Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Season 1 Episode 19


Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Apr 28, 2000 on NBC

Episode Recap

As Jen is making her way onto the subway, her cell phone cuts off. While she is on the subway, a guy slams her into the end of the car and rapes her while everyone else acts as if they see nothing. Cragen tells them they have the C train line shut down and it is the same MO as a serial rapist. Jeffries explains the prep uses a box cutter, waits until the train is about at the station and then he takes off. Stabler says it is the seventh time in six months, but Benson points out it is the third time in one month. As they make their way to the scene, Jeffries asks Munch about his sour mood. He tells her it is his anniversary but he does not know which wife. The transit cop explains the attack took place between the Fulton and Chambers Street stations and they secured the scene as soon as they heard. The CSU tech tells them the paint on the metal resists fingerprints, but a couple hundred fingerprints on the window, a couple of partial footprints, and a coffee cup are their only pieces of evidence. Jen says she took a different train than her usual one. She denies seeing him before the attack. Stabler shows her a picture resembling the Unabomber, but she says it looks like him. She describes him as thin with sandy brown hair and a pointy, beak nose. He was wearing dark clothes and a hooded sweatshirt. She tells them he left his mark on her dress. Benson and Stabler question a witness. He reminds them that on the subway, people go blind to the things going on around them. He describes the guy as being 5-foot-10 wearing a hooded sweatshirt, a navy peacoat, and he had paint on his pants. Greenberg tells Munch and Jeffries this rape fit within the pattern of no pattern. The only profile they have is a guy that wants to get caught. He says they will put cameras in next year, but it will not stop a guy from putting his hand up a girl's skirt. Jeffries reminds him it was rape. Benson and Stabler question another witness. All she can tell them is he said something to the woman, but she doesn't know what. Cragen introduces Audrey Jackson, a shrink, to the group. The only similarity the victims have is they were all wearing skirts. She says the hunt is this guy's version of foreplay. The transit cop informs Munch and Jeffries this time the guy was caught thanks to other passengers and him. When Benson and Stabler question Bruce (the suspect) he tells them he fell against the woman. He has paint on his pants and claims it is from a window when he paints houses. Benson has him remove his pants. Stabler checks out the pants and notices a pocket missing and a DNA sample. Bruce claims his knife cut it. Cragen thinks he may be Catholic making him feel guilty about everything. Munch and Jeffries speak with the woman who screamed. She tells them that the girl was reading when the train jerked. Bruce grabbed onto the pole to keep from ramming into her. When he rubbed up against her, she screamed. Nick Ganzner meets Benson in the squad room to try to obtain information about the case. She does not give him anything but public information, but makes plans for a date that evening. When Munch and Jeffries question a witness, he states when he heard screaming and saw the guy rubbing against the girl he figured that it was the subway rapist he had heard about and put him in a full nelson. The doctor tells Munch and Jeffries that the woman says she was not raped and no evidence supports a rape allegation. The woman tells them he rubbed up against her but nothing else. She also states she has learned to read and keep alert about the things going on around her. And everyone should mind their own business. Surprisingly, she tells them a guy flashed her a few weeks prior. Jackson says he did not rape the woman. Cragen says he wants the other seven victims to come in for a line up and after some discussion agrees to have them transported in themselves. Only one of the women ID him. Jen reasons that it really does not matter if she IDs him or not since they have his DNA. When the ADA tells Cragen they can re-arrest him later if the DNA matches. Cragen wants to arrest him on a lesser charge to keep him off the streets. The ADA reminds him Bruce would not plead guilty on a lesser charge if he knows he can get off on a rape. Jackson says he will plead because he is guilty. Cragen tells her to go talk with him. Jackson informs him the police know he did not rape anyone. She inquires as to why he likes riding the subway. Jackson reminds his lawyer his job is to get him a good deal and hers is to make him feel better. Bruce tells her he is from South Dakota. He had relieved himself in an adult establishment prior to getting on the subway. He says he just wanted contact. Jackson tells Cragen Bruce is not their guy. The guy they are looking for wants to get caught, but the guy they are looking for does. At a bar, Ganzner tries to get information out of Benson about the case. She reminds him they are suppose to be on a date. She says she should write a book. He agrees saying she knows these people (referring to rapist). He tells her the reason people move away from her is because she gets inside rapists. When she gets up to leave, he informs her he is not going anywhere so she invites him over. At her place while they are kissing, she breaks away from kissing to put on jazz music. When he asks if she has sex with her eyes closed after everything she sees everyday, she tells him her eyes stay wide open. He suggests role-playing with him as the subway rapist. She stops his advances and tells him to be gone by the time she gets out from washing her hands and her mouth. Ganzner quickly removes a file from her desk before leaving. Benson walks into Cragen's office as he is reading the paper. He explains the reporter was able to get into the head of the rapist. She explains Ganzner was at her apartment and turned her back on him after asking him to leave. Cragen tells her to never turn her back on a reporter. She tells him she has learned her lesson and will take care of the problem with Ganzner. Munch walks in informing Cragen of another rape at Delancey Street station. Cragen tells him to take Jeffries. At the scene, the transit cop tells them a witness saw a card fall out of the perp's pocket onto the platform. After a little searching, they find a parking stub from Queens. At the parking lot, they are told the car is not there. Jeffries looks at the records and finds the car was picked up a few hours before. The attendant describes the rapist and tells them the guy drives different cars with Dewell's Painters Contractors. At Dewell's, they learn Sal Avelino is the only white guy who works there and they never know when he will come back when they send him on an errand. Munch and Jeffries take him to the station and log his possessions, including two driver's licenses, including one for Sidra Lonstein and a Metro card. When checking Avelino's travels, the computer freezes up. Sal's lawyer informs Cragen he wants to be number one in the line up. Jen identifies him immediately. Jeffries informs her they will contact her about testifying. Jen walks into the room full of witnesses waiting to identify the guy to get her scarf and tells everyone it was quick. Briscoe was not able to react fast enough to shut her up. In Cragen's office, Munch reminds Briscoe they were not suppose to talk. Briscoe says he cannot control six women at once, but he is okay in the field. Cragen tells him he needs to react faster. In court, all of the victim's identifications were thrown out causing the case to be dismissed.
In the squad room, Stabler expresses the incredulity of the fact the judge could even think consensual sex could occur on the subway with a stranger holding a box cutter. Cragen tells them to locate Sidra Lonstein seeing as how she could be an uncontaminated complaining witness. Stabler opts to go with Munch considering Jeffries is watching Avelino work until she can arrest him. Munch and Stabler locate an older man who tells them Sidra is at work at a subway station five miles away. Benson goes to confront Ganzner at work. She tells him about getting reemed by Cragen saying it looks like she screwed up. She gives him a cold case file explaining it is about a man who uses women without the slightest twinge of regret like him. As she insults him, she ensures make her volume loud enough to where the entire office could hear the information. Munch and Stabler locate a pregnant Sidra and return her license. She explains she lost it when some guy bumped into her on the subway. Cragen, Munch, and Stabler make Sidra comfortable in Cragen's chair with her feet propped up. She tells them she is about 32-33 weeks pregnant. Stabler tells her he learned pregnancies are not actually nine months with his first child - it is more like 10. Cragen tries to ask if the "bump" was actually rape, but she denies it at first. She identifies Avelino. Cragen tells Stabler to take her to the vending machines for food. Stabler warns her of his cold, but she ignores his warning and takes his hand. Cragen tells Munch to bring Avelino in for questioning. Munch tells Avelino he has a court order for an amniocentesis on a complaining witness. He realizes that must mean someone is pregnant. Munch and Jeffries explain that even though he got away with the other rapes, he won't get away with this one. The amniocentesis will nail him for this rape. In the squad room, Stabler asks Sidra if she is feeling all right. She says she is. When he tells her he is now that she has touched him, she looks at him strangely. Munch and Jeffries bring Avelino through. When he sees Sidra, he admits to the rape in front of everyone.