Law and Order: Special Victims Unit: Stagione 13, Episodio 17
Girato in USA, prima visione americana è Mercoledì 11 Aprile 2012 sul NBC. Prima visione italiana Giovedì 20 Dicembre 2012 su Premium Crime.
Trama, Sinossi Episodio
Omar Peña, accusato di stupro e violenza aggravata ai danni di una ragazza, viene condannato grazie alla confessione ottenuta dalla detective Benson dopo nove ore di estenuante interrogatorio. Proclamatosi piu' volte innocente Peña, anche durante la permanenza in carcere, cerca di ottenere una revisione del processo e chiede che venga effettuato un test del DNA per scagionarlo. Ad otto anni di distanza viene commesso un crimine con modus operandi simile a quello di Peña: la detective Benson inizia cosi' ad avere dei dubbi sulla colpevolezza dell'uomo...
Sinossi originale: It's 2004 and Omar Pena has just broken down in tears after a grueling nine hours in the interrogation room. Benson was finally able to get Pena to confess to the brutal rape of a woman whom he tied up, gagged and poured ammonia into the eyes of for scarring. Back in present day, Pena has his day in court for another appeal in which he is representing himself. He would like his confession and conviction of the rape overturned as he tells the court he was innocent and his confession was made under extreme duress. The judge emphatically denies his request, and with the sound of the gavel, sends Pena back to prison for life. It's late at night during the annual Pan American Fleet Week celebration where Navy seaman from various countries converge in NYC for a week of R&R. Gina, a gorgeous, redheaded 20-something, leaves a bar and heads home when she is suddenly attacked by a faceless sailor in uniform. She screams for mercy as she is gagged, eyes brunt with ammonia and tied up on a bed. With bleeding wrists, she is able to wiggle free from her constraints and grab hold of a phone on a nightstand. Later, Benson arrives at the scene and immediately notices the similar MO from the Pena case more then eight years ago. "This is him," Benson says with dread. "This is his exact MO," Benson tells the squad about Pena. "If you told me someone had taken his place in prison, I would believe it." Rollins checked with the jail, and Pena is still locked up; but perhaps he staged a flip or has teamed with a copycat. At the hospital, Rollins talks with a scarred Gina who remembers her attacker as Hispanic and wearing a white navy uniform. Later, Finn and Rollins meet with a rope expert and learn the attacker's rope was used with a bowline knot that is taught in Navy training and the way he specifically tied the knot suggests the attacker is left-handed. Benson and Amaro talk with an irritated Pena in prison. He blames Benson for making him confess to a crime he didn't commit, but Benson fights back reminding him that the victim ID-ed him, and he also had her credit cards when they arrested him. He denies knowing anything about the new rape or having anything to do with it. "It wasn't me this time. It wasn't me then," Pena screams at Benson. "You got some sick prick still out there, and instead of looking for him, you're wasting your time on me!" Benson looks at Pena with disgust and tells him, "You're not a waste of time. You're a waste of a life." The SVU squad has come to a dead end as they try to find anyone with a connection to Pena. No one came to visit him, and the only correspondence he had was by writing letters to officials and lawyers trying to get his conviction overturned. Benson then finds that Pena has been talking to Attorney Bayard Ellis about his alleged forced confession. Later, they find out that Pena once helped another soldier in jail for rape have his conviction overturned; perhaps as a favor, the freed solider committed the new rape to bring a feasible alibi to Pena's cries of innocence. They immediately chase down the suspect, and Benson interrogates him hard; but it just leads to a dead end of innocence. Attorney Bayard Ellis shows up at the squad room to find out more information on Pena. He is taking Pena on as a client and believes this copycat rape proves his client's innocence for the first rape eight years ago. Benson tells Ellis that they believe Pena set up the second rape, so someone would believe his story; but Ellis is doubtful of her theory. Later, Benson meets with Haden to bring him up to speed on the case. Haden asks Benson about the interrogation conviction, which she says is solid; Pena had the victim's credit cards, was a Navy seaman and knew the exact color of the scarf the victim was wearing. Back at the squad room, Amaro begins to go against Benson's theory that Pena hired a copycat. He is beginning to notice inconsistencies in the cases and has witnessed Benson's tense interrogation technique that could lead someone into a false confession. There is noticeable tension between the partners until Capt. Cragen orders them to go back into the files from the original rape and see if anything new surfaces that connects the two cases. Finn interviews a Brazilian seaman named Javier who testified as a witness in the first rape. He takes a look at the new sketch but apologies for not being able to help any further. Benson interviews Ariel Baskins, the victim from the first rape eight years ago. She is nervous to go back into the past and relive the rape; she hasn't fully recovered and still can't wear anything red because it reminds her of the scarf Pena gagged her with. Benson is suddenly startled; Pena and the evidence details said the scarf was green, but Ariel is positive the scarf was red. Benson rushes back into the evidence locker and discovers the patrolman that logged the scarf was colorblind and mistakenly labeled the scarf green when it was really red. Benson's world starts to spin out of control as she realizes one of the main pieces of evidence against Pena was wrong and perhaps she really did coerce an innocent man into confessing. Haden is livid about the newly revealed evidence in the Pena case. Benson is even harder on herself. "I take full responsibility," she tells Cragen and Haden. The DNA has come in from the second rape scene, and it matches the suspect's DNA from the first rape. Since Pena was locked up for the second rape, it means he is innocent of the first rape. Benson and Ellis bring Pena up to speed on the new evidence, but he is livid. "You're telling me something I told you eight years ago!" Pena screams at Benson. He wants his conviction overturned, but Ellis tells him it can't happen right away; it'll take time. Rollins tells the SVU squad that the DNA from both rapes has found a match from Interpol for three other rapes at Navy ports around the world. They then notice that the Brazilian navy uniform looks very similar to the American navy uniform; anyone being attacked could easily mistake one for the other. Ellis meets with Haden to demand Pena be set free due to the new evidence, but Haden is hesitant. He tells Ellis that the DNA results alone were not the only evidence used to convict Pena. Ellis then pulls his trump card and asks Haden if his romantic relationship with Benson is clouding his judgment on the case. "I've got an innocent man in prison," Ellis says, "and appearances suggest the detective who coerced the confession is involved with the ADA that's reinvestigating the case." Later, Haden meets with Benson and blatantly tells her that their relationship is coming under fire. It's too late to disclose their relationship, and the press would destroy their careers if they found out. They show photos of Javier, the Brazilian seamen who pointed the finger at Pena eight years ago, to both rape victims, and they immediately recognize him as the perpetrator. Soon the SVU squad arrests Javier in a sting operation and charges him with the brutal rapes he has committed around the world. With the actual rapist of both crimes arrested, Ellis is able to successfully free Pena and have all the charges against him dropped. Pena is in tears as the judge apologizes to him for the grave miscarriage of justice that he has had to live with for eight years. Later, Benson meets with Haden and discusses how this tragic case leaves their relationship. "In conflict," Haden tells her as they regrettably decide to part ways and end their romance.
Titolo Originale: Justice Denied
Prima trasmissione Originale: Mercoledì 11 Aprile 2012 su NBC
Premiere USA: Mercoledì 11 Aprile 2012 su NBC
Prima trasmissione in Italia: Giovedì 20 Dicembre 2012 su Premium Crime
Serie Televisiva: Law and Order: Special Victims Unit
Stagione: 13 - Episodio: 17
Durata: 45 minuti
Genere: Crimine, Drammatico, Mistero