Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999–…): Season 8, Episode 21 - Pretend - full transcript

The investigation into an extreme fighting death leads to the discovery of a 28-year-old woman posing as a 16-year-old high school student.

(male announcer)
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.

Dammit, where are you?

There you are.

Idiot.

[dialing phone]



Hey, Cheryl,
it's me.

Yeah, I left my phone at
the salvage site this afternoon.

I just found it.

I'm not lying, Cheryl.

I was at O'Malley's
watching the game.

I did not have my phone.

How could I have been avoiding
your calls?

That's weird.

There's a light on
in the basement.

I thought I tore out
all the light fixtures today.

I'll call you back.

[door slamming]

[groans]

[whispering]
What?



[glass shattering]

[screams]

[screams]

(Stabler)
Elizabeth, it's okay.

It's just a game.
Dad.

I had the best hand.

Flush beats
a straight, dummy.

You sat down on the river.
She flopped it.

I knew the heart
was coming.

When did you guys
become card sharks?

You had a three-four,
you nerd.

You should have been out
pre-flop when I raised.
[Elliot's phone rings]

(Kathleen)
Dad, it's your shuffle.

[phone ringing]
No, sorry.

Stabler.

I'm just losing my shirt,
why?

Keep playing those rags,
Richard.

I will as long as you keep
calling when I check-raise.

Okay, I'll be there
as soon as I can.

Uh, guys...

Go.

Dad, you're gonna miss
the greatest comeback
in the history of poker.

Yeah.

I already know
how it's gonna end.

(Warner)
Watch out
for the thumbtacks.

Are these part
of the crime scene?

Or did somebody drop them
when they saw the victim?

I found a few
embedded in his back.

One of his tamer
torture devices.

Really?
This doesn't look so tame.

Is that a Wiffle bat?

Yeah.

But the barbed wire's real.

S&M mask,
cuts all over his body...

Genital mutilation.

Maybe what the perp
was aiming for,

but he missed.

His right femoral artery
was severed.

That'll give you about five
minutes before you bleed out.

(Warner)
This much blood,

cause of death is going to be
hemorrhagic shock.

Hopefully, some of this blood
is our killer's.

Cutting fetish?

Looks like he was hit
with several light tubes.

Glass is so thin, it pretty much
pulverizes when it's smashed.

He's got crystallized fragments
all over his body.

This mask makes it look

like he was supposed to be
the executioner.

Maybe it was consensual S&M
gone bad.

Hands aren't bound.
No I.D., huh?

No. I haven't even seen
his face yet.

Can't be more than
15 or 16.

(Stabler)
Empty house.

Who brought him here
to torture him?

The guy that ran past me

had on a black leather mask
just like the dead kid's.

So what were you doing here
the same night as a murder, Tim?

I left my cell phone here
this afternoon.

(Stabler)
Who else was here then?

No one.
I was alone.

(Benson)
Doing what?

Architectural salvage.

That a fancy name
for looting?

I have a contract
with the city.

Place is scheduled
for demolition.

The sconces I pulled out of here
are deco art glass.

Wrought iron grates
in the window outside

are beyond ornate.

You removed
the security bars.

That's how they
got in.

Might as well have put up
an "Open House" sign.

(woman)
What's wrong with you?

Let me through.

I got it, Charlie.

What's the problem?

They say a young boy was raped
and mutilated in there.

Some kinda satanic ritual?

Don't believe everything
you hear.

People get bored,
start making up

all kind of crazy nonsense.

I know who did it.
Who?

Darren Tolson.

He lives in that building
at the end of the block.

You seen him
around here tonight?

I saw it
on the flyers.

Plastered to his building
every morning

and then torn down by noon.

They say Darren Tolson
is a convicted sex offender.

Says he targets
young boys.

(landlord)
Mr. Tolson's a model tenant.

I know, he modeled
for a mug shot.

You should see his layout
in the sex offender registry.

He fully disclosed that
on his rental application.

And you rented it
to him anyway?

Who'd he beat out
for the apartment?

Jeffrey Dahmer?

Mr. Tolson paid
his debt to society.

And he pays his rent
on time.

Where do you propose
ex-felons live?

On the street?

(Fin)
Yeah, I'd take an island
1,000 miles away

from the nearest kid.

Then consider this
an oasis.

I don't rent
to couples with children.

How discriminating
of you.

Well, it looks like somebody
isn't as tolerant

of Darren Tolson
as you are.

It's from that woman
who puts up the flyers.

He's got a restraining order
against her.

Why don't you go arrest her
for vandalism?

We'll get right on it.

[knocking]

Mr. Tolson?
It's the landlord.

Doesn't appear
to be in.

Open it up.

[scoffs]
Not without a warrant.

Okay, we'll get one and come
back around 4:00 a.m.

We hope we don't
wake you up.

He works the night shift

at the Quality Bakery
on Mott.

Go talk to him there.

(Benson)
My, what strong hands you have.

(Stabler)
Looks like you're digging
into flesh there.

Just doing my job.

(Stabler)
All alone, I see.

Who would know if you were able
to slip away for a bit?

I started work at 7:00.

Look like I been
slacking off?

No, it looks like you're trying
real hard to act unconcerned.

When cops show up to question
innocent guys,

they, uh...

They usually stop
what they're doing.

Can't stop until
the timer goes off.

You have to knead the dough
for at least eight minutes

or the bread don't rise
properly.

It'll be dense.

Dense would be you thinking

that you could get away
with this.

Who is he, Mr. Tolson?

I've never seen him before.

(Stabler)
So talk to us
about Michael Ozello.

You confessed in court.

It's a matter
of public record.

I served five years.

I haven't hurt
anyone since.

And yet, another neighbor boy
of yours is dead.

[timer buzzes]

She sent you, right?

Who's "she?"

Sonia Briglund.

I get out of prison
ten years ago.

Her son disappears
the next day.

She hasn't stopped
trying to pin it on me.

She the one putting flyers up
in your building?

No matter where I go,
she's made my life hell.

And I never did anything
to her kid.

(Sonia Briglund)
Darren Tolson took my son.

(Stabler)
He was never charged.

How can you be positive
it was him?

He'd just gotten out of prison
for raping a boy

a little bit older
than my Joey.

The day before.

(Benson)
Did he have any contact

with Joey
before he disappeared?

No.

He snatched him
the first time he saw him.

(Stabler)
From where?

I let Joey
go ride his bike.

This was a nice
bedroom community back then.

No one told me a pedophile

had moved in.

Tolson said that--

that you've been
stalking him ever since.

He killed me
when he took Joey.

He should be in jail,
but he's not.

So yeah,
I keep an eye on him.

Were you watching him
last night?

Why, did he do something?

(Benson)
Well, there's no evidence
that indicates it was him.

But a boy was attacked.

He was killed.

How old was he?

Mid-teens.

Joey would have been
16 this year.

That's him.

That's Joey.

[crying]
He was alive all this time.

That bastard had him!

[crying]

Our victim
just got a name.

Joey Briglund.

Liv and Elliot
went to pick up Tolson.

Where was he keeping him
all this time?

I don't know, but it'd be swell
if you could figure it out.

We still have no evidence Tolson
abducted or killed Joey.

Go see Novak about getting
a search warrant.

Building
where he was found?

I didn't get a vibe anybody'd
been living there a day,

let alone eight years.

Uh-huh.

Excuse me?

Hi, I need to talk to someone
about the Riley Cuskey murder.

Who's Riley Cuskey?

The boy you found last night

at that old, uh, brownstone
on Avenue A.

He's just been ID'd
as Joey Briglund.

Well, he's not.

He's--he's Riley Cuskey.

What makes you think that?

I filmed him getting killed.

(Stabler)
Hey, Captain.

We got the abort call
on Darren Tolson.

What's up?

New development
caught on video.

[man on video]
Listen up, dogs,
we have a show for you.

This is Riley Cuskey.

And what you're about to see
is for insane audiences only.

Tolson filmed Joey
before he killed him?

Tolson wasn't there,

and neither was Joey.

(Riley)
Enjoy.

What is this?

It's the video
of his death.

His friend, Scott Heston,

is explaining to Munch and Fin
why he shot it.

[glass shattering]
[man yelling]

You gotta be
kidding me.

(Cragen)
They're wrestling.

Extreme wrestling.

Wrestling
is supposed to be fake.

What were they thinking?

[man grunting]

[glass shattering]

Dude, hold on.

You got me in the leg.

Uh, it's bleeding
like a mother.

How cool is that?

Hold on,
I've gotta lie down.

[gasping]

Turn the camera off.

(Cragen)
It was a staged fight.

With real weapons.

Let's see what else
he's got to say.

(Fin)
So how'd you end up down
in that basement, Scott?

(Scott)
Everyone called it
the Haunted House.

We tried to sneak in,
but it was a fortress.

Until yesterday.

Yeah, we saw
a guy hauling stuff out.

Security bars were gone.

(Fin)
Who's "we"?

Me, Riley, and Jake.

And what's
Jake's full name?

(Scott)
I-I don't know.
He didn't go to our school.

He was a friend of Riley's
from camp.

Some friend.

He didn't mean to kill him.
It was an accident.

No one ever gets
seriously hurt.

Guys all over the country
do it for fun,

and post
their videos online.

Scott says he was the one
filming this.

(Fin)
So you left your good bud Riley
to die like a stuck pig.

(Scott)
One minute he was laughing,
the next he was dead, okay?

I wanted to call the cops.

You're a day late.

He said we had
to get out of there.

I told him it was an accident,
you know?

It wasn't his fault.

He said he would kill me
if I told.

So where can we find
this Jake?

I don't know.

He was a friend of Riley's,
not mine.

I just met him
yesterday.

Got an awful lot of cuts
on your hands.

Yeah, I-I do
the extreme fights too.

With Riley.

We were putting together
a video of highlights

to sell online.

Did you fight
yesterday?

No, no,
I was just filming them.

Well, the thing about that
is the camera never moved.

It was stationary
the whole fight.

Wait--no.
No, no, no.

I--no, I went in
for a close-up

when he got
the really bad cut.

No, no,
that only happened

after the masked opponent
walked off camera.

[softly]
No, no.

(Stabler)
Now, both fighters
were bleeding.

So DNA will tell us
who the other guy was.

[softly]
Look.

Riley was my best friend.

Elliot.

He's only 16.

We were just taking
his eyewitness testimony.

No parental presence
required.

Okay, Scott,
you're gonna call your parents.

You're gonna have
them come on down here

and then we're gonna talk about
what really happened

to your friend Riley.

[crying]

(Casey Novak)
Scott Heston cleans up nicely.

He looks
like a choir boy today.

You should have seen him
on the night of March 28,

when he was pummeling
Riley Cuskey

with fluorescent light tubes,

thumbtacks, chairs,

and a bat
wrapped in barbed wire.

It's hard to imagine,
isn't it?

Luckily,
you don't have to.

Because he videotaped it.

You get to watch him actually
wielding those deadly weapons.

And you'll see

him acting with reckless
disregard for human life.

Engaging in acts that brought
about the death of Riley Cuskey.

Now in the video,
Scott wears a mask,

but you'll hear the confession
he gave to detectives,

admitting it was him,

after he initially lied
and claimed it was someone else.

(defense attorney)
Frankie Campbell.

You may not recognize
the name.

He was a boxer
who died

after receiving
a knock-out blow

from Max Baer Sr.
in 1930.

Now, Baer never received
any jail time

because the fatal blow
was delivered

during a sporting event.

A consensual activity.

Just like what my client
was engaged in.

Now, the prosecution
is going to try

to paint
Scott Heston

as a homicidal killer.

Hmm.

And there are places in the tape
where he looks like one.

But so does Riley Cuskey.

Why, you're gonna see
Riley beating my client

with that barbed wire bat,

with these light bulbs
and chairs.

You're gonna see him looking
like he wants to kill my client.

Now, I'm not speaking ill
of a dead boy.

They both appeared crazed

because that was part
of the game.

Riley Cuskey
and Scott Heston

were best friends.

And they staged
these fights all the time.

And what happened was tragic,

but it was an accident.

There was no intent.

What there was
were mitigating circumstances.

(Dr. Cohen)
Scott is clinically depressed.

(defense attorney)
How long have you been
his psychiatrist, Dr. Cohen?

His parents first brought him
to see me last fall.

Does Scott participate
in these extreme fighting events

because he, well,
he wants to hurt someone else?

No, for Scott,

the coping device isn't
inflicting pain on others.

It's receiving
pain himself.

So what you're saying is,

Scott's not a sadist;
he's a masochist.

Some people become so depressed,
they cease to feel anything.

In extreme cases,

they'll purposely
inflict pain on themselves

just to feel anything
at all.

Dr. Cohen, with all due respect,
isn't the symptom

you're describing
more aptly applied

to teenage girls
who cut themselves?

That's exactly
what it's like.

Isn't the point of cutting
that they're hurting themselves,

that they're in control
of the pain?

Yes.

Well, if that's truly
what Scott is suffering from,

why didn't he just
hurt himself?

Because cutting is considered
a girl's disorder.

Boys don't see it as
a socially acceptable outlet.

Are you implying that beating
each other to a bloody pulp is?

Historically
and culturally, yes.

Miss Novak?
Yes?

The court officer at the door
pointed you out to me.

I'm Cassandra Sullivan.

I was Riley's girlfriend.

Of course, of course.

His parents told me how close
you two were.

I-I'm so sorry.

So am I.

You haven't been attending
the trial.

I couldn't.

Scott was Riley's best friend,
so he was my best friend too.

He's going to prison,
isn't he?

They just called
to tell me

the jury was back
with a verdict, so...

He keeps writing me,

telling me
how sorry he is.

Did he write
about what happened?

No, just that he wishes
it had been him, not Riley.

Listen, I have to go in.

You wanna come with me?

Okay.

(Judge Taten)
Has the jury reached
a verdict?

(female juror)
We have, Your Honor.

(Judge Taten)
On the first count
of the indictment,

murder in the second degree,

how does the jury find?

We find the defendant...

not guilty.

(Judge Taten)
On the second count
of the indictment,

manslaughter
in the second degree,

how does the jury find?

(female juror)
We find the defendant
not guilty.

(Judge Taten)
On the third count
of the indictment,

criminally negligent
homicide,

how does the jury find?

We find the defendant guilty.

(Judge Taten)
The defendant is released

into the custody of his parents
until sentencing.

[bangs gavel]

The jury is dismissed
with the Court's thanks.

Cassandra.

No, Cassandra, wait.

Hold it.

[knocking]

Yes?
Mrs. Sullivan?

No, I'm Mrs. Farrell.

My foster daughter's last name
is Sullivan.

Is she in?

(Cassandra)
Every time I get
a new foster home,

I get a new school.

Riley was nice to me
right away.

Was it serious?

Yeah.

What about with Scott?

I saw how he looked at you
in the courtroom today.

He's in love with you,
isn't he?

Yes.

Did Riley know?

No, I told Scott
he never could.

So you were dating Scott
on the side?

I feel horrible, okay?

It only happened once,
but he wouldn't let it go.

Cassandra,
this changes everything.

If Scott had a motive
to kill your boyfriend,

it might not have been
an accident.

I know it wasn't.

How?

Did Scott
confess to you?

No.

I had a physiology/anatomy class
with Scott.

A week before it happened,

we learned about
the femoral artery--

if it's cut, how quickly
a person can exsanguinate.

What?

That means bleed to death.

How did my desk become
the food distribution center?

We've got a bigger mess
than that.

Scott Heston just
got away with murder.

I heard you got him
on the E felony.

Yeah, which could get him
four years

or as little as probation.

Now I find out that

he was obsessed
with Riley's girlfriend

and just learned his quick
and effective killing technique

in a science class.

Motive, opportunity,
and intent.

And Double Jeopardy.

I can't retry him.

You can still make sure
he gets the max.

Yeah, it would help
if Cassandra would speak

at his sentencing hearing,
but she won't.

Why not?
Guilt.

She thinks that it's her fault
that he killed Riley.

(Stabler)
Well, look,
even if she did speak,

it's still circumstantial.

We need a confession.

(Scott)
Man, I'm freakin' screwed.

(Keith)
Dude, you think
you're in trouble?

Last night,
I used my dad's credit card

to play online poker,
and lost 1,000 bucks.

That sucks, man.
Tell me about it.

(Stabler)
You boys be careful.

Scotty's friendships
don't end too well.

Later.

What's your problem?

Being played
by a punk like you.

We know
about Cassandra.

What about her?

You were banging
your best friend's girl.

No, I wasn't.
She chose Riley, not you.

That's why you killed him.

Hoping that you'd get her
by default?

I don't know
where you're getting this.

Not too swift.

Maybe too many blows to the head
with a barbed wire bat.

Whatever.

It's a good thing
you like pain, Scotty.

You're gonna have
plenty of chances

to be on the receiving end
your four years in prison.

The judge
might go easier on you

if you take responsibility
for what you did.

Look, I just lost
my two best friends.

One's dead,
and the other's

never gonna
talk to me again, okay?

You think I care
what happens to me?

No.
Nothing matters now.

See you at sentencing.

(Cassandra)
I can't speak

at the sentencing hearing.

(Benson)
Cassandra, hold on.

What Scott did
wasn't your fault.

Yes, it was.

I led him on.

Were you in love
with Scott?

No.

Riley's the only person
I ever loved.

Then why did you
cheat on him?

He dumped me once.

Said I was too needy.

I was devastated.

I went to Scott,
screaming and crying,

begged him
to talk to Riley for me.

He hugged me
and it just happened.

Cassandra.

Scott took advantage
of you.

I've been shuttled between
foster homes my whole life.

I never felt wanted.

Scott wanted me
more than anything.

I understand.

But you didn't stay with him,
did you?

Riley and I got back together
the next day.

I was so stupid.

I can't believe
I did that to him.

If you want
to make amends,

you'll speak for Riley
at that hearing.

Don't you think
you at least owe him that?

Okay.

Good.

(Judge Taten)
Before I pronounce sentence,
does anybody wish to be heard?

(Novak)
Yes, Your Honor.

The parents of the victim
are in the court

and would like to make
a victim impact statement.

Mr. and Mrs. Cuskey...

My name is Virginia Cuskey,

and this is my husband, Sam.

On March 28th,
we lost

the most precious thing
in our lives.

Our only son, Riley.

Where's Cassandra?
I talked to her
an hour ago.

She said she was walking
out the door.

I told her
we'd be in Part 17.

Would you go check
and make sure

she's not wandering
around the courthouse, lost?

(Mrs. Cuskey)
Scott's parents get to see him
move on with his life.

It is unbearable that I will
never get to see my son

go to a prom,
graduate from high school,

get married,
have children...

(Benson)
Have her call me on this number
if you hear from her first.

Thank you.

Where is she?

The foster mother said
that she left the apartment

right after
she talked to me.

She got cold feet.

Well, you don't think that Scott
did something to her, do you?

No, Novak said Gates
had him here an hour early

rehearsing
his crocodile tears.

Riley and me
both sucked at sports.

Neither of us
ever made a school team.

Which...just made us losers.

Then we found extreme fighting,
and we were gods.

I mean, it's--it's the only time
we ever really felt alive.

We watched
the videos online

for hours, you know,
copied all the moves.

No one ever died
doing it before.

I lost my best friend.

My only consolation is that
Riley died doing what he loved.

I am going to have to live
with what I did to him

for the rest of my life.

Which...I expect will suck.

I'm sorry.

More than you'll
ever know.

Thank you.

(Judge Taten)
Has everyone spoken
who would like to be heard?

I have one more person
on her way

if the court will indulge
in a brief recess, Your Honor.

(Judge Taten)
These proceedings have gone on
for some time, Ms. Novak.

If she's not here
by now,

I don't think
she's coming.

I'm ready
to pronounce sentence.

(Benson)
Five years probation.

It's not even
a slap on the wrist.

He did have to sit through that
stern lecture from the judge.

Well, at least she made
continuing therapy

a condition
of his probation.

He'd been seeing that shrink
for six months

when he killed Riley.

Maybe he should order
he find a new one.

[phone ringing]
Now she calls.

Hello.

Mrs. Farrell?

Mrs. Farrell,
you gotta calm down.

I can't--I can't understand
a word you're saying.

I will meet you there.

I'll meet you
at the hospital.

Cassandra
was hit by a car.

(man)
What was the intersection?

(Stabler)
Avenue A and Third Street.

Do you know the exact time
she was hit?

Between 9:45 and 10:00.

Had to be Scott.
I don't know how.

Unless Gates
is covering for him.

He was supposed to have been
at the courthouse then.

You know these cameras
don't automatically take

pictures of accidents.

They're only triggered
when a car runs a red light.

Witness said it was
an old black Beemer

approaching from the north,
ran the red light,

and clipped her
in the middle of the crosswalk.

On her way to court.

No way in hell
this was an accident.

Here it is.

Wow, he really nailed her.

New York tag.

SRO-2876--
I'll have a name and address

for you in a jiff.

Can you zoom in
on the driver?

Mm-hmm.

That's not Scott.

No, it's not,
but I've seen him before.

With Scott.

It wasn't me.
It sure looks like you.

(Fin)
And he's driving
your pop's car.

Keith.
Dad, I'm sorry.

Now, weren't you already
in trouble with him

for stealing gambling money?
What?

You're in for a big surprise
on your next credit card bill.

(Fin)
You need all the plastic
you got.

Good defense attorneys
don't come cheap.

This girl dead?

Not for lack of trying--
she's got a broken leg

and her jaw's
been wired shut.

She came out of nowhere.

Did you decide all
on your own

to go out and mow down
Cassandra Sullivan?

No.

(Stabler)
Keith, you're looking
at attempted murder.

Now, right now, trust me,

you wanna share the pain.

I wasn't trying
to kill her.

I was just trying
to mess her up a little bit.

(Fin)
Why?
I needed the money.

(Stabler)
How much did he give you?

500 bucks.

Okay.
Who hired you?

Who hired you?

Scott.

(Benson)
We just arrested
Scott Heston.

[barely intelligible]
Why?

He's the one who had this
done to you, Cassandra.

So you wouldn't speak
at his hearing.

I'm so sorry that we let this
happen to you.

What now?

Well, he's gonna
go away this time.

Attempted murder
could get him 25 years.

You should get
some sleep now, okay?

I'll come visit you
tomorrow.

Excuse me, they told me
that a detective

was visiting Cassandra--
is that you?

Yes,
Detective Benson.

Is she as bad
as she looks?

The tibia
is snapped clean through.

But the jaw's just
a hairline fracture.

And the wire can come off
in a week or two.

Okay, thank you.

Um...Detective,
this is somewhat awkward,

but I'm not sure
who I should report it to.

Report what?

The admission records
say she's 16.

Yeah, she is.

On the X-ray of her jaw,

I noticed
she didn't have any buds.

Sorry, what are buds?

Undescended wisdom teeth.

They don't come in
until you reach adulthood.

Right...

When I was wiring her,
I noticed

that she had scars where her
wisdom teeth had been extracted.

So what does that mean?

Cassandra can't be 16.

Judging from how well
the scars are healed over,

I'd say she has to be
in her mid to late 20s.

Cassandra Sullivan--
her foster parents say

that you placed her
with them last November.

Here we go.

Ah, no, I need to see
all the files.

This is it.

Well, it can't be.

She's been in foster care
her whole life.

She's been through
countless homes.

Not that we placed her in.

A social worker found
her sleeping at Penn Station

last October.
Where did she come from?

Allentown,
Pennsylvania.

Says she'd been living

in a juvenile group facility
there.

Did you get a copy
of her birth certificate

or Social Security card?

Not many runaways
think to take those.

We called A.C.S.
requesting them.

It appears
we're still waiting.

[sighs]

Allentown A.C.S. has no record
of a Cassandra Sullivan.

What's that?

No student by that name

was enrolled in their
school system last year.

So Cassandra lied
about where she came from.

Not necessarily.

PA social worker
remembers a girl

with basically
the same story.

They found her
at a bus stop, no I.D.

A.C.S. in the state
she claims she came from,

they never heard of her.

What'd they do
with her?

Well, by the time
they got suspicious,

she was in the wind.

They're emailing me
her school I.D. right now.

[computer chimes]

(Fin)
That's Cassandra Sullivan.

Well, Allentown Warner High knew
her as little Loretta Sheridan.

I guess she didn't like
that name.

What she likes
is being 16.

She was a sophomore
there too.

This was five years ago.

Yeah, I wonder how many times
she repeated the tenth grade.

(Stabler)
"I'm Cassandra Sullivan.
I'm 16."

(Benson)
We know that's not true.

The thing
about high school photos...

they got a way of coming back
and embarrassing us.

Of course it is,
Loretta.

(Stabler)
Well, whatever your name is.

You're over 21,
right?
No!

How long have you been
doing this?

Why have you been doing this?
I hated tenth grade.

Go away.

We're not going anywhere
until we sort this out.

Now, I'm sorry
for everything

that you've been through,

but this is a completely
separate matter.

What?

You're an adult.

You shouldn't still
be in foster care.

And you definitely
shouldn't be dating

high school guys.

"Riley's dead.
I'll never date again."

Cassandra,
I'm sorry.

Cassandra,
you've gotta calm down.

You can't cry
with your mouth wired shut.

You're not gonna be able
to breathe.

Here, take a sip of water.

[slurping]

All right, you calm down.
Relax, relax, relax.

All right,
get some rest.

But we're gonna be back
to talk about this.

Denise Pickering, arrested
for shoplifting in Detroit.

12 years ago.

(Novak)
Who's Denise Pickering?

(Stabler)
Cassandra Sullivan.

AKA Loretta Sheridan,
AKA who knows who else?

She was 16 at the time
of her arrest.

That makes her 28 now.

(Benson)
Gotta give her one thing.

She does look good
for her age.

The address listed
on the report,

that was her very first
foster family.

Child services had removed her
from an abusive home.

Foster mom said that she was
in bad shape when she came in,

but a happy kid by the time
she aged out at 18.

So happy she didn't want
to leave, apparently.

So, what, she just went
from state to state

sneaking back into foster care
for the next 12 years?

I think so.

Does she realize
she could go to jail

for theft over this?

She's fraudulently been
receiving a free education

and free foster care
from the state.

I think our biggest problem
is we have

a grown woman
attending high school

with a bunch of kids.

(Novak)
Not anymore.

Yank her out
and notify A.C.S.

to cut all services.

What is gonna happen
to her?

Because I think psychologically,
she still is a kid.

She's never taken care
of herself.

Well, she's pushing 30.

It's time to grow up.

But I'll help her find
some counseling.

(Stabler)
If a cold chill just ran up
your spine,

it's because a defense attorney
just walked in here.

I need to report a rape.

One of your clients take
advantage of you, Mr. Gates?

No, one of my clients
was raped.

I'm the outcry witness.
And who's that?

Scott Heston.

Scott Heston was attacked
in prison?

No, in high school,
by a 28-year-old woman

posing as a student.

You gotta be kidding me
with this.

No, I'm serious
as a heart attack.

Cassandra Sullivan,
or whatever her real name is,

committed statutory rape.

I want her arrested.

And I want your sex crimes D.A.
to prosecute.

Hold on.

You want Casey
to prosecute the girl

whose boyfriend
that he killed?

The girl that he tried
to have murdered?

Well,
maybe that's why he did it.

Maybe he was suffering
from rape trauma syndrome.

That's what this is about.
It's a legal tactic.

(Benson)
Scott's attempted murder trial
is coming up

and you need
smoke and mirrors for the jury.

I hear that you found out
about her weeks ago.

How come you haven't
arrested her?

They had sex once.

Detective Stabler.

I'm shocked
by your double standard.

Is that what you'd say

to an underage female victim
who'd just been seduced

by a lecherous old man?

He seduced her.

So the victim
was asking for it?

Stat rape
is a liability crime.

And you do not have discretion
on whether to charge or not.

(Cassandra)
They kicked me out of school,
out of foster care.

Everything I own in the world
is in those two garbage bags.

If you hadn't gotten me
into this shelter,

I'd be living
on the street.

I want you
to take the plea.

I didn't rape anybody.

Technically, you did.

I'm only 16.

You're gonna have to drop
that act, Denise.

My name is Cassandra.

If you don't take the plea,

I'm gonna have
to take you to trial.

Scott's gonna be transported
from Rikers

to testify against you.

I am not gonna admit
to something I didn't do.

The sentence for rape three
is 1 1/3 to 3 years.

I'm offering you probation.

Only if I admit that I'm
that woman, and I'm not.

I wanna go to court
to clear my name.

Then we're gonna have to find
you a good public defender.

I don't want one.

I wanna defend myself.

(Novak)
Did you have sex
with the defendant?

(Scott)
I did.

And what age did you believe
her to be at that time?

16.

And what did you later discover
her true age to be?

28.

How did that
make you feel?

Sick to my stomach.

Creeped out.

Like all the kids
back at school knew

and were laughing at me.

Embarrassed
and humiliated.

Nothing further.

(Judge Bradley)
Does the defense have
any questions

for this witness?

I do, Your Honor.

(Judge Bradley)
Miss Pickering,

the Court reminds you
you're strongly advised

to consult your court-appointed
attorney, should you need to,

regarding permissible
lines of questioning.

Thank you, Your Honor,
I will.

You stated
that we had sex?

You know we did.

Did I ask you out?

No.

On the one night in question,
did I make a pass at you?

Yes, you wrapped your arms
around me

and pressed your body
against mine.

I was crying
on your shoulder.

(Judge Bradley)
Make that a question,
Miss Pickering.

That's not my name.

You were crying
over my friend Riley

who had just dumped
your skanky ass.

Objection.

You can't object,
Miss Pickering.

Watch your language,
Mr. Heston.

My best friend, Riley,
who you also tricked

into screwing you because he
thought you were 16 like I did.

I am 16.

You took advantage of us.
You're disgusting.

I'm disgusting?

You're disgusting,
calling Riley your friend

after what you did to him.

Bailiff,
take the jury out.

You murdered him.

I only killed him
because of you.

It's your fault,
you freak.

Court officer!
[banging gavel]

Stop it.

(Scott)
I hate you.

I hate you.
[gavel banging]

(Mr. Heston)
Son, calm down.

(Scott)
Freak!

(Judge Bradley)
Remove him from the court.

Get him out of here.

I got him to admit
he killed Riley.

Was that your plan
all along?

Yes.

So pretending to think
that you were really 16

was all just an act.

No.

I was gonna have to call
witnesses

to prove who you really are.

There's one
I'd like you to see.

Mrs. Hayes,
you can come in now.

Denise.

You don't remember me?

No.

I'm Jeannie Hayes.

You came to stay with us
in Detroit.

A long time ago.

I'm so sorry.

You must have me
confused with someone else.

I brought pictures.

The girl in the photo
looks happy.

That's you, silly.

You loved that swing.

Used to spend hours on it.

Then you aged out
of foster care,

and you had to leave us.

They dumped me
on the street.

I had no place to go.

(Jeannie)
That wasn't me.

It was the system.

They cut off the money.

I'm sorry.

I'm sorry I couldn't afford
to keep you.

I was 18.

No one prepared me
to go out in the world alone.

You were the first person
who ever took care of me.

I really just wanted
that back.

I'll have to refile,

but I think I can get her
to take the plea now.

I doubt the other DAs
will be as lenient.

What other DAs?

Her story got picked up
on the news wire.

Other boys
are coming forward.

Statute of limitations
has run out on some of them,

but not all of them.

Martin Lynch,
from Catterick High in Indiana.

Harlan Stell from your school
in Maryland.

Roy Fox
from Park View, New Jersey.

Do you remember them?

You had sex
with those boys.

They were my high school
sweethearts.

Riley wasn't the love
of your life.

You didn't love
any of them.

I did.

I loved them all.

(Stabler)
So why'd you leave them?

They got older.

I didn't.

[wolf howling]

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