Many things about this episode are great, such as the acting, especially the guest stars. The reason I gave this episode a 'Mediocre' rating is because of the substandard writing, which demonstrates a lack of proper research into the serious subject matter of domestic violence, child abductions and Stockholm syndrome.
Yes, Law and Order is fictional entertainment, but the series has demonstrated its ability to tackle serious subject matter in a way that is both entertaining, but also enlightening and based in facts.
Many of the 'Ripped From the Headline' episodes have actually been quite good, even when facts of a real crime are changed for the television story or format. The problem here is that the episode downplays and distorts the real damage done to victims of abuse and does little more then to blame the victim, who was beaten by his step-father as well as kidnapped and sexually abused and manipulated by a pedophile. Jack McCoy wonders why the young defendant never left his captor (a question that the episode never bothers to answer). These and other questions actually have been studied quite a bit over the years. Maybe if the writers had done some actually research on the issue, they might have written a better episode.
Somehow the fact that the young defendant was also being beaten by his blue collar, chronically unemployed father helped the jury to convict, a rather tasteless bit of class bias that is not only totally illogical but down right offensive.
The audience should certainly not look at this episode as an accurate depiction of subject matter or even the true crime story that initiated this episode in the first place.
Last, but not least, in real life this type of defendant would have likely not charged due or would have been institutionalized or would have gotten charged with a lesser sentence. I am not a lawyer, but I do not believe that what the defendant ends up being charged and convicted with in this episode is fair or just.