|←||SVU, Episode 14.17||→|
|Production number: 14017|
First aired: 20 March 2013
| Written By|
Ed Zuckerman & Aaron Tracy
When Brian Cassidy is accused of rape, the resulting trial uncovers surprising news for Detective Amaro.
As he prepares to testify against pimp Bart Ganzel, a woman comes forward claiming that Brian Cassidy raped her while he was an undercover detective. A.D.A. Barba, Detective Benson and the SVU squad nervously await the outcome of the trial, concerned for Cassidy as well as the ongoing prosecution of Ganzel. When prosecutor Derek Strauss pushes hard for a win, Cassidy and his lawyer use some surprising methods of defense, with shocking consequences for Detective Amaro.
As Detective Cassidy is preparing to testify in the Bart Ganzel case, a woman named Heather Riggs arrives at the station claiming that Cassidy sexually assaulted her 4 years ago while working undercover. She never saw him again until she recognized his photo in the newspapers about the Ganzel trial.
When Munch and Nick visit Cassidy at his home & tell him to come with them to the station, they are shocked to see Olivia coming out of his bedroom. The next day, Nick shows Cassidy the picture of Heather. Cassidy recognizes her as a hooker and Nick says that Heather was forced into prostituting by a pimp named Andre Larouge & had Cassidy "break her in." Cassidy says she is lying and angrily walks away.
Nick is upset because Olivia didn't tell him about her & Cassidy, but Olivia says that it's none of his business. When Cassidy tells Olivia that he is being framed for rape, she is shocked and asks him for the details.
Even though IAB is handling the investigation, Olivia & the SVU squad decided to discreetly look into the accusation. Nick informs them that Heather works as an instructor at a pole dancing studio. When Rollins and Fin visit the studio, the manager, Bobby Navarro says that Heather is a popular instructor because she's good at her job.
Rollins notices from the schedule that Heather only works at the studio 2 days a week and it is later discovered that Heather is close to Navarro, who is a chronic gambler and has a record for minor offenses. The squad learns that Navarro visited Ganzel in prison two days before Heather met Nick and come to the conclusion that Ganzel paid Navarro to frame Cassidy.
When Olivia and Nick talk to Barba about it, he says that he already knows & that just because Navarro visited Ganzel in prison, it doesn't mean that Cassidy is innocent. He says that Andre and another hooker who used to work for him confirmed that Cassidy went into a bedroom with Heather & didn't come out for 2 hours.
Heather described in detail how Cassidy raped her and talked about a scar on his inner thigh. Barba says that Cassidy will have to face trial so it doesn't look like the department is being lenient with one of its own. In court, Cassidy is given bail and ordered to surrender his passport. An ADA named Strauss (who is from a different county) will be the prosecutor.
When Olivia talks to Cassidy, he says that he doesn't know how Heather found out about the scar. He states that he only talked to Heather for the two hours that he was in the bedroom with her because he didn't want to blow his cover.
During the trial, Heather reiterates her accusation and when Cassidy's lawyer brings up the connection between Navarro and Ganzel, Heather denies it. The lawyer tells the court that Heather is suing the city for what happened to her and Heather yells that she was raped & someone has to take responsibility.
The hooker who saw Cassidy go in with Heather is called to the stand and admits that she didn't see or hear them having sex nor did she hear Andre telling Cassidy to break her in. Munch informs Cassidy that Nick will be called to the stand next and when Nick is questioned, his most objective answers are twisted around by Strauss to make Cassidy look bad.
Cassidy's lawyer brings in a woman named Cynthia who is the sister of a drug lord into court in order to prove that an undercover officer has to do illegal things to look convincing. It is revealed that Nick slept with Cynthia during his undercover days.
As Nick attempts to talk to Cynthia, she is furious because she didn't known that Nick was a cop and working undercover to take down her brother. When Nick tries to apologize, Cynthia angrily leaves. After Nick realizes that Cassidy revealed the information, he confronts him & Cassidy tells him he is looking at a 10-year prison sentence and didn't have any other options. When Cassidy is questioned on the stand by Strauss and gives his version of events, Strauss turns the whole thing around to make Cassidy look bad.
When Cassidy's lawyer talks to him in private, he says that nobody believes his version of events and suggests that Cassidy confesses to having sex with Heather & tell the court that it was a compulsion of his job, but Cassidy refuses to admit to something that he didn't do. When the lawyer warns Cassidy that he could go to prison, Cassidy is ready to take his chances.
At the SVU squad room. Munch informs Nick that Cynthia is suing him & the city for child support. Cynthia has a 9-year-old son and claims that Nick is the father. When Nick confronts Cynthia, a large man comes to the door and tells him that Cynthia doesn't want to talk to him & threatens to call the cops if he doesn't leave. As Nick leaves, he spies on the man and sees that he is using Cynthia's young son as a drug courier.
Rollins tells Nick that Eduardo Chavez is a drug dealer and Cynthia's boyfriend & says the police have enough evidence to nail him. When Olivia visits Cassidy, she says what he did with Nick wasn't right and he says that his lawyer forced him to. When Nick visits Cynthia and confronts her with what Chavez is making her son do, she tells him she doesn't have any money or a family and is out of options. Nick begs Cynthia not to let their son grow up selling drugs.
Cassidy apologizes to Nick and they agree to help each other out. Cassidy and Rollins go undercover as drug dealers and meet Chavez & tells him that they need him to supply some drugs.
Nick and Munch go undercover as goons and visit Navarro who tell him to settle his gambling debts, but says that he doesn't have the money. They tell Navarro if he can't pay, he has to work it off. Navarro meets Chavez under a bridge and tells him to give him the drugs & shows him the money. Chavez is soon surrounded by the police before he could get away and the drugs are found in the trunk of his car.
Navarro admits to Rollins and Fin that he & Heather were attempting to frame Cassidy so they could sue the city for money. After hearing Navarro's confession, Heather admits to Olivia that Cassidy was telling the truth & the charges against him are dropped. Near the end of the episode, Nick visits Cynthia, who allows him to meet his son.
- Mariska Hargitay as Detective Olivia Benson
- Danny Pino as Detective Nick Amaro
- Kelli Giddish as Detective Amanda Rollins
- Richard Belzer as Sergeant John Munch
- Ice-T as Detective Odafin Tutuola
- Dann Florek as Captain Donald Cragen (credit only)
- Dean Winters as Officer Brian Cassidy
- Greg Germann as A.D.A. Derek Strauss
- Reg E. Cathey as Attorney Barry Querns
- Andrea Navedo as Cynthia Mancheno
- Scott William Winters as Detective Robert "Doom" Dumas
- Raúl Esparza as A.D.A. Rafael Barba
- Ami Brabson as Judge Karyn Blake
- Jaden Matthew Rodriguez as Gilberto Mancheno
- Sonia Manzano as Judge Gloria Pepitone
- John Ventimiglia as Bobby Navarro
- Robyn Rikoon as Heather Riggs
- Roy Jackson as Roberto Chavez
- Natalie Thomas as Angela
- Ken Schwarz as Attorney Richard Lucas
- Tara Martell as Brianna
Background information and notes
- Production error: When Amaro shows Brian Heather's booking photo, the report on the right is on Miles Sennet's case, where he was accused of raping his wife Valerie in the episode Burned. Since the cases are unrelated, it is unknown why Heather's photo was with this report.
Episode scene cards
Two Bridges Coffee Shop
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