Law & Order Special Victims Unit s14e08 Episode Script

Lessons Learned

In the criminal justice system, sexually based offenses are considered especially heinous.
In New York City, the dedicated detectives who investigate these vicious felonies are members of an elite squad known as the Special Victims Unit.
These are their stories.
Come on.
Move your feet.
Yeah, I spoke to the ME and-- - Excuse me.
- Uh - You work here? - Hold up, Captain.
I need to talk to a detective.
You can talk to me.
I'm Detective Amaro.
Just take a seat at my desk.
It's about this letter which I received.
A letter.
Look, in a few minutes.
Just sit tight.
Yeah, Captain.
On your desk.
Yeah, I'll check.
Right here, sir.
You don't know who you're dealing with.
Come with me.
Come on, man! - Sir, sit down.
- Let go of me.
You're lying, you son of a bitch! - She is certifiable.
- That is enough.
Both of you stop.
Toni, have a seat.
Can you please tell me exactly what you saw.
He was in my daughter's bedroom.
You're safe now, okay? We're gonna take you to the hospital.
- Lock him up! - I was just holding her.
- Holding her? - Oh! Whoa, whoa! Hey, Toni, enough.
Sit down! Whoa! Hey! She's crazy.
You see that? Ah Harold Lassiter.
Retired private school English teacher.
- Neighbor found him.
- Suicide? - How'd we catch this? - They found my card.
He must have taken it from my desk.
He came into the squad room last night.
Last night? It was a zoo.
- Yeah, I barely spoke to him.
- Nice work.
- What'd he want? - We didn't get that far.
This letter was on his desk.
Suicide note? No.
I think he had it with him last night.
It's to him.
"You abused my trust.
"I can never erase the images of your hands on my body, Mr.
Lassiter, I will never forgive you.
" And then he quotes-- "I am lost forever on the endless sea.
" Signed Curt.
No last name.
The handwriting appears different--"I am sorry.
" So Lassiter gets Curt's letter, comes in to confess, and then what-- decides to go a different way? Maybe.
Or maybe Curt decided for him.
Harold Lassiter.
Taught at Manor Hill Academy for over 30 years.
- Retired in '02.
- Manor Hill? Fanciest school in the city.
Tennis courts.
Kid from my block got a scholarship there.
- Opened doors.
- Well, not for Curt.
We found his letter in the apartment alleging abuse.
Listen to this.
"I was too young and powerless to say no.
" One of Lassiter's students? So what do we think? Curt went there for a visit and staged a suicide? Hold on.
There was no sign of a struggle.
The ME's checking to see if he was killed first, then strung up.
But she puts the time of death between 9:00 and midnight.
So is Curt a victim or a suspect? Maybe both--either way, we gotta track him down.
Well, how are we gonna do that? No last name.
No print hits from the letter.
So we start with Manor Hill, get a list of Lassiter's students.
Think somebody up at that school wants to talk about abuse? Have a nice drive.
We will.
And in the meantime, Detective Tutuola, why don't you check in on your friend with the scholarship and see if they knew Lassiter or Curt.
Lassiter taught thousands of students.
Do you have a year? Well, there must be an alumni database.
There can't be that many Curts with a "C.
" Next time it's mandatory conflict resolution, Seth.
Trust me.
You have better things to do.
Everything okay, Rose? These are SVU detectives, Mr.
You must be the headmaster.
That's what they tell me.
Let's talk in my office.
This is disturbing.
If it's true.
You hear about this at other schools, but Manor Hill-- we're vigilant.
I've been here nine years, and I assure you, this is the first I'm hearing of this.
Because you obviously would have reported any allegations.
Of course.
It's the law.
Do you know when this was written? We don't but, uh, it was on Lassiter's desk when he was found dead last night.
My God.
What happened? We're waiting on the medical report.
So how well did you know him? Well, he, uh He retired the spring before I got here.
But I gather he was much admired.
Well, even so, Curt's made some serious allegations, and we need to find him.
We'll do everything we can to help, obviously.
- It's been a long time, Fin.
- Good to see you, Damon.
I figured you was on your way straight to the joint.
- Could've been.
- Hi.
He told me when we were kids that he'd have a Beamer by the time he was 20.
- I got lucky.
- And you were smart.
You got a scholarship to Manor Hill.
Yeah, well, Fin here, he could've had one too - if he just put his mind to it.
- I don't look good - in blue blazers.
- Well, it fits you fine, man.
Come on, please.
Um, so speaking of Manor Hill, do you know a Harold Lassiter? Oh, yeah.
I had him for English.
Why? He was found dead last night.
What was the word on him back at school? He was a good teacher.
We're not here to talk about his teaching.
I heard some things.
- Go on.
- He got a little touchy-feely.
Hugs, whatnot, after drama rehearsals.
He ever hug you? He tried to.
I must have looked like a target.
Scholarship kid.
Just happy to be there.
Not gonna rock any boats, you know? What'd he do? He gave me a shoulder massage and, uh, said it was to loosen me up.
It didn't.
So then he tried rubbing me somewhere else.
And I told him that if he ever did that again, I'd break his arm.
Did you report it? No.
He was right about one thing.
I wasn't gonna rock any boats.
Do you remember a student named Curt? Curt.
No, not in my class.
We're trying to track him down.
As an alum, you have access to the website.
Manor Hill saved my life.
I met people who are still my good friends, got me to the Ivy League.
I'm on the board.
Yeah, but this Curt Lassiter hurt him.
Okay? And maybe others too.
This would be between just you and us, Damon.
School doesn't have to know.
I've got a list.
Every alum going back to 1886.
Their sports teams, their clubs.
Curt-- start with the drama club.
Yeah, that was me.
About 30 pounds ago.
- More hair.
- And your drama teacher - Harold Lassiter? - We did Billy Bud.
"Lost forever on the endless sea.
" That's in the libretto, right? - What's this about? - Did you write this, Curt? A while ago.
What, did Lassiter file a complaint? He's full of crap.
I never called him.
- I never went near him.
- Slow down, Curt.
But you did write it.
My new therapist thought it would help.
To get some of the feelings out.
You lie to yourself, suppress it for so long it just feeds the dragon.
What, did he try and deny it? Can you tell us where you were last night? I was working my program, my survivors of abuse group.
- Why? - Because Harold Lassiter was found dead last night.
What? With your letter next to him.
- My God, what happened? - We're not sure.
We're waiting for the medical examiner's report.
I didn't kill him! I-I thought about killing him.
What he did to me-- I can't hold on to a girlfriend.
I got into drugs.
Be-before Lassiter, I wanted to sing at the met.
- Now I work at a dog hotel.
- An abuser like Lassiter, they don't just do this once.
Do you know of anyone else that he may have targeted? Lately I've been talking to some of my former classmates at Manor Hill.
It's, uh, pretty heavy.
Did you or any of your classmates - ever file a police report? - No! We need to get the truth.
If Lassiter was a career pedophile, even if he's dead Keeping the dragon buried-- that's just gonna hurt a lot of people.
The people I'm talking to-- they are not in recovery.
They are struggling! If we could talk to them, we might just get to the truth.
I don't get it.
I thought this was some kind of memorial? Who invited detectives? Guys, here's the deal.
What we say here stays here.
- What we say about what? - I'm not broken up that he died, okay? But none of us here had anything to do with it.
We're here to investigate Lassiter's death and his life.
What are you gonna do, prosecute a dead man? No.
But we need to find out what he did.
Who might have known about it, who failed to act on it.
Guys, we have nothing to hide.
We are not the ones who did anything wrong.
Gentlemen, if I may I've been doing this for a long time, and I understand the shame and the stigma.
But keeping the abuse secret doesn't make it go away.
She's right.
I kind of put it away all these years and, uh, it all just came flooding back when I heard that he died.
He, uh, started with What did we, uh, what did we call it? The Lassiter lasso.
He'd rope his arm around you, pull you in, and poke you under the ribs.
You remember, right, Nathan? I don't know what you're talking about.
Look, you guys wanna blame everything that's wrong with your lives on someone tickling you-- Peace out.
Lasso? It was a test.
If you laughed, didn't back off, the next step was the massage.
He'd say, "Young boys shouldn't carry tension in their shoulders.
You'll stoop when you're older.
" And if you went with that, then he would say there was another part that was tense that needed massaging.
Lassiter was a coward.
He'd back off.
Strepek? Ten times worse.
Another teacher? He raped me.
I steered clear of Strepek, but Morton.
He caught me off guard.
He waited until I was drunk at the junior prom, and then he offered to drive me home.
Are these teachers still at the school? Strepek's dead, and I wish I'd killed him.
The son of a bitch gave me gonorrhea too.
- Liv.
- Excuse me.
The ME just finalized the case, and Lassiter was a suicide.
What about Mercer? In the locker room? He hit on the whole swim team.
We don't have to stay Mike.
Jonathan, Ken.
We do.
Lassiter wasn't an isolated predator.
We're looking at three decades of sexual abuse, a dozen victims and counting.
At least four of the teachers were serial abusers all under the previous headmaster.
Terrific graphic work.
Any of this happen in the last five years? - No.
- Are any of the victims - under 23 now? - No, but we've got-- Okay, different states do have different statutes.
Did any of this take place on a field trip or a sports team road trip? - Connecticut, Massachusetts.
- You ever think about - going off caffeine? - That'd be a no.
- So why are you here again? - If you'd let us get a word in, counselor Thank you.
The systemic abuse.
It is highly unlikely that no one in the school's administration knew about it.
Highly unlikely? That's a long way from beyond a reasonable doubt.
Have you been to the school? Obviously they were less than forthcoming.
We had to get names and yearbooks from a friend of Fin's who went there on scholarship.
He's now on the board.
Okay, back up.
Lassiter hanged himself.
Are any of the others still working? The previous headmaster and Strepek-- they're both deceased.
Mercer, the swim coach, he's in Thailand.
At least, that's where his social security checks are being sent.
But Morton here He did teach until a few years ago.
So it is possible that his abuse falls within the statute.
If he did abuse students, he won't admit it.
Tell him you already know.
He might try to save himself by turning on Manor Hill.
Schools like this, there's an insularity, a culture of secrecy and self-preservation.
If you want those field stone walls to tumble, you're gonna need heavy artillery.
Ah, yes, the boys of summer.
There were so many of them.
It's hard to remember.
Morton, you only stopped teaching six years ago.
Can you remember any of these students? Well, which year? Eli Fromson, class of '92.
He said you invited him over your house for drinks.
Isn't that lovely? I like to come down here and build things.
Play stationmaster.
It helps me forget.
At do you want to forget, Mr.
Morton? What happened with Eli? Eli was one of my stars along with David and Charlie.
- Three boys? - Oh, more than that.
Cambridge was wonderful-- We're talking about Manor Hill.
Is this before or after Chosin? - Chosin? - Mm.
You talking about the Korean war? I thought he died there, Terrence.
But we held our position.
Time for tea.
Just come this way, Mr.
Thank you for coming in.
Just, uh, have a seat right in here.
I'll be right with you.
Who's that? Former teacher.
At Manor Hill.
He wants to talk.
He's a Walter Tompkins.
None of the victims mention that name.
You said you taught at Manor Hill? I'm still in touch with many of my former students.
I've heard that you're investigating some events.
Allegations of sexual abuse of students by teachers.
Sexual abuse-- two words that should never go together.
Has anyone named me? Should they have? I had sex with students.
Older students.
And I was physically affectionate with a third.
And when was this? In the '70s, early '80s.
A different time.
I know you won't understand, but I don't mean this as a confession as if we did something wrong.
Our relationships were warm, spontaneous, caring.
And how old were these students? Well, that's convenient, isn't it? You breach their trust, but you know that there's nothing we can do about it now.
I'm not here to avoid responsibility.
Why are you here, Mr.
Tompkins? My actions may have had consequences I didn't foresee.
If any of them feel that I harmed them If I did harm them, perhaps it would be help for them to confront me or through you to share their anger.
Did anybody at Manor Hill know that you were having sex with students? No.
Our relationships were private.
No one was out in those days.
It would have stigmatized the younger men.
Only now are they coming forward.
Some of my students emailed me just a few days ago to tell me about coercive relationships.
I'm horrified.
So you didn't know about other teachers? Lassiter, Morton, - Strepek, Mercer.
- No, no, no.
I've been beating myself up that students were abused and I failed to see it, I failed to help them.
Thank you, Mr.
Tompkins? Why are you guys talking to him? He's everyone's favorite teacher.
Because he came in and confessed.
He had sex with students.
I've talked to 25 victims.
Well, he feels that the school may have known.
Of course they knew.
They're still covering it up.
Tompkins had no proof, and as of now, neither do we.
So you're just gonna drop this case? There is no case.
Lassiter and Strepek are dead.
Mercer's halfway around the world, and Morton is senile.
I'm getting calls and emails from more survivors.
People who have repressed all of this.
Most of us never talked to each other before.
This is more widespread than any of us knew.
It's an outrage.
I agree.
But the only possible case is against the school, if it knew about the abuse and covered it up.
They knew.
My dad told 'em.
- What? - After I got gonorrhea, my dad became suspicious of Strepek.
I told him nothing happened, but he went straight to the school.
He confronted the headmaster.
- This headmaster--he deceased? - Yeah.
Can your father confirm this meeting? He's gone too.
I'll testify.
- If it comes to that.
- The school won't let it.
I sent the board an email petition.
I got a call back from their lawyer threatening to sue me for defamation.
That's a legal maneuver.
It doesn't rise to the level of a crime.
I don't care about charges.
I mean, would it kill them to just acknowledge that something bad happened? How 'bout an apology? He's right.
An apology can make a huge difference in getting closure.
And it can also be perceived as an admission of guilt.
Which leaves the school open to liability claims.
They'd rather close ranks.
So abuse means never having to say you're sorry.
We have to push back.
A DA asking to meet with the headmaster? That's heavy artillery.
I took the liberty of inviting Brett Forrester, our board chair.
And your attorney? Long time no see, Ms.
I'm glad Manor Hill's taking these charges seriously.
Like hell we are.
I have no idea why we're meeting.
It never hurts to listen, Brett.
Well, we've spoken with two dozen Manor Hill alumni who were abused while they were students here.
Alleged they were abused.
And they waited what-- I'm sure that you know, given the stigma of this kind of abuse, that the time delay is not unusual.
It's also unverifiable and subject to manipulation, which is why the statute of limitations was put into effect.
That doesn't apply if the school failed to report the abuse and continues to cover up its failure to report.
If you had any evidence of that, you wouldn't be here on this fishing expedition.
Or is there something specific you wanted? Uh, yes, for starters, the victims would like an apology.
Excuse me? It would help their healing to hear an acknowledgment of wrongdoing.
It would also help them sue Manor Hill.
I am sorry for their pain.
But you have to understand the school's reputation and mission are at stake.
You're worried about your reputation? Talk to anyone in PR.
You want to get in front of this thing - before it explodes in your face.
- I've heard enough.
My grandfather, my father, myself, my son all graduated from Manor Hill.
Four generations.
We created leaders in art, science, business, politics.
It also created victims who suffer with failed relationships, unemployment, substance abuse.
I could go on.
They drink too much and get divorced? A lot of people have disappointing lives.
These failures are just trying to excuse their own behavior.
Okay, we're only asking Manor Hill to do the right thing.
The right thing is to protect this institution.
Now, if you'll excuse us, we have to prepare for our capital campaign reception tonight.
Nice campus.
As a kid growing up in the South Bronx going to Catholic school, I would've given anything to go here.
Smart guy like you couldn't get a scholarship? Only kids they took from my neighborhood were the athletes.
With all due respect, this was a waste of time.
I'm a prosecutor, not a healer.
All due respect, as a prosecutor don't you want to make a case? I know something criminal went on here.
So do you.
Their lawyer thinks we're on a fishing expedition? Let's go fishing.
Curt is trying to prove that a complaint was indeed made to the school.
Vincent gave us access to his medical records.
He did have an STD as a student, and he's ready to testify.
What's on our side-- a way around the statute of limitations.
If the school received an allegation and didn't report and has continued efforts to block discovery of the abuse.
What's against us-- all the witnesses to the report we heard about are dead-- Vincent's father, the old headmaster, Strepek.
I may have another way in.
I'm going over the alumni news letters.
Manor Hill gave Strepek a going-away party nine years ago.
He wasn't even 60.
Pretty young for that school.
Maybe they forced him into early retirement because they knew? Well, if they knew, they kept it to themselves.
Look at this.
Two months later, they've got no problem congratulating Mr.
Strepek at his hire at a charter school in Harlem.
We're getting closer.
Talk to that charter school.
Give me something I cake to a grand jury.
Benjamin Strepek.
Highly recommended teacher from the famous Manor Hill coming to our inner city charter.
It was a sign we'd arrived.
He didn't work out for you? I fired him a month after he got here.
- What happened? - I heard voices coming from the boys' locker room and walked in and saw him with a eighth-grade boy.
Too close.
Nothing was actually happening, but I got a bad vibe.
You talk to the student? He was nervous.
He said Strepek was tutoring him.
In the locker room.
I called headmaster Lennox, and he said he'd get back to me.
Then I spoke to his secretary, and she said, "Off the record, go with your gut.
" I canned Strepek that day.
You said Manor Hill gave him a good recommendation? Glowing.
I'll send you a copy.
Thank you.
Detectives, I'm terribly sorry, but this is a private event.
- Yeah, we won't stay long.
- We have a subpoena.
Detective, can we take this outside, please? Sure, you can.
Take that with you.
You're on private property.
Leave now.
I have a cordial invitation to you for the grand jury.
This is harassment.
Let's call it a fishing expedition.
Headmaster Lennox, did you send this letter recommending Benjamin Strepek - to a charter school in Harlem? - Yes, I did.
I'd never worked with Mr.
Strepek personally, but he had an impeccable reputation.
But when the principal of the charter school called you to follow up on Strepek, you never called her back.
It's possible.
I was new to my job, overwhelmed.
I see.
It wasn't because you had suspicions you'd passed off damaged goods to the charter school.
That Strepek was a sexual abuser.
Of course not, I-- I had no knowledge of any such thing.
Again, I had just arrived at the school.
So you wrote a glowing recommendation for a man you hadn't even met.
Did anyone on the board tell you that a father of one of the students, Vincent Moran, had made allegations of sexual abuse to the school about Mr.
Strepek? No.
They did not.
If they had, I never would have sent that recommendation.
You told the principal of the charter school to "Go with her gut.
" - What did you mean? - Nothing.
Just that she should do what she thought was best for her school.
She didn't ask you about her school.
She asked you about Mr.
I just thought maybe he wasn't a good fit there.
Because he sexually abused students.
- No.
- Mr.
Strepek left Manor Hill before retirement age.
Why wasn't he a good fit there? - I really couldn't say.
- You couldn't, or you won't? - How's it going? - Manor Hill witnesses are playing close to the vest.
Too careful with their answers.
My sense-- the jury's smelling smoke.
Well, it sounds like you don't need me.
Actually, I do.
You're my star witness, okay? You'll testify to the abuse, the STD.
The fact that your father confronted the school.
That's gonna make the grand jury connect the dots.
- Cool.
- Okay.
Of course I knew Ben Strepek.
He taught my son.
A true intellectual.
We didn't socialize, but he seemed totally devoted to his work.
Then why was he forced into early retirement? I wasn't aware that he was.
We have his personnel file, Mr.
We can see that he received financial compensation for his departure.
Were you at the board meeting where this was discussed? Of course I was at the board meeting.
Can you tell us what happened? Nine years ago? I serve on 15 different boards in three different time zones.
That's why they take minutes.
See, those minutes seem to be missing from the school files.
I'm the chairman, not the damn secretary.
But you were aware that at least one parent had complained that Mr.
Strepek had sexual contact with his son.
I am not aware of that, and I don't believe it.
Forrester acted like he was talking to a room full of bad cheese.
The jury's gonna love taking him down.
Where's Vincent? He's not here.
He was.
He was right there.
We're on it.
Vincent! - Vincent Moran! - Hey.
Whoa, whoa, hey, hey, where's Vincent? He said his name was Fred.
Got him.
SVU portable.
I need a bus at the Dover Hotel.
They picked Vincent up at a dive hotel with a hooker and some bad coke.
The doctors hope that he'll be coherent by tomorrow.
- That's just terrific.
- Hey, he screwed up.
But it speaks to your case 'cause of what happened to him - at Manor Hill.
- What he says happened.
There's no record of his father complaining, and Vincent's credibility is shot now, even with me.
We need something tangible.
Well, what about the gonorrhea? Medical records prove that he had it.
Doesn't prove who he got it from.
What if we get Strepek's medical records, see if he had it at the same time? That's good.
The jury might make that leap.
But medical records are privileged, even after death.
You need permission from Strepek's next of kin if you can even find out who that is.
We're on it.
Strepek's only living relative - is a second cousin.
- And? An awkward conversation, but we got the records.
Strepek did have gonorrhea three weeks before Vincent Moran was diagnosed.
Gonorrhea-- the gift that keeps giving.
Sorry to interrupt the celebration.
- Ms.
- I understand you're looking at Benjamin Strepek's medical records.
- That was fast.
- Manor Hill is beloved.
You can't use those records.
They're privileged.
Next of kin waive privilege.
Please come again.
CPLR, section 4504, subsection C.
"No one can waive "a dead person's patient/doctor privilege "with respect to records that would disgrace the memory of the decedent.
" Here is our motion to the supervising judge.
Always a pleasure.
You can't speak ill of the dead because that would be speaking ill of the dead? - She's gotta be joking.
- She's not.
It's a law.
- An obscure one, but a law.
- So what are we gonna do? Argue that it doesn't apply.
But what Strepek did was disgraceful.
Maybe not, if we can put this thing in a different context.
You think it was disgraceful.
I think it was disgraceful.
That teacher that you interviewed, uh Tompkins.
He said back in the day, sex with students was warm and affectionate, not disgraceful.
Get him to tell that to the judge.
So we're going to argue that raping boys is morally acceptable.
Raping boys.
Tompkins said that it was loving, consensual sex.
Lose the battle.
Win the war.
I know that times have changed.
We all understand more now than we did then.
I understand more now than I did then.
How so? Well, at the time, I felt relationships between teachers and older students were not necessarily wrong if one's heart was in it.
Maybe I was naive.
I didn't mean to hurt anyone.
But was this a common attitude at the school among both teachers and students? It certainly wasn't condemned the way it is today.
- Thank you.
- So you're saying that this kind of thing was not disgraceful.
Well, it didn't necessarily seem so, no.
So did you announce it publicly whenever you had sex with a student? Of course not.
If it was all hunky-dory, why not? It was private.
It was wrong.
Your Honor, this argument is preposterous on its face.
What's next? Is Mr.
Barba going to bring in a cannibal to tell us how eating people is wholesome and healthy? We're talking about attitudes toward sex that shift over time and the attitude that Mr.
Tompkins is describing was apparently prevalent at Manor Hill Academy.
How else to explain so many unreported incidents of teacher/student sexual contact? They were as common as trust funds.
Save it for the next march on Wall Street.
All right, Ms.
I take your point.
The release of these medical records-- no matter how you spin the alleged acts-- would bring disgrace to the deceased.
Your grand jury can proceed, but without Mr.
Strepek's medical records.
I'm sorry.
I'm sorry for it all.
Well, that was enlightening.
We're not done with this.
Oh, I think we are.
I'm sure you'll be interested to know that the school will be issuing a statement shortly.
Taking responsibility for the culture of abuse and the damage it caused? I don't know that there was any culture.
There was one bad apple.
Your witness.
So you're gonna scapegoat the one person who's come forward--who no one even complained about.
I'm scapegoating? You heard him on the stand-- a self-confessed pederast.
I'm shocked and dismayed that he worked for us.
It's very upsetting.
A news brief just posted by The Ledger.
"Manor Hill has been made aware "of the pedophile who taught there decades ago.
The school is outraged that he can't be prosecuted.
" Otherwise, everything is all good there, - always has been.
- Smart play.
Burying the big story with the little one.
Barba have a plan to get past this? He says he's open to suggestions.
That was one of the former students Tompkins had a relationship with.
He saw the article too, and he wants to come in.
So are you gonna arrest Walter Tompkins? No.
It's been too long.
I'm so sorry if you wanted to testify against him.
Against him? I want to testify for him.
You said that he had sex with you when you were a student.
I was 18.
Look, I'd known I was gay since I was 6.
It's very hard.
Walter let me know it was okay.
Well, we've met a lot of former Manor Hill students who don't feel okay about what happened to them there.
Then they weren't involved with Walt.
But you've heard about this other teacher, Strepek? The name's come up.
Somehow found out about the relationship between me and Tompkins.
I guess I seemed like easy pickings.
Came on to me.
He was pushing himself on me.
I told my mother what Strepek was up to.
She wrote a letter to the school complaining about him.
Do you have a copy of that letter? No.
But I saw the letter they wrote back.
It was signed by a member of the board--Forrester.
- Brett Forrester.
- Yeah.
Son of a bitch.
Is there any chance your mother kept that letter? I don't know.
You wrote this to a mother of a student who complained that he'd been sexually assaulted by Benjamin Strepek.
"Your son must have misunderstood "or exaggerated what happened "between him and the teacher in question.
Strepek's character and behavior are beyond reproach.
" If you told the grand jury you weren't aware of complaints against Strepek, you committed perjury.
May I see that, please? expect me to remember this? But you do now? That's convenient.
It's the truth.
Try to prove it isn't.
And this is true too.
Strepek was not a sexual predator.
And you know that how exactly? You didn't know the man.
I knew him--my son knew him.
- Is this your son Nathan? - Yes.
I asked him about the complaint at the time.
He told me the boy the made it was a crybaby, a screw-up.
And he said that it couldn't be true.
My son was in Strepek's class.
You think I would have left him there if the man was a sexual molester? Is your son here now? He has an apartment in our guest house.
Why? Nathan, these are detectives.
We met.
A few nights ago with Curt Haskins and some other alumni.
I still don't know what you were doing there.
We're investigating sexual assaults at your school.
One name came up after you left.
One of your old teachers.
I told them what you told me when he was first falsely accused.
Can you tell us, Nathan? I don't really remember.
But we heard he sexually assaulted your classmates.
That's not true.
That never happened.
Really? And you have no idea why you were invited to the little reunion the other night? Not a clue.
It was ridiculous.
So you live here by yourself, Nathan? What does that have to do with anything? Your son doesn't work at the family brokerage firm with you, - does he? - What is the relevance of that question? What do you do, Nathan? I-- - Been writing some songs.
- Nice.
Can we hear them anywhere? I haven't published them yet.
I'll invite you to the first concert.
We're done.
Not quite.
You know, when we first met, Mr.
Forrester, you told us that some people live disappointing lives.
- And? - Are you disappointed? That Nathan didn't join the family firm, that he writes songs here in your house that nobody will sing? I really don't see how that's any of your concern.
It is if it has to do with Benjamin Strepek.
He's already told you the answer to those ridiculous charges.
So I'm gonna ask you one last time, Nathan.
Are you sure that Mr.
Strepek didn't rape any students? Tell them again, Nathan, so they'll get out of here.
And what, dad? No, you're right, dad.
Must save the good name of Manor Hill.
That school.
Manor Hill.
That's all your father ever cared about, isn't it? Meant a lot to Nathan, too.
He did well there.
Did you, Nathan? Really? Until, uh, upper school, and then, uh I had Mr.
And, uh, after that, my grades kind of went to hell, and so did a lot of other things.
Did you ever look at me? Did you ever notice what was really happening to me? He was a tough teacher.
He challenged you.
Yeah, he challenged me.
I couldn't tell you, dad, you'd just call me a fairy like you did that other kid whose mother wrote the letter.
And then the school! It would have hurt your precious school.
It was a long time ago.
I don't remember.
Strange days.
They sent a car for us.
How you doing? - Better.
- You coming in? We wouldn't miss it.
Today our school begins a healing process.
We are gonna talk about what happened here, try to learn from it, and make absolutely certain that it never happens again.
This is not going to be easy You happy, Detective? As a matter of fact, I am.
The grand jury could probably still indict some of these people for something.
I can get the indictment.
I'll never get the conviction.
But that was never really the point, was it? The chairman of our board, Mr.
Brett Forrester.
Nothing can ever undo the damage that was done here.
But we will help and support those who were victimized.
We will launch a thorough investigation of those responsible.
For whatever it's worth, on behalf of Manor Hill Academy I apologize.

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