Law & Order (1990) s02e17 Episode Script

Sisters of Mercy

Narrator: In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups the police who investigate crime, and the district attorneys who prosecute the offenders.
These are their stories.
- See ya later, Ernie.
- Ernie: Catch you tomorrow.
You don't even give a damn, do you? Do you? What do you want me to do about it, huh, Maggie? Like I got a lot of control over your life.
I'm not going back there.
Where are you gonna go, huh? Aw thanks for the invitation.
Look, you just can't start floppin' all over the place.
That's not what I'm talking about! Let's just get out of here and we'll figure something out, all right? Oh, so you can just dump me on the street? Maggie, would you just - Or maybe I'll just go away and die, huh? - Maggie How about I do everybody else a favor and blow it off right here? - Or maybe I'll just do everybody else! - Man: Look out! Maggie give me the gun.
Why? Fine do whatever the hell you want.
- No, don't you go! - Man: Look out.
Why'd your girlfriend try to kill you, Danny? She wasn't tryin' to kill me, man.
The gun just went off.
It was an accident.
You were arguing.
Nine people saw her shoot at you.
She was drunk, man.
She didn't Hey, hey her eyeballs are going through the ceiling that ain't drunk.
Danny, unlicensed gun criminal possession three or four.
Felony or misdemeanor? - Maybe she took a little meth.
- What's a little? I don't know five or six hits? Your treat? No, man, I don't know where she could've got it.
Cerreta: This better be the truth.
Boyfriend said she did six hits of meth.
Only ID we found.
Corson, Maggie.
Issued at Haven House.
Catholic drug rehab center.
I got nowhere to go.
Look, this is ridiculous.
She's 16.
She was stoned.
If you want to arrest somebody, arrest the creep she was with.
That's already been done.
Now, listen, as for Maggie accident or not, she still has to be arraigned.
After that I can take her back to Haven House? That's up to the judge.
It was a relapse it happens.
She is an addict she's making a difficult transition.
No one is doubting you you're telling the wrong people.
She's got to be arraigned.
Great! - Are you really a - A nun? Yes, Detective, I am.
So I guess I would call you "Sister.
" Call me whatever you want.
Sister, has somebody called Maggie's parents? She ran away from home three years ago I doubt she's homesick.
Anyway, she's been in our custody for a year.
She's our responsibility.
I thought nuns had curfews.
That went out with the penguin suit.
Maggie, when you're arraigned, you'll either be placed in a juvenile ward or back at Haven House.
Now, chances are, you'll get a compassionate judge and you can go back to the house.
Maggie? Get her out of here! I don't want her near me.
- Maggie - Please! Get her out! Let's go have a talk.
Maggie, what's the problem? It doesn't have to leave this room.
Maggie Last night, we were in the shower You and who? Sister Bettina? All right, why were you in the shower? I was sick and she said I'd feel better if I had a hot shower.
And what happened then? She she had her hands on me.
She put her hands all over me.
Okay, okay, all right.
Cerreta: It didn't come easy, but she gave me the whole play-by-play the what, where, how everything that Sister Bettina did to her.
You ask the nun about it? We didn't give her the specifics, but as far as Maggie being flipped out she says she doesn't know why.
You think this girl is credible? Well, she seemed really frightened about going back there.
Hey, man, she's a meth head.
This could be a fabrication could be she wanted to be kicked out.
But if she wants out, there are better ways than a molest charge.
She's young, she's speeding who says she needs easy choices? Meaning? Come on, this is the first time we've seen a false accusation on a molest and a rape charge? Yeah, but there's also the other side, Mike.
- Where is the girl now? - Manhattan Psychiatric.
The DA dropped her to criminal possession four on the gun charge.
Has she talked to anyone else about the molest? Only her roommate.
We have a call in to the Executive Director of Haven House.
Let's see if we can't dodge the inevitable uproar on this one, okay? Yesterday evening was the first I heard about this.
Maggie's roommate, Maria Barragan, brought it to my attention.
I sent for Maggie, but she'd already disappeared.
Did you have a chance to speak to Sister Bettina? This morning, after she got back from the hospital.
She's pretty stunned.
What's your take on this? I wish I had one.
Maggie Corson can be quite Lacking in the credibility department? Look, all these kids have been on the street.
Survival became a lot more important than honesty some time ago for most of them.
So your first instinct on this would be that Maggie's lying? If Maria hadn't seen them, I would have to say it sounds incredible given Sister Bettina's reputation.
Wait a minute.
Maria is the roommate.
She saw Sister Bettina and Maggie together? She said she saw them in the shower.
I guess it was around 1:00 Maggie puked all over herself.
Sister B showed up and took her to the can.
- Did you follow them? - No, I just waited, but Maggie wasn't coming back.
I got worried, so I went looking.
I heard the water running in the shower, and I saw Sister B touching and kissing Maggie.
Now, where where exactly did she kiss her? On her face and her shoulder.
- Was Maggie dressed or undressed? - Undressed.
- And Sister Bettina? - She had on this blue bathrobe.
You see anything else? No.
I went back to my room.
I pretended I was asleep.
And Maggie came back by herself she was crying.
She said Sister B messed with her.
What exactly did she say? She said Sister B put her fingers, you know She was wigged out.
She didn't want me to tell anybody.
But you told Mr.
Sister B's a freak she shouldn't be pulling that crap.
Maria, let's get specific.
You said you got worried when Sister Bettina took Maggie to the bathroom.
Why was that? She'd come on to me before.
She put her hand on my leg you know.
And she said she loved me.
She was always saying she loves me.
That's what I mean she's a freak.
Obviously Maria's mixed up.
She says she's pretty sure of what she saw.
Maria practically grew up on Times Square.
There, somebody touches you, it only means one thing.
She's been with us for only three months.
She hasn't had time to rearrange her thinking.
This "hugs, not drugs" do you take that literally? Do you have any physical interaction with these girls? It's just a figure of speech.
And you'd be surprised how far the proper amount of affection will go with these kids.
Maria may have her signals crossed, but that still leaves Maggie.
That one, I can't figure out.
I always got along well with Maggie.
I don't know what happened.
Maybe she's working something out, maybe she thinks that I let her down.
But you don't deny being in the shower with her that night? She had stomach flu, and she'd thrown up all over herself and I helped her wash up.
With a shower at 1:00 in the morning? A sponge bath would be less suspicious? Logan: I may be wrong I just don't think she did it.
You think clergy can't trip over their vows? It happens I read the same news reports you do.
I just don't think this is one of those cases.
You gotta admit, Phil it's not the usual profile.
Just because it's female on female and it's rare doesn't mean it doesn't happen.
Yeah, I know "Anybody's capable of anything.
" That's rule number one.
Look, I'm just sayin' this if I was to take odds on this An ex-altar boy, wagering? I confess we used to lift the wine once in a while.
Not us wafers, unblessed.
- Have you ever been afraid of Sister Bettina? - Afraid? No.
Before the night in the shower, did you ever feel she was interested in you in a sexual way? No.
I thought she was just being nice to me.
But? I guess I didn't pick up on it.
I thought she was different.
- Different than? - Everybody.
Everybody who uses you.
The night that Sister Bettina touched you you were very sick, weren't you? You had the flu.
Did you have any bad dreams? Are you saying maybe I hallucinated the whole thing? I know what she did to me.
I know how she made me feel.
And how is that? When things happen to you on the street, you expect it, you know? But if it happens to you at Haven House? I was supposed to be safe there.
I really trusted her, you know? I know she did it.
I know how it feels.
Why, has it happened to you before? For three and a half years sometimes twice a week.
I was eight when it started.
My mother never believed me.
"No husband of mine would ever do that," she said.
"He loves you.
He's your stepfather.
" Olivet: It's not about sex it's about trust and betrayal.
She was betrayed by her stepfather, and then she was betrayed one step further by a mother who refused to hear her.
So Sister Bettina is what a kind of surrogate mother? Maggie was trying to rebuild.
Sister Bettina had become a figure she was starting to trust.
This thing blew apart her whole world.
So you don't think this story could have been rehearsed? I think this girl was blindsided by someone she never even perceived as a threat either emotionally or gender-wise.
There's a lot of pain there.
I don't think it's an act.
Great, so we move on a nun.
I'll get a warrant.
Does Sister Bettina have anything else in storage in the building? Aside from her office, no.
I keep thinkin' I'm gonna get struck by lightning doing this.
Sister: She should be allowed to be here.
I don't know why she's been treated like a criminal.
I'm sure she understands these men are just doing their job.
Sister Bettina has always been above reproach.
What exactly are you guys looking for? Well, a lot of people in molestation cases, they keep diaries, they might have photographs, you never know.
Sometimes they save something from the encounter as sort of a souvenir.
Phil "M.
" Vomit? Cerreta: She said she was sick that night.
Matching set.
We showed Maggie these garments.
She identified them as the ones she was wearing last Monday night.
Sister Bettina may have kept them as an encounter trophy.
Or she simply intended to get them washed.
There's a laundry hamper in the shower room she could've just as well have left them there.
Whatever you want to read into it it's subjective evidence.
It's still a nun's word against the say-so of two street kids.
What, too bad they're not seniors at Riverdale? What about this Sister Bettina anything there? She grew up in Hollis.
Joined a convent at age 20.
She's been at Haven House for eight years.
Eight years supervising teenage girls? If she does have a predilection, this might not be her first time.
Powell: I never heard a complaint about her.
Never heard a rumor either.
- You've worked with her for how long? - I've been here six years.
Anybody ever complain to the archdiocese? Had that happened, I know I would have heard about it.
You're not the clergy.
But 70% of our funds come from the church.
Wait a minute that should give them more incentive to bury a thing like this.
Not for Bettina.
Why not? Sister Bettina aligns herself with what the church calls "non-traditional nuns" outfits like the Women's Ordination Movement women as priests, birth control if the church had had a reason to get rid of her, I'm sure they would have done it.
How about on the outside? You know anything about her private life? No, I have no idea.
You ever meet any of her friends? Well, at fundraisers.
There was a woman Anne Houston.
She used to work at the Queens Family Shelter.
I think they still talk like every other day.
You ever read "Catcher in the Rye"? Save the children that's Tina.
Have you ever heard any gossip or complaints about her? You mean, why would a normal woman choose to live in a community of nuns? Listen, we've talked about her vows.
We've talked about sex.
Tina always said she redirects her energy into her work.
Logan: Did she get along with the kids? Did you ever see any misunderstandings? You know, maybe an incident of some kind? Look, she ran day care for three years.
Everybody loved her.
You want testimonials? There'll be a line wrapped around this block.
Everybody knows these charges are crap.
Then why did she leave? She was on loan from the church, and they found out that the shelter was providing birth control counseling, so they yanked her.
You have any idea why this girl would accuse her? What difference does it make? She's been accused, labeled.
How's she gonna shake that? Olivet's report, the clothes, the eyewitness most of it seems to support Maggie's story.
Except for the fact that Sister Bettina practically walks on water, according to all her friends.
I'm waitin' for ideas.
We've got to get off the dime one way or the other.
The archdiocese wants it dropped.
They both seem to be telling the truth.
Fellas, there are no tiebreakers.
If we're not sure she did it, we kick her.
Sister Bettina offered to take a polygraph.
It's not admissible, but at least we'll know if we're on the right track.
- Man: Are you 34 years old? - Bettina: Yes.
- Is your father's name Michael? - Yes.
Were you in Maggie Corson's room the night of February 9th? Yes.
- Did she have a stomach flu? - Yes.
Did you sexually molest Maggie Corson on that night? No.
Did you kiss Maggie Corson on that night? No.
Did you tell the police the truth about the events on the night of February 9th? Yes.
Are you telling the truth now? Yes.
She passed on direct questions about the molestation, but her answers on the details registered as false questions like whether or not the girl had a stomach flu.
She could have just been nervous.
She also failed the question of whether or not she was telling the truth.
On the whole, the results classify as "deceptive.
" Or inconclusive, depending upon your mindset.
Either way, she's hiding something.
Reason enough to charge her.
Polygraph tests are inadmissible you gonna sell this to the grand jury and then not use it? We have a victim's complaint, eyewitness, opportunity I don't foresee a problem.
I would like to see she has a chance to surrender.
- We'll call her.
- I want her R.
We sure we want to be perceived as giving her preferential treatment? For all intents and purposes, Sister Bettina's indigent.
You see her as a flight risk? I don't.
This is my lawyer, Francine Hughes.
From the archdiocese? Oh no, she's just an old friend.
May I see the warrant? My client declines to answer any questions.
- It's a beautiful morning, isn't it? - Yeah.
Francine explained the results of the lie detector test.
I'm sure she also told you that polygraph results are non-admissible as evidence? Yes, and if it were up to me, I wouldn't be here today, but Francine insisted that I tell you what happened.
That night, Monday, Maggie didn't have the flu she was drunk.
When I found her, she could hardly stand up.
She was covered in vomit.
I helped her wash up and then I put her to bed.
And then I hid her clothes in my room.
I didn't want anyone to know she'd been drinking.
That's not the first time she's drunk at the house.
No, she'd been caught twice before.
She came to us by a special dispensation of the court a third report of drinking and they'd pull her out.
You'd protect her even at the risk of going to jail? If Maggie were thrown out, she'd be lost sooner or later she'd end up back on the streets.
Do you have any idea what her life expectancy would be? Do you know how many street kids die from AIDS or drugs? How many are beaten, raped? We can't take it on faith that Maggie was drunk we need corroboration.
My client is ready to take another polygraph.
We need more than that.
She's lying I can't believe you're buying into it.
We ran tests on the clothes you threw up on.
We know how much you drank that night.
Now, listen, to me you lie in court, that's perjury.
So I was drunk, big deal.
She still messed with me.
You had a lot to drink, Maggie.
How much do you really remember? I know that she took me into the shower.
I know that! What else are you sure of? I don't know.
I was in the shower I can't remember.
What do you mean, you can't remember? I guess I passed out.
What you told the police did you make that up? It happened! Maria saw it and she told me.
She told me everything.
She saw it.
Maybe it was the morning after when she told me what Sister B did to her.
She blacked out she doesn't remember.
And you told police that Maggie described in graphic detail what Sister Bettina did to her.
I saw them in the shower, okay? I saw what was going on.
But you lied Maggie didn't tell you anything.
And now it's only your word that anything happened at all, isn't that right? Maria, are you happy at Haven House? Do you want to go back out on the street? Then I don't understand why you'd make up a story like this.
What do you mean? If they believe this story if people think that girls are being molested at Haven House what do you think that does to the reputation of the house? But it was only Sister B.
In the public mind, they're the same.
They'll withdraw their support.
And without funds, Haven House closes and where do you think you'll be? That's not true you're just trying to scare me.
Maria, did you see Sister Bettina molest Maggie? I don't want to hurt anybody else.
I just wanted them to get rid of her.
Why? What did she do to you? She knew.
She asked me about it.
He'd think I told.
Told what? Mr.
Powell me and him.
Powell initiated the relationship one month after Maria arrived at Haven House.
He put her in a position where she would do his errands and get excused from the scrub work.
She still could have said no.
He said he'd put her out on the street if she didn't go along.
Sister Bettina uncovered this? She had no idea.
She asked her about the errands.
She was concerned the other girls might get envious.
It was a perfectly innocent question, but Maria thought the worst that a secret was out, and she'd be the one to go.
When she saw Bettina in the shower with the girl, she jumped at the chance to discredit her.
- Any way to corroborate her story? - We talked to Powell's secretary.
She confirmed that Maria spent a lot of time alone with Powell in his office.
You file a motion to dismiss? Yeah, it's on the way over, but I think we ought to go after Powell.
For what? Rape? She said that Powell didn't physically force her to have relations with him.
And the girl was 17 at the time you got no statutory charge.
He is in a position of authority over teenage girls.
He's abusing it.
A civil case, maybe.
Criminal Court? I don't see it.
Suppose it's not the first incident? He's been on the job six years.
You think it's the first time? I'd sure like to know the answer to that question before we make up our minds.
This whole thing sucks.
I can't believe she would do that to me.
You didn't know she was involved with Powell? No.
If he was hitting on her, she could have told me.
He ever try anything with you? Maybe when I first got there.
You know, he'd come into your room at the wrong time, call you into his office, ask you stupid questions.
But I just stayed away from him.
A lot of girls fall for it? Everyone thought he was pretty much of a joke except this one girl.
What about her? I don't know for sure but I heard talk about her and Powell.
We have the canceled checks he sent you, Mrs.
He's not giving you that money out of the goodness of his heart.
Would do I have to give the money back? As far as we can tell, it legitimately belonged to Jack Powell.
If he gave it to you, it's yours to keep.
When I was at the house, we had this thing going.
- A sexual relationship? - Couple of times a week, that's all.
How old were you? - 15 when it started.
- What was in it for you? I didn't have to work in the kitchen.
He'd have me do errands, let me go to the movies.
Seems hardly worth it now.
Did he ever threaten to hurt you if you didn't go along with it? He said if I told anyone, I'd have to leave the house.
At the time, I didn't have anywhere to go.
- How long has it been since you left? - Three years ago.
And since then, Powell's been giving you $200 a month for what just to keep your mouth shut? He would have preferred I lose it.
Morrill, would you be willing to repeat what you just told me to the grand jury? You mean, go to court? Look, nobody knows about this.
And I'm not gonna change that.
She was 15.
Statute of limitations hasn't run out yet.
We could force her to testify, but her husband thinks the kid is his.
That leaves only Maria Barragan.
With a possible charge of rape one.
Rape one? Ben, Powell never threatened Maria.
And with no forcible compulsion An adult male with the power to send a young girl back to the streets demands that she have sex with him that's not forcible compulsion? There's no physical force, no threat of death or physical injury.
I'm willing to take the chance to make the case.
Get me a slot on the grand jury, we're going for an indictment for rape in the first degree.
Man: You're way off base on this, Ben.
Jack Powell has spent his entire life working selflessly for the public good.
He's raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for charities.
For crying out loud Did he tell his contributors about the afternoons he spent with Maria Barragan? It's an indiscretion, not a crime.
Maria's 17 she's an adult.
She consented.
We're not charging you with statutory rape.
We're charging you with rape in the first degree.
Little bitch I didn't force her.
I didn't have to.
She said you threatened to expel her from Haven House.
Twice, for curfew and drugs.
Then you admit you threatened to expel her? - Yes, with good reason.
- Legitimate reason in whose mind? Look, Ben, didn't the episode with Sister Bettina tell you anything? Maria Barragan's a liar.
She'll say anything to get what she wants.
And what she wants is to stay alive, and in her mind that means staying at Haven House.
A lie like this does not serve her best interests.
Maybe we can work something out.
Sexual abuse three, pleads no lo, one year community service.
A "B" misdemeanor? This is more than a traffic violation.
Without proof of forcible compulsion, you have no case.
Motion to dismiss.
See you tomorrow at 2:30, Judge Reisman's chambers.
Maria Barragan was blowing kisses for nickel bags long before she ever heard of Jack Powell.
- Which is hardly relevant - It sure as hell affects her credibility.
That's a matter for the jury, not for me.
Even if you look at the facts in a light most favorable to the prosecution, the indictment has still failed to make a prima facie case for rape one.
The statute is clear.
It requires threat of death or physical injury.
Your Honor, we intend to prove in court that it was reasonable, under those circumstances, for Maria Barragan to fear for her life.
She wasn't seduced, she submitted She consented for God's sake, Ben.
All right, all right.
My instinct tells me you're asking me to stretch the law to places it shouldn't go.
However, I'm gonna reserve my decision on defendant's motion to dismiss until after trial.
- Your Honor - Charge stays for now.
We go to trial right away.
Reisman reserved decision? It's a minor miracle.
So we're halfway there.
We present a compelling case Don't fool yourself, Reisman's no groundbreaker.
Read his decisions if there's no precedent, it doesn't fly in his court.
So why didn't he dismiss? Who knows? It could be he's waiting for the jury to acquit.
Then he doesn't have to make a decision.
Could be he's ready to make new law.
I wouldn't bet on it.
You talk to McCarter? Yeah, he wants a slap on the wrist.
Well, maybe you oughta start slapping.
What do you suppose a trial like this is gonna cost the State? Even if you convince a jury, Reisman snaps his fingers, sets aside the verdict.
Adam, since when does cost have anything to do with it? Since the State is on the verge of bankruptcy.
It's a no-win, my boy.
Reisman goes your way, we got the appeal to worry about.
A trial of any sort puts Haven House out of business.
Adam, he raped a 17-year-old girl.
Did he? The statute says physical harm.
It doesn't say put her in a situation where she could get hurt.
But it's all in the victim's state of mind.
Maria's fears were real.
If he had threatened to throw her out on the expressway He didn't threaten anything.
She's a kid, Adam.
To her, Times Square is just as dangerous.
- Law doesn't read that way.
- Well, maybe it should.
When I was 12, my mother ran away.
- Stone: And your father? - I never knew him.
A complete bio, Your Honor? It's hardly relevant.
It's relevant to the victim's state of mind.
It's the defendant's state of mind that's at issue.
The defendant took advantage of the victim's fear.
I think it's necessary to show the derivation of that fear.
I'll allow it.
Stone: After you were abandoned, where'd you live? In port authority.
Until Sister Bettina found me.
Did you prefer Haven House to the streets? They didn't beat me or anything.
The sisters, they cared about me.
And Mr.
Powell? He liked me fine.
Your Honor, we've established already that the defendant and this witness had sexual relations.
We don't need a play-by-play, Mr.
Maria, please describe for the Court the circumstances leading up to your first sexual encounter with Mr.
I was in his office.
He started touching me.
He said he could make me feel good, and he could make my life easy.
I told him I wasn't interested.
But you did sleep with him? He said he would have me thrown out of the house if I didn't.
- And you believed him? - He showed me a form.
Please describe the paper I just handed you.
It's the form they use when they throw you out of Haven House.
Was that the form Mr.
Powell handed you? No, the one he showed me had my name on it.
So you willingly slept with him? - I was scared.
- Of the streets? I've been there.
It's better than going back anything is.
That's why I lied about Sister Bettina.
I thought if anyone found out Thank you.
Your witness.
Have you ever been arrested, Miss Barragan? Objection! If we're giving bios, let's give the unabridged version.
Miss Barragan? Three times.
What were the charges? Prostitution.
- So you were a whore? - Your Honor! All right, enough of that, Mr.
The Haven House isn't all fun and games.
You have to earn your keep.
There's cooking, and washing clothes, cleaning isn't that right? It's part of the rehab.
Isn't it true, Miss Barragan, that when you first started working for Mr.
Powell, most of your chores were eliminated? Yes.
What kind of work did you do for Mr.
Powell? I filed papers, answered phones.
Hell of a lot easier than scrubbing toilets.
Your Honor Withdrawn.
Now, when you were out on the street, Miss Barragan you sold your body for money, isn't that true? I had to eat.
Oh, I understand.
You were trying to make your life easier.
- That's what a whore does.
- Your Honor And weren't you trying to do that with Mr.
Powell? - Trying to make your life easier? - Objection! - Miss Barragan? - Judge: Sustained.
That's enough, Mr.
Powell: I've worked for non-profits all my life.
I don't know, maybe there are some people who think I'm too caring.
If I minded my own business, I wouldn't leave myself open to all kinds of problems.
When did you first come in contact with Miss Barragan? Powell: She was a new girl.
There's a routine first interview.
I liked her attitude she was very bright, eager.
I needed someone to run errands.
It began as a non-sexual relationship? Powell: Yes.
But then she began to put out signals, as if she were interested in me.
What kind of signals? I don't know, like the way she'd look at me.
McCarter: To what did you attribute her interest? Powell: I'm not really sure.
It's certainly not because I have some magnetic effect on women.
Maybe it was because I was nice to her, or maybe she thought she could get something out of me.
What did you do about these advances? I put her off, but she was very persistent.
I'm not proud I slept with her.
Maybe this was bound to happen.
I spend a lot of time with these girls, and in a way, they're trained to deal with men sexually, to use sex to get what they want.
It was stupid of me to give in to that.
Did you ever threaten Maria overtly or implicitly? No, never.
She'd been victimized enough.
Did you intimidate her? That's what I don't understand.
I'm probably the only guy she was ever with who actually cared for her.
I felt I I was very kind with her.
I can't understand why Maria would say she was afraid of me.
No further questions.
Powell, do you recognize the name Marjorie White? She was with us for a while.
We caught her dealing to the other girls.
Ah, did you throw her out of the house? She was dealing drugs.
All right, Alberta Gaines? She was expelled for violence.
And Rosa Valdez, was she expelled? Yes.
Do you know what happens to these girls that are expelled? Sister Bettina tries to keep track of them.
Do you know what happened to Rosa Valdez? I believe she died of AIDS.
Alberta Gaines? An overdose.
Marjorie White, she die, too? Yes.
Raped and stabbed 12 times by six members of a gang.
And of all 18 girls expelled in the past six years, three have died of AIDS, five, drug overdose, one of exposure, two murdered, and the rest disappeared.
Isn't that true? Yes.
So isn't it reasonable, under these circumstances, for Maria Barragan to fear for her life when you threw her out on the street? - Objection! - Sustained.
Did she ever say she was afraid of leaving Haven House? I never listen, when these girls have been out on the street long enough, they become hardened, tough they're not afraid of anything.
- So if you're beaten up enough, you lose your fear? - You learn how to survive.
Until someone kills you.
Stone: The law says that if Jack Powell never placed Maria Barragan in fear of death or physical injury, he cannot be convicted of rape in the first degree.
He didn't wrestle her to the ground.
He didn't put a gun to her head.
He simply said, "Have sex with me or I'm throwing you back out on the street.
" Case dismissed? Maybe.
But what did that threat mean to Maria? Another broken arm? AIDS instead of hepatitis? A bullet instead of a razor blade? More rapes, more beatings.
And more than anyone, Jack Powell knew that his threat contained the weight of all those things.
So when he threatened to remove her from the one safe harbor in her sad young life, he put her in fear for her life and her physical well-being.
And he didn't put a gun to her head.
No, he showed her another way he could hurt her.
Were you expecting a guilty verdict this quickly? I can't anticipate the mind of a jury, but I'm very grateful.
Man: What about the mind of Judge Reisman? Do you think he'll dismiss it? I think we met the burden of proof.
Man: If he does dismiss, do you have a plan how to proceed? - Yes, we do.
- Man: Mr.
Stone? Okay, you convinced a jury.
It doesn't mean a thing until Reisman rules on the motion to dismiss.
With his history, I wouldn't hold my breath.
Our knowledge of rape and power has grown the law should reflect that.
Right now you got leverage use it or lose it.
Now, I say call McCarter, work out sentence.
You think my case was that weak? No, I just think that the judiciary isn't as open-minded as you.
Hold on.
McCarter's looking for you.
He wants to talk about sentencing.
You can still lose it.
No deal.
Bailiff: Be seated.
After listening to the evidence and reading counsel's briefs, I find that the prosecution has met its burden with respect to the charge of rape in the first degree.
Defense motion to dismiss, denied.
Jury verdict of guilty stays.
Get out your soundbite, Ben.
Yeah, nothing sells like sex.
Don't sell yourself short everybody loves a winner.
You know it'll probably be reversed on appeal.
But maybe the legislature takes a look, rewrites the law.