|←||SVU, Episode 12.03||→|
|Production number: 12003|
First aired: 29 September 2010
| Written By|
A woman who calls herself Julie McManus (Jennifer Love Hewitt) is found by a preacher, curled up on a bus, bleeding, claiming that she's been raped again. When Elliot and Olivia arrive at the hospital, they're told that Julie has been raped 4 times over the past 15 years by the same man and Dr. Tanaka suspects that Julie is drunk. As Julie tries to leave, the detectives stop her and Olivia tells her that she needs a rape kit, but Julie bolts out of the hospital. Elliot, Olivia, and Fin investigate the alley where the bus picked up Julie. They see blood and broken glass from a beer bottle, which is the same color of glass found in Julie's scalp.
At the SVU precinct, the detectives learn that Julie wasn't drunk and her real name is Vicki Sayers. They got her real name from the thumbprints found on the bottle and Vicki was in the system because she applied for a civil servant job. The address on Vicki's ID is fake and Cragen suggests checking tax records since she would've had to use her real name. When the detectives arrive at Vicki's house, they noticed Vicki peeking through the window. She refuses to come out, so Elliot and Olivia decide to wait outside her house in in a squad car. Later, they see a woman delivering groceries and office supplies to Vicki's house. When the detectives question the woman, she says that she runs Vicki's errands so she doesn't have to leave her home and pays the bills so she can't be traced. The woman only comes in once a month and went there yesterday. Olivia tries to get Vicki to open the door, but she refuses.
As Elliot leaves for court, Olivia stays behind watching Vicki's house. As she does, she sees a car pull up and Vicki gets in it. Olivia catches a cab and follows the car. When Vicki gets out of the car, she meets a man and exchanges something with him. When Vicki sees Olivia, she runs and Olivia chases after her. Vicki stops and pulls out a gun. Olivia pulls out her own gun, and after Vicki surrenders, Olivia arrests her for criminal possession of a gun. At the precinct, Vicki says she needed the gun to protect herself. Olivia notices that Vicki hasn't changed her clothes or showered. She manages to convince Vicki to go to the hospital for a rape kit. At the hospital during the exam, Vicki tells Olivia about the four times she was raped. The first rape took place in 1995 in a storeroom closet at a hospital where Vicki worked as a candy striper when she was 16 years old. Her attacker threatened to kill her and took her driver's permit.
The second rape took place on November 14, 1998 when Vicki was a sophomore at Hudson University. Her attacker broke into her apartment, tied her up, and raped her repeatedly. She called the police and filed a report, but refused to go to the hospital. On Vicki's 20th birthday, she got a Jack-in-the-Box with a card saying he's watching her. Vicki was too scared to tell the police, so she fled to Los Angeles where she was later engaged to a man named Scott. But in July 2000, a week before Vicki's wedding, her attacker raped her when she came home from her bridal shower. He broke her nose, took her engagement ring, and California driver's license. She had a rape kit done at the hospital and after that, Vicki broke off the engagement, moved, and worked at home. One day, when Vicki left the house, she found her underwear missing and knew he was there. Vicki came back to New York to live with her mom before she died and then moved elsewhere. On the night she was attacked, Vicki came out of the subway where she was pulled into the alley and then raped. When Vicki started screaming, her attacker hit her with the bottle.
Back at the precinct, Cragen says he'll have a protective detail for Vicki assigned and tells Olivia to get the sketch of Vicki's attacker out citywide and in Los Angeles. A CSU tech tells the detectives that they found fluids from a lubricant called Heavenly Touch, which was found from the crime scene and belongs to the Amsterdam Hotel. When Elliot and Olivia show the sketch at the Amsterdam Hotel, an employee thinks it could be one of the hotel's clients, Bill Harris (James LeGros). They speak to Harris, showing him the sketch and he agrees to come down to the precinct for a lineup. While in the lineup, Vicki identifies Harris as her rapist, but when Harris is interrogated, he denies raping Vicki, saying that he was at a trade show in Providence for 2 days. Harris' alibi is confirmed and Cragen tells the detectives to go back to the hotel to recheck. When Harris is released, Vicki is deeply upset that the police are letting him go. When Harris leaves, Vicki chases after him, begging him to forgive him and not hurt her.
The next day, Olivia believes that Vicki was right about Harris raping her. She gets an e-mail from a desk clerk in Providence who says that the window in Harris' first floor hotel room didn't open all the way. It's also discovered that Harris rented a car before he checked into the hotel and returned it the following morning. Olivia believes Harris drove to New York to rape Vicki and it's shown that he took an alternate route in order to miss the toll cameras so he wouldn't be caught on camera and it matches the gas mileage on his rent-a-car. Olivia visits Vicki and tries to convince her that Harris will never hurt her again. Olivia tells Vicki they're gonna give Harris a taste of his own medicine. Harris is followed by Olivia, Elliot, and Fin. At Harris' presentation, Elliot asks why he raped Vicki and Fin passes out fliers of Harris to people. At a cocktail party, Vicki publicly accuses Harris of raping her. Harris warns Olivia that he'll sue the NYPD for harassment. Harris' humiliation from Olivia finally causes him to break and he gloats out how she and every other woman are all the same.
After hearing Harris' comment, Olivia believes that Vicki wasn't Harris' only victim. Elliot finds 10 other rapes with the same MO by matching Harris' travel dates with attacks in the cities that Harris has visited. Harris hunts for his victims in his comfort zone which is hospitals. Ultimately concluding that Harris has stalked, raped, and terrorized women for 20 years all over the country. When Olivia talks to ADA West, she says that there's not enough evidence to arrest Harris for Vicki's rape and the statute of limitations has run out on Vicki's 1998 rape case. Olivia tells West they have DNA from the previous cases and West thinks she'll be able to get those rapes in as undercharged crimes. Olivia discovers that Houston has a backlog of 4,000 rape kits, Birmingham has 2,000 rape kits untested, 4,100 untested rape kits in Phoenix, and in Detroit, Olivia discovers that there's 16,000 rape kits and only 1,200 kits have been tested.
In Chicago, Olivia finds one rape kit with mold and another with missing evidence. When she arrives in Los Angeles, Olivia meets Detective Rex Winters (Skeet Ulrich). Winters says they discovered that Harris has owned a locked storage since August 2000. After getting a search warrant for the storage room, they find it filled with large photos of the victims, and they find a book of victims driver's permits with the dates of the attack. Olivia eventually discovers that Harris possesses several video tapes of him recording his victims on camera, and Benson sees Vicki on one of them. At a Supreme Court evidentiary hearing, ADA West shows the videos found. On the stand, Vicki identifies herself on one of Harris' home videos, and also Identifies Harris as the man who raped her in Los Angeles and in New York.
Defense attorney Trevor Langan (Peter Hermann) gets her to admit she did not see Harris' face the last time he raped her. He also mentions the DNA from California is not an exact match and she could have made a mistake, although Vicki is positive it's him. Judge Donnelly (Judith Light) says because the DNA is degraded and the chain of custody can’t be preserved, she rules the DNA insufficient to use as corroboration to identify Harris. Olivia is shocked and Judge Donnelly dismisses the case without prejudice and says they can represent if they get better evidence. Vicki is upset with Olivia and tells her to stop making promises she can’t keep, and leaves. Back at the precinct, Elliot tells Olivia that the FBI is taking over Harris’ case. Olivia looks at a roll of duct tape in an evidence bag and has a revelation, saying they may have had Harris all along.
Olivia rushes to Vicki’s home, and asks Vicki about the 1998 attack and wonders how long he stayed. She says he was there all night and into the next day and that he tied her up with duct tape. He never took it off her and the police collected it as evidence. As Olivia tells Vicki her police report had gotten lost, they never knew it was there. Fin is seen finding an evidence box and opening it to find the duct tape. As Harris is meeting with a woman at a restaurant, Olivia and Elliot arrest him for kidnapping in the first degree. As they lock him in the holding cell, Elliot tells Harris there's no statute of limitations on kidnapping. Harris pleads to Vicki to tell the police they're wrong and that he loves her. As they begin to close the cell door, Vicki grabs the cell door and tells Harris that she'll always know where Harris is, in prison. As she slams the door, she tells Harris to "behave himself", and leaves.
- Christopher Meloni as Detective Elliot Stabler
- Mariska Hargitay as Detective Olivia Benson
- Richard Belzer as Sergeant John Munch (credit only)
- Ice-T as Detective Odafin Tutuola
- B.D. Wong as Dr. George Huang (credit only)
- Tamara Tunie as M.E. Melinda Warner (credit only)
- Dann Florek as Captain Donald Cragen
- Judith Light as Judge Elizabeth Donnelly
- Francie Swift as A.D.A. Sherri West
- Neal Bledsoe as C.S.U. Detective Clifton Montgomery
- Peter Hermann as Defense Attorney Trevor Langan
- Didi Conn as Nurse
- Jennifer Love Hewitt as Vicki Alicia Sayers / Julie McManus
- Mike Hodge as Detroit Detective
- Darrell Larson as Homeless Man
- Skeet Ulrich as Detective Rex Winters
- James LeGros as Bill Harris
- Ron Nakahara as Dr. Tanaka
- Jennifer Barnhart as Detective Lorna Diamond
- Robin LeMon as Delivery Lady
- Nalini Sharma as Hotel Clerk
- Dave Conelli as Bus Driver
- Joe Melendes as Man in Crowd
- Stephanie A. Marquardt as Woman on Bus (uncredited)
- Vicki Sayers: Now I'll always know where you are. Be a good boy. (she slams the cell door shut) Behave yourself.
- Olivia Benson: (about Vicki's 2000 rape kit) Why'd it take so long to test it?
Rex Winters: 'Cause we have thousands of kits sitting in the freezer. How bad's your backlog?
Olivia Benson: We don't have one. Every kit is tested after an assault, and the results are forwarded back to us and to the D.A.
- Rex Winters: That was the lab. The DNA from Vicki's rape kit is degraded—
Olivia Benson: Oh, I can't catch a break!
Rex Winters: —But the tech's willing to testify he's got enough matching alleles to ID [the suspect].
Olivia Benson: I'm gonna collar this guy's ass, and then I'm gonna send it to you on a silver platter.
Rex Winters: (chuckling) It's yours. California has a 10-year statute. The clock ran out on Vicki's rape three weeks ago.
Olivia Benson: (shocked) You knew all along that you couldn't prosecute [him]?
Rex Winters: But I knew you could. Go get the prick.
Background information and notes
Episode scene cards
| Previous episode:|
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
| Next episode:|