-- he must
have left it behind.

I didn't hear that.
Get it back to him, John.

I'll be happy to--
I'd even develop
his film for free.

Show the pictures

to the people you talk
to at Reed's funeral.

Maybe they can help ID
the ones that got away.

I told you at the cemetery I...

I really only knew James
as his advisor.

I-I-I don't know
his friends.

And he never mentioned
dating anyone, Dr. Waldman?

All we talked about
was his research.

A shame-- it was shaping up
to be quite provocative.

How so?
He was planning
a long-term study

on reparative therapy:

the idea that same-sex
attraction is a form

of arrested development
and can be cured.

Don't most shrinks
think that's crap?

They do. Reparative therapy
is experimental

and unproven at best.

And at worst?

Early research indicates

that patients can develop
anxiety, depression,

and an increased risk
of suicide.

Now, what's so provocative
about James' research?

That reparative
therapists know

their treatment
doesn't work,

yet they prey
on vulnerable patients,

and take their money
for a snake oil cure.

That could've ruined
a few careers.

Might be a motive
for murder.

I'd agree, except no one
outside the three professors

on the thesis committee
had read the proposal.

We're going to
need their names.

Of course.

Actually, there was
a fourth professor,

but he resigned.

And who was that?

Roger Tate.

He's a proponent
of reparative therapy,

which is why I wanted him
to sit on the committee,

but he thought there were

methodological problems
with the study.

We want to talk
to him first.

Mr. Reed and I
had differences of opinion,

but I liked and respected him.

We've debated each other
over the past few months

in several symposiums.

These debates, um...

he thought being gay was okay,
and you didn't?

I personally
have nothing

against homosexuals,

but Mr. Reed believed

was a natural occurring variant,

like left-handedness.

I believe it's
a complex pathology.

And you can cure it?


but by understanding
the root of their neurosis,

they can begin to control
their neurotic tendencies.

When homosexuals know
the causes of their condition,

they're more able to change
their behavior

if they choose to do so.

So, what causes that condition?

My research has shown
that an over-bearing mother

combined with a distant father

often influences
psycho-sexual development.

A boy longs for a relationship
with the father,

and when he doesn't get it,
he seeks it out in other men.

It must have
really burned you

that Reed's research was going
to torpedo all your work...

or at least torpedo your wallet.

His methods
were shoddy.

I doubt if his research
would ever have been published.

I may have disagreed
with Mr. Reed,

but I didn't hate him.

If nothing else,
I felt sorry for him.

I treat men every day
who are trying to fill

their empty lives
with anonymous sex

and loveless

Reed spent so much energy
trying to convince himself

that he was normal, happy...

but how could he have been?

If an over-bearing mother

and a distant father
cause homosexuality,

how come I'm not gay?

Maybe you're in denial.

That'd explain a lot.

Excuse me, was
that Elliot Stabler?

No, that's Ian,
Dr. Tate's son.

My mistake.

What was that?

I recognized him
from his picture.

Ian Tate at Reed's funeral,

20 years old, no record,

enrolled in a university

dropped out halfway
through the first semester.

Now he's at a community college.

His mother died when
he was 12 years old.

His father pays
for his apartment,

which is half a block away
from where we found
James Reed's body.

We dumped Ian and
Reed's phones.

Past two months, there
were over 50 calls,

including one
from Ian to Reed

the night he
was killed.

They knew each other
well enough

for Ian to go to his funeral.
So, we're saying

Dr. Homophobe's son is gay
and killed his boyfriend?

Well, if he was ashamed
of his sexual identity,

then he may have been driven

to destroy the man
who personified it.

With a father
like Tate,

no wonder he'd try
to hide it.

"You're not gay, son,
you're just crazy."

A lot of gay
people suffer

from some kind
of internalized homophobia.

They all grew up
in the same culture that we did,

where being gay
was considered weird,

or sick, or evil.

Combine that with Dr. Tate
spending years

promoting the idea
that homosexuality

is unacceptable...
Son must hate himself.

And he might do anything
to keep the illusion

that he was straight.

See if you can break it.

Ian Tate!

We need to talk to you.

Why don't you come
on down to the
station with us?

I can't. I've
got class.

I'm already late.

It's about
James Reed.

Never heard of him.

You've never heard

of him-- you've
been talking

to him for two months.

We've got the phone
records to prove it.

He's dead.

I didn't do it.

there's lots of ways
this could have gone down.

You guys were together,
you got into a fight,

things got out of hand...
That's sick.

He was harassing me.


Because of my father.

I met him at one of Dad's talks.

Guy just starts in on me.

Freaking faggot.

Boy, Ian, buddy, you're
a walking cliché.

Most homophobes are
actually repressed

you know that?

This is going to be a lot easier
if you're honest with us.

I'm not gay...

and I didn't kill him.

You get it?
Need some help?

Why don't you come
with us down to the station.

Give us a DNA sample,

we'll leave you alone.


Don't have cause
to compel a swab.

Why don't we collect ourselves
some evidence?

Faulty dryer maybe?

Public area, don't
need a warrant.

This one looks
clean, too...

...but it's barely
giving off any heat.

This one's on fire.


That looks like

blue melted nylon to me.

And that should
get us a warrant

for Ian's apartment.

Place has been cleaned.

It smells like somebody painted
in here.

Guy had drywall
in his hair.

His walls aren't
even chipped.

The mattress looks
like it's brand new.

Luminol didn't pick up
any blood.

He didn't bleed that much.


feel that.

It's uneven.

Like it's just been patched.

Right at head level.

Got a saw?

Bring it.

( saw buzzing )

What the hell is this?

Sorry, you're not allowed
in here.

What are you doing?

Where's your warrant?


I'm calling
a lawyer.

You can't destroy
private property.

Ian, let's go.

Let's see what we
find here first--
just relax.

I got blood...
and hair.

All that plastering
for nothing, huh?

All right, Tate,
you're under arrest

for the murder
of James Reed.

Don't say anything.
I'm getting you a lawyer.

Say nothing.

Docket ending 247,

the People vs. Ian
Alexander Tate.

One count murder
in the second degree.

Emma Dishell
for the defense.

How does the
defendant plead?

Not guilty.

Your thoughts on bail,
Ms. Novak?

The People request remand,
Your Honor.

The defendant committed murder
because of his hatred

for homosexuals.

We consider him
a danger to the

My client was
defending himself

after being sexually
assaulted by the decedent.

Your Honor, there was no
evidence or report of assault.

In fact, this is the first time
anyone's mentioned it.

And as the ADA
for Special Victims,

you should know
that rape victims

often delay reporting
their attacks.

The defendant's semen
was found at the scene.

If a woman
has an orgasm

when she's raped, does that mean
she really wanted it?

Eh, that's beyond the scope
of these proceedings.

Now, you say you have proof
of a rape,

Ms. Dishell, uh, present
it to a trial judge.

Until then,
the defendant's remanded.

Next case.

Ian Tate wasn't raped.

It's just a lame attempt
at a gay panic defense.

He came on to me
so I killed him.

That defense
rarely works.

You know the trial judge
in the Matthew Shepard case

didn't even allow that
theory to be presented.

But in New York, gay panic falls

under extreme emotional

And juries still don't buy it.

Then why are you
so worried?

Because you know this isn't
about the letter of the law.

It's about the jury
and their prejudices.

And if even one juror thinks

that gays are predators
and sinners,

then your murder conviction
gets knocked down

to manslaughter.

If not an acquittal.

The Supreme Court
may have advanced

gay rights in that
Texas case,

but they also incited
a bit of backlash.

All right, so what am I
supposed to do about that?

Take the juice out
of the defense.

Prove the defendant

is a homosexual, and gay panic
goes out the window.

You can't lose your mind
over a homosexual advance

if you're gay.

Now, the tricky part is
not playing the politics.

They want to make this about
straight versus gay.

You make it about murder.

Ian Tate is a loner.

I mean, the only person
that he talks to

on a regular basis
is his father.

He's got no friends at school,
none in his building.

What about financials--

tab from a gay bar,
magazine subscriptions?

Nothing. He probably
didn't want to leave

a paper trail
that could out him.

And he's never dated
anyone else?

I wouldn't
be surprised

if James Reed is the only
person that Ian ever dated.

Hey, guys.

You're late.

I got a good reason.

Bad news.

What is it?

My guess-- Exhibit "A"
for the defense.

The night of James
Reed's murder,

the 2-9 received a call
from Stuyvesant's E.R.,

patient reporting an assault.

That's the 61.

Victim's name, Ian Tate.

Checked in at 11:05 that night.

14 centimeter lac
on his right arm,

minor contusions to his torso.

Said he got mugged.

Well, the precinct wasn't called
until 7:30 the next morning.

Welcome to Thursday night at the
Knife and Gun Club, detective.

We were slammed,
and he had a long wait.

Any sign of sexual assault?

If I thought he had been,
I would have asked.

Men underreport as it is.

Okay, after
he checked in,

could he have left
and come back?

Nope. You leave,
you lose your spot.


61 says the precinct cops

got Ian's report
at 8:10 that morning;

at 8:30, Reed's body is found
seven blocks from here.

And the body wasn't
there at 11:00
the night before

when Ian was already
on the way to the hospital
where he spent the night.

So, when did he find the time

to get rid of the body
of a 165-pound man?

Had to be the father.

Nobody else in
Ian's life is going
to dump a body for him.

We got to place Daddy
at that scene.

You guys were right.

What did you find?

That's your victim's blood.

We rushed labs
to get the match

once your suspect
was in custody.

No more rush.

Until now.

Show and Tell time.

The cheap and fast way
to fix a wall is to put a patch

behind the hole,
hold it steady with a string,

and plaster over it.

I found another blood sample
after the patch was removed.

When you chip away
all the plaster
used to fix it,

you find the perimeter
of the initial damage.

Now, if I take your head
and bash it through the wall?

My hand is going to go through
as well.

So, when I pull my hand out...

That's the
killer's blood.

And it's not Ian Tate.

DNA came back matching
only his Y chromosome.

The killer is
a close male relative.

No one's closer then Dad.

I'm listening.

Unless the next words
out of your mouth are man two,

we've got nothing to talk about.

Well, I think I can do better
than that...

if your client recants
his statement.

My statement
is the truth.

He forced himself on
me and I fought back.

And you dumped
the body

on the street
near your house.


When did you
do that?

That night
or the next morning?

I don't remember.

What does this matter?

I think your
client knows

exactly why this matters.

He caught you, didn't he?

Shut up.

Ian, going to jail
isn't going to help.

I did it.

We found your father's blood
in your apartment.

We know what happened.

If you have evidence
implicating his father,

you have an obligation to drop
the charges

and get my client out of here.

If your client wants to avoid
accessory charges,

you'll sit down now.

You have no idea.


but I can imagine
how you must feel.

James knew what you were going
through, didn't he?

He knew what it felt like
to hate yourself,

to want to change
and know you can't.

For the first time,
somebody understood you.

Now, he's gone.

You didn't go
to the hospital

because James
attacked you.

Your father did.

He didn't mean to.

He was shocked
seeing me like that.

Tell them that, okay?

He wasn't himself.

It wasn't his fault.

What the hell?

This is completely...

Completely what?

What is it, Doctor?
Sick? Unnatural?

So is murder.

Roger Tate,
you're under arrest

for the murder of James Reed.

You have the right
to remain silent.

Anything you say can
and will be used against
you in a court of law.

She rides her bike
to work--

that is so

Ms. Novak, right?

Your office told me
you would be riding up.

Dave Seaver,
Roger Tate.

Yeah, I remember your name--
state Senate elections.

I didn't vote for you.

Neither did most of New York,
but that's okay.

My shrink says it's made me
less self-destructive.

A little advice, Dave:

you want to court
the conservative
vote, be my guest.

But I'd find
another client.

Roger Tate's no defender
of family values.

He's just a killer.

He was defending his son
from a rapist.

Yeah, you know, that
might have worked

before Ian Tate said
the sex was consensual.

My client was mistaken,

which, under the law,
is still justifiable homicide.

Your Honor, my client
believed he saw a man

raping his son.

Article 35
of the Penal Code states

that one can use deadly force
to prevent forcible sodomy.

Justification is not
a defense for stupidity.

The test is, would a man
with the same background

and experiences as my client,
respond in the same manner?

A reasonable man, Mr. Seaver.

And no reasonable
person believes

two men having sex
automatically constitutes rape.

My client's

focused on aggression,

and deviant behavior
in homosexual males.

It's not just a crazy belief;
he's done the studies

to back it up.

Your Daubert test
requires theories
to be accepted

by the scientific community.

Dr. Tate's work was not.

I'm not presenting

my client's work as accepted
scientific theory,

but as irrefutable proof
of his state of mind.

Tate's own son is homosexual.

And he didn't know that.

Your Honor,

did my client possess

the culpable mental
state required

to commit a crime?
The answer is no.

This defense is an attempt

to encourage and exploit bigotry
against homosexuals.

He's going for jury

Ms. Novak, I'm not convinced

that a defense
should be rejected

simply because a jury
might believe it.

Defining reasonable
is a very difficult issue.

And it's one that I believe
is better decided

by 12 of Dr. Tate's peers.

The night James Reed
was killed,

how did your father get
into your apartment?

He has a key.

He was bringing
over dinner.

But you thought
he was out of town,

and that's why you
invited your boyfriend
to spend the night.


And he caught you in bed
with James Reed.

What did he do?

He pulled James
away from me.

Then what?

Then he pushed James into
the wall two or three times.

I heard a crack.

James stopped fighting;
he was dead.

Your father
then attacked you.

What did he say?

He kept asking me

how I could do this to him.

Meaning, how could
you threaten his life's work

by being homosexual?

Objection. Calls
for speculation.


Nothing further.

When did you tell your dad
you were homosexual?

I didn't.

And you've known for how long?

Since I can remember.

So, you've been a liar
your whole life?

It must have
been difficult

hiding that kind of lifestyle.

You even made up a girlfriend,
didn't you?


That was high school.

But you must have found
some other outlet

for your predilections?
Gay pornography.

Objection, assuming facts
not in evidence.

Tone down the rhetoric,
Mr. Seaver.

Objection sustained.

Your dad knock you around a lot?

No. Never.

Ever see him get into a physical
altercation with anybody?

Once. This kid at school
beat me up.

My dad got in a fight
with the kid's father.

Broke his nose.

So, he's only violent
when he's defending you?

Ian, why did you confess
to James Reed's murder?

What nobody gets...

is this happened because of me.

Because of what I am.

If I weren't
so sick,

I could've
controlled myself.

It was my fault.

I didn't want my dad
going to jail for my mistake.

Dr. Cahill,

what was the first study you
and Dr. Tate conducted?

We analyzed over 10,000

on male sexuality.

And what conclusions did
you and Dr. Tate draw?

That homosexuals
solicited sex from minors,

engaged in high-risk behaviors

and had violent sexual relations
more than heterosexuals.

Taking all of Dr.
Tate's research

on homosexual
behavior into

what do you believe
are the general conclusions?

Homosexuals suffer a multitude
of psychological problems.

They are more likely
to be depressed, alienated

and have issues with rage.

Thank you.

No further questions.

Where have these studies
been published?

Which one?

Any of them?

They're still
being considered

for publication.


Well, good luck with that.

So, you say gay people
have more sex with minors

then straight people?

Why does almost

every other
study say

pedophiles are far
more likely to be

That is evidence of the bias

within the so-called
mainstream psychology.

So, when the American
Psychiatric Association

removed homosexuality

from its list of mental
disorders in 1973,

and every other major medical
association followed suit,

you're saying it's all
a big conspiracy?


Nothing further.

I'm ashamed to say I...

I never suspected Ian
was a homosexual.

I wish I'd known.


Wouldn't you have disowned him,

committed him
to a mental hospital?


I loved my son.

I would have done
anything to help him.

No further

You and Ian were close?


But you claim
you didn't know he was gay,

so not that close I guess.

I love my son.

And yet, you let him
take the fall

for causing
James Reed's death.

So, maybe
the truer statement would be,

you love Ian, but not
as much as you love yourself.

I'm on trial

for protecting my son from a man

I thought was raping him.

Why dump the body?

Why conceal the evidence?

Why not call the police

and tell them
what a righteous guy you are?


I love Ian.

You keep saying
that, Dr. Tate.

You can't
tell me

how I feel about my son.

How dare you presume to know
anything about our relationship?

Because, he's been sitting
in this court room

while you mount a defense

that calls him
a deviant.

Now you tell me again
how much you love him.

Hey, how did it go with Tate?

Jurors eight
and ten believe him.

Enough to hang the jury?


In which case, all I've done
is out some poor kid,

it's not exactly my
favorite legal strategy.

You didn't
have a choice.

You got kids, you ever
wonder if one's gay?

I don't know, I haven't asked.

you know your kids,

you'd know
if one of them was gay.


and Tate's whole defense
is predicated on the fact

that he never suspected
his son was gay.

You don't buy it?

No, but I can't prove it.

Ian had a girlfriend
all through high school.

For all appearances,

he was straight.

We never found a girlfriend when

we were looking at Tate's past.

'Cause we were looking
for boyfriends.

Well, if Ian knew all along
that he was gay,

I bet you that
the girlfriend did too.

Find out.

I haven't talked to Ian

in a couple of years,

I don't know how much help
I'm going to be.

We appreciate anything
you would tell us.

One of the
guidance counselors

said that you and Ian
dated all through high school?

Um, we were good friends,
but I wouldn't say we dated.

No? What would
you say?

He just wasn't very interested
in the physical part,

which was okay,

I really loved him,
and he loved me.

So, he wasn't really
attracted to women.

he never like

came out to me or anything.

I just knew.

I was happy to be there for him

so people wouldn't harass him
like they did the other guys.

Did you ever
tell anybody

that Ian was gay?

Like, his father maybe?

Oh God,
no, no way.

Ian would
have killed me.

I told him.

Mom, are you crazy?

He was such
a sweet boy.

He spent so much time
around here,

he was like a second child.

I could see
how much he was suffering,

and I thought Roger should know.

When did you tell him?

The kids'
senior year.

I called Roger and I told him,

"Roger, you should talk to Ian,
he's very depressed."

I just told him, I said,
"Roger, your son is gay,

"you're making an incredibly
difficult situation worse,

you need to be a father."

How did he respond to that?

He thanked me,

and he asked me
never to contact him again.

Ian, what are you
doing here?

Why don't you try
this brilliant manipulation

on some little legal aid
attorney, Ms. Novak,

and stop wasting my time.

Let's go.

A one-time offer,
gone as soon

as you walk out that door.

Murder Two, 20 to life,

I don't pursue
sentencing enhancement

under the Hate Crimes Act,

and Doctor Tate gets
the prison of his choice,

and might I suggest
the security

of a federal prison.

20 years?

With that jury,
he's looking

at a man-two,

They haven't heard
my rebuttal witness.

Laura Klein.

Consider this
your notification.

You remember her,
don't you, Dr. Tate?

Sandy's mother.

You knew.

All this time.

All these years,

you knew.

Ian, it's not like that.

Yes, it is Dad.

You know how many times
I told myself,

"It's okay if he thinks
gays are sick.

"Freaks, evil.

"Because, if he knew
about me, if he knew me,

"he wouldn't say it.

He wouldn't think it."

I didn't do this to hurt you.

But, it did
hurt me, Dad.

Every day.

And I made myself take
everything you said,

all that crap,

because I really thought
you wouldn't try

to hurt me on purpose.

I mean, who would do that to

somebody that they really love?

To their own son?

I can help you.

What makes you think
you can make me

any more straight than
what I've already tried

to do to myself?

All you've done...

is made me wish I was dead.

They took the plea.

It's so weird, you know?

I've been sitting
here for a while,

and everybody walks by,
I wonder, does he know?

Does she?

James used to always talk

about how happy he was
that he was gay.

He said guys
are so much more fun.

Yeah, I agree with James.

Everything's different
now, you know?

No matter what I do,

nothing will be
like it was before.

Ian, I had
my job to do,

and I made you deal
with something

you weren't ready for.

I'm sorry.


I'm not.

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