Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Season 1 Episode 10


Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Jan 07, 2000 on NBC

Episode Recap

A freshly showered and smoking Harper Anderson calls 911 telling the operator she has been raped. While Cassidy and Benson are in bed together, her pager goes off alerting her it is time for her to go to work. As she walks into the other room, Cassidy tells her the sex was incredible. Her only response was for him to not get used to it.
When Benson arrives at the hospital, she must give a description of the rape victim she needs to see. Harper overhears the conversation and speaks up. Harper informs her she sent the uniform officer to the cafeteria because he was getting on her nerves. Benson explains she needs a description of the attack before they can do the rape exam. Harper tells her the perp grabbed her ankles and wrists before hitting her in the face. After penetrating her vaginally, he ejaculated on her stomach only to wipe it off with one of her t-shirts. He made her shower. Benson excuses herself to approach a nearby doctor. She informs him that since the victims from the car wreck are stable then he will do a rape exam next. As they near the end of the exam, Benson goes through the checklist of evidence needed. When Benson tells the doctor they need to do a UV on her stomach to check for fluids, he informs her the hospital does not have one. Benson concedes that it would not do any good since he made her shower after Harper groans. The doctor gives her a high dose contraceptive telling her to take two more in twelve hours. He informs her the STD test results will be back in 24 hours, but she will need to retest in three and six months. When she asks what is next, Benson tells her they can go to the station so she can give her formal statement if she is up to it.
In the hallway, the doctor tells Stabler to perp used as little force as possible and made sure to erase as much of the DNA as possible. When they are interrupted by a uniform officer asking if they heard about the rape victim causing the doctor to leave. When Stabler confirms his suspicion this was the officer who left the victim alone, he tells him to never leave a rape victim alone. The officer tells him the crime scene is secure, but they still need to know what to look for. Stabler tells him they are about to go find out before making sure he can handle voucher the rape kit.
At the station, Harper tells Benson and Stabler what happened. She wore earplugs because of the street fair on her street. She woke up to a man holding her shirt. He held her legs closed by jamming his knees on either side of her. He pulled her nightgown up shielding her face and capturing her arms. When she jerked away at his attempt to kiss her, he hit her in the face. He unzipped his pants, thrusts hard five times, and asked, 'Is this how you like it?' He ejaculated on her stomach, wiped it off with her shirt, and told her to take a shower adding 'Please'. He made sure the water temperature was right before taking her gown off so she could see to get in the shower. He carefully washed her completely, handed her a towel and her robe before telling her to get on the floor and count to twenty. He even told her he was not going to insult her by asking her not to call the police. She describes the perp as being tall, thin, white, sandy hair, cold eyes, and he was about her age. She informs them nothing out of the ordinary had happened to tip her off that this may happen. He was not nervous. He smelled like expensive, subtle cologne. She tells them she is positive she can identify the perp in a line-up. She draws a picture of the ring he stole explaining it is platinum, rare, and belonged to her grandmother. He also stole her wallet and the t-shirt he used to clean her off.
When Benson takes her to her boyfriend's apartment, she explains a locksmith will change the locks in her apartment and a counselor will call her to set up an appointment. Giving her a business card with her pager number on it, she tells Harper to call her anytime. Before she walks away, they exchange a smile.
Benson notices Cassidy's presence as soon as she enters Harper's apartment. Stabler quickly explains he called him in case she stayed longer with Harper. After they inform her they did not find any prints, Cassidy informs her the perp came in through the window. Stabler shows her the lock on the window has been broken for a while. He further explains the perp came in and saw her sleeping before heading over to the dresser where he takes the t-shirt and her wallet...but who smoked the joint? He immobilizes her, rapes her, and takes her ring. Since they did not find underwear, they assume the perp took them as a trophy. He takes her to the shower. Benson notes the wet shower curtain while Cassidy says the soap is not wet leading him to believe she staged the whole thing. Upon seeing the curling iron on the floor, he demonstrates it could have been the gun used. Stabler questions the lack of evidence while Cassidy believes Harper was paranoid. When Benson asks Cassidy is he wants to hear that she said it never happened, he responds that maybe that is the truth.
Cragen interrupts a discussion between Cassidy and Benson to get the team update going. When Stabler informs them the perp gained access to the apartment using the fire escape at the window, they agree it must have been a stranger and rule out the tenants of the building. There were no fingerprints or DNA evidence. After Benson relays the description of the perp, Stabler adds since she was hit on the left side of the face then he must be right-handed. Cragen comes to the realization the perp is not a junkie because of the cologne he wears. Since he took the time to make sure there was not any evidence, they conclude the attack was planned. The decide to rule out the Upper West Side perp since this one talked to his victim. Stabler explains the perp asked Harper 'Is this how you like it?' and said 'Please' making the perp think he was being a gentleman. After Cragen remembers the street fair going on where Harper lived, Cassidy tells him her will check out the vendors. Munch says he will check the pawn shops for the leafy ring. Cragen sends Benson and Stabler to ask Harper about the joint and to question Harper's neighbors.
When they arrive at Benji Dowe's apartment looking for Harper, Benson informs him that Harper needs his unconditional love and acceptance. Dowe informs them Harper went to work after not being able to sleep. Upon meeting up with Harper at Le Poeme, Harper questions Benson and Stabler's reasoning for asking about the joint. After they tell her it is a routine question, she reminds them nothing about that night was routine for her.
The superintendent of Harper's building tells Benson and Stabler there have not been any break-ins or unusual people around the building. He tells them he will ask the tenants and he may lose some over the attack. One of the tenants sitting at her window informs them of a 'Peeping Tom' in the building across the street.
Benson and Stabler find the 'Peeping Tom,' Sam Lardner, has three charges of assault on his record. Stabler wonders if this makes number four. At first when asked about Harper, he tells them he denies knowing her. After describing the apartment was and telling him the wrong apartment, he quickly corrects the mistake. Lardner informs him he saw the entire rape before telling them everything that happened. He also gives them the information that Harper does not wear underwear to bed, but tells them he did not see the guy's face because he was too busy looking at Harper.
In the squad room, Jeffries informs Benson and Stabler she checked Harper's usual places and found several attacks. While Jeffries is telling them none of the MO's matched, Cragen interrupts them asking if Harper would buy $500 of meats at one time. After they tell him someone is using her credit card, he informs them Munch and Cassidy are transporting him from the 27th Precinct. As they escort the perp in, Cassidy stops Benson to return the watch she left at his apartment and to ask he rout again. When she turns him down, he believes she was only refusing because of the incident at Harper's apartment. Before the conversation is over, she informs him the night was a one time only occasion.
While Benson and Stabler are at their lockers, Stabler asks about her relationship with Cassidy. After initially denying it, she tells him she broke a personal rule and now she is paying the price for it because Cassidy wants to see her again. He reminds her he is her partner for better or worse and advises her to be over nice to Cassidy and he will get over it.
Before going into the interrogation room, Benson, Stabler, and Cragen discuss the perp's rap sheet. His robbery charges escalates from shoplifting to breaking and entering to rape. Stabler guesses he escalated out of boredom or the opportunity arose. Benson informs him Harper is on her way to make a positive identification since he matches the description of her attacker.
After making the perp account for his morning, Benson and Stabler question him about how he used his time the night before. He informs them he was in a holding cell after jumping a turn
While Stabler works on his computer, Benson looks at a print out of arraignments and tells Cragen the guy is not on the list. After asking when she got the print out, Cragen reminds them the list is only updated once a day. Stabler quickly types on the computer and locates the newly posted arraignment. Cragen excuses himself to work on paperwork before Harper comes into the squad room. Benson approaches her stating they did not have the perp after all. She retrieves Harper's new apartment keys from her desk and gives them to her.
Six months later. When Cassidy sees Benson getting ready for a date, he reminds her she was not ready for a relationship six months ago. She reminds him that falling for someone you work with is not a smart choice. He tells her that if she still works there when she gets married, then her marriage will be an affair because she is married to the job. They are interrupted when Cragen calls Benson into his office.
When Benson enters the office, Cragen introduces her to Detective Halligan from Robbery. Cragen relays to her the details of a 4-day-old robbery case. He explains the perp entered the apartment through the window while he was wearing a mask. The perp was using a gun, being polite, and the victim had a gun under her mattress. When she flipped the light on, the gun he had was a curling iron. Benson informs Halligan of Harper's case. Halligan tells her the guy limped away after the victim froze up. After glancing over the file, Benson tells them she believes this is Harper's guy. Cragen tells her to interview Jane Tyler to make sure the MO matches before she does anything else. When he tells her it can wait, she tells him she doubts Jane is sleeping and leaves.
While Jane tells Benson what happened to her, she adds the perp stole her father's watch. The watch had 'Leo' inscribed on the back. She also tells her he raped her. After talking a little longer, Benson draws the similarities with Harper's attack. Jane explains she did not tell the police everything because she wanted them out of her apartment. Benson tells her she did the one thing she was suppose to do...survive.
Stabler questions the address of the suspect as they arrive. Mrs. Cleary answers the door and calls for her husband when asked. Benson promptly notices Harper's ring her finger drawing Stabler's attention to it as well. They escort Cleary to the precinct to question him.
Cleary explains his limp is due to an accidental step off of the curb. He states he was on Lennox Street clearing his head over some stressful clients. His wife buys his cologne so he does not know the name of it. He bought the ring off of the street from a guy named T.J. After he says his watch has been in the family for years, Benson asks to see it. She immediately looks on the back to see 'Leo'. When she asks who Leo is, he states it is his astrological sign. He tells them T.J. can be found between Canal and Mott. Stabler explains Canal and Mott intersect so you cannot be between the two, but to help him understand he asks Cleary to draw a diagram showing T.J.'s location.
While updating Cragen on the case, Benson informs him Cleary smells expensive. Cragen mocks her saying the jury should smell the defendant. After Stabler laughs at the comment, he explains not many perps shop for expensive cologne and the watch and ring are trophies from the rapes. Cragen reminds them they will not reopen Jane's case. Cragen informs them they can get Cleary on possession of stolen property, but they need Harper to identify the ring. Benson tells him Harper said she could identify her rapist as well. Cragen reminds them they have until 9AM to get him arraigned.
When they arrive at Harper's apartment, the superintendent answers the door explaining Harper never stayed there again. He tells them he knew he would not be able to rent the apartment to anyone else so he moved into it. He informs them she moved out so fast he still has her deposit.
When they check with Dowe, he tells them Harper stopped eating. She could not sleep unless the lights were on, which meant he could not sleep. She worked out like a fiend. She started dressing differently and even wore her tennis shoes to bed. After he tells them she broke up with him three months prior, he explains Harper changed addresses, changed jobs, and created a whole new Harper.
They finally arrive at Harper's apartment. She tells them to never come back and slams the door in their faces.
In Cragen's office, he explains to ADA Carmichael Cleary's wife keeps saying Cleary sleeps through the night. Benson asks if they can get a search warrant to look for other trophies in Cleary's home. She is reminded they only have one victim. When she asks about using some law Harper has broken to compel her to talk, ADA Carmichael explains she is not going to rape her a second time. ADA Carmichael tells her she will have to use her own powers of persuasion with Harper. After ADA Carmichael leaves, Cragen informs Benson that Stabler is digging up anything he can on Cleary and Munch is working on Cleary's lawyer. He tells her to take Cassidy with a photo array and show it to Harper. Before she gets out the door, he reminds her they only have a few hours left before they must let Cleary go.
While Cleary tries to explain aggressive accounting to Munch, Stabler comes in to explain Cleary is a Cancer not a Leo. He tells him Leo was a nickname of his grandfather's. Stabler questions that considering his grandfather's name was Percy. When Cleary tries to continue his explanation with Munch, Stabler tries to ask Cleary if he gets to Tribeca a lot before being cut off by Cleary's lawyer telling him he does not have to answer that. After Stabler is told Cleary can only answer questions about what is public record, Cleary's lawyer asks what he is being charged with. Munch responds telling Stabler he does not have to answer that.
When Harper refuses to answer her door, Benson tells her she is just as stubborn as she is causing Harper to answer the door. Benson and Cassidy explain her attacker has attacked again and she is the only one who can identify him. Harper tells them she did everything she could and she is over it. When Harper walks away, Cassidy regains her attention when he tells Benson that maybe the guy they have did not do her. Harper turns around and corrects his statement angrily. Benson cuts in reminding Harper she is still sleeping in her tennis shoes so she is not over it. She informs her '[c]losure is a myth'. Benson explains people change everyday and you can accept them or fight them. When Harper refuses to come in to help herself, Benson asks her to come for them promising she will be there with her.
At the precinct, Harper is unable to identify her rapist even after they all say, 'Is this how you like it?' Benson takes her back to her desk and shows her the ring. Benson informs her they retrieved it from a man she could not identify. Harper breaks down realizing she really could not identify her rapist. She explains believed since her mother died a long, horrible death that nothing else bad could ever happen to her.
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