Law & Order Special Victims Unit s22e15 Episode Script

What Can Happen in the Dark

1 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.
- Here you go, Daddy.
- Thanks, Charlie.
You're the man.
- Good morning, my sweet boys.
- Hi, Mommy.
Oh, Andy, Joy texted, she'll be late.
Yeah, but I gotta go to work.
And I have my installation today, so.
Thanks, honey.
I love you.
Looks like it's you and me, kid.
School's starting, gotta Zoom.
Love you.
Gotta run.
Oh, turkey burgers for dinner? - With red wine? - Mm-hmm.
I think I have a fever.
- What's wrong, Abby? - 99.
The school won't let her come to class, and I'm in depositions all day.
My turn to work from home.
If I'm sick, - I don't have to Zoom? - Nice try, kid.
You gonna be a lawyer like your mother? I don't wanna go to class.
Hey! Hey, what the hell? I'm sorry, man.
It was an accident.
Accident? This isn't some theater.
- It's a freaking construction site - Come on, man, I said I'm sorry.
Yeah, you're one sorry S.
- What the hell's going on? - Nothing, boss.
Ow! - Hey! - Hey, sorry, man.
Talk to transit, see if they Yeah! [LAUGHS.]
Abby? Whoo-hoo! Hold on a second.
What happened to your headphones? Can't dance with them.
- What now? Can you turn it down, please? [MUSIC TURNS OFF.]
Garland, my dad's hurt.
Isn't your mom or nanny home? Mommy's at work.
Dad came home from work early.
He said Joy could go.
- What happened? - He fell and he won't get up.
Okay, you guys stay here.
- Where's your dad? - In the kitchen.
Andy It's Christian Garland.
This is Deputy Chief Garland.
I need a bus at 876, 148th Street.
Diana, Christian Garland calling again.
Andy's still being treated at Mercy North.
I'm here with my daughter, your son.
Please call me as soon as you get this.
Chief Garland.
Richards is your neighbor? - Yes, how is he? - In bad shape.
Did he tell you how he sustained his injuries? No, he was unconscious.
He told me he fell down some stairs.
And you think that's a cover story? Well, I can't violate confidentiality, but It might be a good idea to have Captain Benson talk to him.
You sure your mom lets you eat sugar? My dad does.
Is he gonna be okay? - When can we go home? - Soon.
You guys wait with Officer Ortiz, okay? I've got them, Chief Garland.
- Thanks for coming.
- Sure, what What are we looking at? Black eye, bruised, blood loss.
We also had to stitch up a torn perineum.
- I get it.
- And he refused a rape kit? Well, whatever happened to your neighbor, he's not ready - to come forward yet.
- Well, that's not unusual.
Can you try talking to him? Yeah, it might make him more comfortable if you introduced us.
He's right over here.
No, no, no, no.
You shouldn't be up.
- No, I gotta get home.
- Okay, uh.
Let me see if I can find his doctor.
Christian? You brought me in, right? - Where's Charlie? - He's with Abby and an officer.
He's fine.
I left messages for your wife.
Oh, she had a big event at work today.
This is Captain Benson.
- She works with me at SVU.
- Hey, Andy.
Rough day, huh? How you feeling? Good enough to go home.
- Why are you - Andy.
Your injuries are serious.
I'm worried about your safety.
Oh, don't be.
It was just it was stupid.
I I had a thing at work.
I do construction - It was an accident on-site? - It was a fight.
I got into it with this guy.
It's was as much my fault as his.
- Mr.
- Andy.
Oh, my God.
What happened? - It's okay.
Your daddy's fine.
We're all going home now.
Okay? Christian, I can't thank you enough.
That's what neighbors do.
And I appreciate you coming, Captain Benson, but, Andy was adamant, this isn't a police matter.
Okay, still, if he was assaulted at work More like hazed.
And he comes from the theater.
These hard hats give him a hard time.
- It's been tough for him.
- Is that what he told you? That, and that he doesn't want to pursue this.
But thank you.
- Dad.
- Hey.
How you doing? I'll take them home.
Thank you again.
Thank you.
You know, "hazed" can be a euphemism.
For bullying and sexual assault? Yeah, I mean, it could explain why he's reluctant to talk.
And if he doesn't want to pursue, then He is a neighbor with a small child.
My wife's close to his wife, she'd be upset if we looked the other way, - and something worse happened.
- Okay, well, I can definitely send some detectives down to his work and get some clarity on it.
As long as they don't think Andy made a police complaint.
Chief, we can be discreet.
It's a construction site.
Accidents happen.
Who the hell called the cops? I can't say, but look around.
You're surrounded by apartment buildings.
Yeah, they're always complaining about the noise.
"We start too early.
" They got nothing better to do? Not today.
- We heard there was a fight.
- Oh, barely.
A couple of my men got into it this morning.
Too much Red Bull.
Can we talk to them? I sent them both home early to cool off.
No harm, no foul.
You guys got safety cameras? Company doesn't wanna get sued.
But, there's nothing to see.
So you won't have any problem with us looking at the footage.
I don't understand.
You said there's security footage of him in a fight.
What we saw was just a minor scuffle with another worker.
A push, a shove, a couple of punches.
It doesn't explain Andy's other injuries.
Maybe something else happened to him? - Away from the camera? - We think that something may have happened the night before.
- Where is Andy now? - Um, resting.
He's on painkillers.
Why wouldn't he tell me? It may have been, that he didn't want you to know, or He was embarrassed.
Embarrassed about what? I heard voices.
What's What's going on? I'm fine.
I appreciate you guys caring about this, but I was I was just clumsy at work.
There's no there here.
Andy, if I may.
You know, I've been doing this a long time, and My experience and my gut, tell me that this wasn't some workplace incident.
Some "boys will be boys" brawl.
It's nothing.
Will you hear me out? First of all your wife, doesn't need to know.
But if somebody did this to you, if you're protecting them You're a big guy.
If they did it to you, then They'll do it to someone else.
She won't I mean he he won't.
Andy, who is she? Your wife? All right, I need you to stop asking me questions, and get out of my house.
Who is she? This is a private matter.
Okay? Just go.
Are you sure he didn't just misspeak? I am sure.
And you think he was sexually assaulted by his wife? Well, it certainly explains why he's too afraid to talk, and why she's doing damage control.
What can we do about it? As of right now, not a damn thing.
Andy's wife, Diana Orsini-Fowler her website says that "she's at the forefront" "of the next wave of New York City art galleries.
" Harlem is the new Chelsea.
Like I didn't know that already.
No record.
No DV complaints.
Her first marriage was to a hedge-fund guy.
Divorce decree sealed, but she kept his last name.
And his money.
- Hi.
- Carisi.
I was in the neighborhood.
I thought - I'd bring back your father's will.
- TUTUOLA: Will? - I thought your dad was doing better.
- Yeah, he is.
Counselor Carisi is just teaching me - how to be a grown-up.
- What are you doing? Buying art? Me? Uh, no.
I'm running background on a DV case.
And she's being abused? Actually, she could be the abuser.
Suspected abuser.
It's Garland's neighbors.
The husband let slip to Liv that, his wife had sexually assaulted him.
But then backtracked it right away.
So now that you're here, Counselor, you think you can get us a warrant for her phone or computer? On an unsubstantiated and retracted allegation? - That's a no.
- He had serious injuries.
Consistent with forceful penetration of an object.
We all know that could encompass multiple scenarios.
He's a family man.
There's no evidence of a down-low life.
Which is the definition of "down-low.
" Would you be blaming the victim if it was a woman? Hold on, wait.
Isn't this something that Kat is supposed to lecture me about? Hey, I'm on your side this time.
Keep investigating.
Find anything to corroborate, I can go to a judge, and For what it's worth, my brother-in-law was sexually assaulted by his female parole officer.
I'm not saying it can't happen.
I've read those cases, but usually, if it's got stripes and hooves It's a zebra? Either way, no complaint, no case.
And no guy wants to talk about this.
Well, if he is in an abusive relationship, then somebody must've seen something.
Diana called Lamai this morning to let us know Andy's doing better.
She's trying to get ahead of this.
Have you talked to Andy? Nah, I wanted to give him some space.
You mean you don't wanna talk about this, either.
- Hi, Olivia.
- Hey.
Why don't I leave you two to talk? It's funny, Christian's the chief of SVU, but he says your practical experience is much broader than his.
Male victims of domestic violence, it's Not our usual case.
How well do you know the family? We're friendly, mostly because our children are friends.
- Yeah.
- My sense is, she's not that interested in us.
Christian doesn't see it, but We just don't move in her circles.
Anything to indicate that there's problems in their marriage? No.
I mean, she's the breadwinner, seems to make the decisions.
Thank you.
Sometimes you look at a couple, and you just get it, and sometimes you don't.
I'm mostly worried about Charlie.
Has Charlie mentioned anything, about his home life? He he's polite But shy.
And when his dad comes for him, he's clingy.
What about around his mother? She and I text to set up playdates, but she almost never comes with him.
Either Andy brings him or the nanny.
Yeah? Uh, Charlie, why don't you go get yourself some ice cream? Thanks, Joy.
I don't think Ms.
Diana would want me talking to you.
She won't know about it.
We know you take good care of Charlie.
And Ms.
Diana would never hurt him.
What about Mr.
Andy? Oh, no He's so sweet.
He's a gentle man.
Too nice.
So you'd say that Ms.
Diana is the boss of the family? Big time.
She pays you, but can she be a little tough to work for? Mr.
Andy says she's high-strung because her job has so much stress.
Uh-huh, and does she take that stress out on him? Not when I'm in the room.
But you've heard things? [APPREHENSIVE MUSIC.]
He asks for ice sometimes.
Yesterday Before he sent me home I I saw his eyes filled with tears.
A big man crying like that.
I asked if he was okay.
He left the room.
Maybe he didn't hear me.
- Instinctual, isn't it? - [CHUCKLES.]
Margo is one of our newer artists.
A 22-year old Afro-Caribbean pansexual.
She lives in the neighborhood.
Is that right? She's exploring how our relationships to our most intimate possessions reveal our biases toward class, gender, sexual orientation.
I can see that.
Can I show you some more of her work? Actually, I don't think I can afford anything in here.
I'm Amanda Rollins.
I work at SVU.
I don't mean to sneak up on you.
I see.
How can I help you? I already told Christian Garland this isn't a police matter.
I know, and we're not investigating his coworkers.
I don't understand.
The problem is, given the nature of Andy's injuries, and that there's a minor in the house, this may be a bigger issue.
Our child is not in danger.
But you're saying his injuries are being perceived as sexual in nature? It's a working theory.
We sleep in the same bed.
There was blood.
He insisted it was from work.
I'm sorry to have to ask you this, but is there any other possible explanation? You mean a double life.
I have friends who've lived through that.
Whatever his coworkers think, Andy's not gay.
And he would never cheat on me.
But he had lost his career, and he's been under a lot of stress.
And depressed, and drinking a lot.
Can I be honest with you? Please.
The last year, our sex life got weird.
- Mm-hmm.
- Angry.
He needed more stimulation to get off.
I came in one night, and he was masturbating to porn with a belt around his neck.
Oh, my God.
We have sex toys.
Is it possible he did this to himself? She implied that Andy gave himself a torn perineum? You want to ask any ER doctor what kind of sexual injuries they've seen solo men inflict upon themselves? It sounds like classic victim blaming.
"My wife fell into the knife.
She got drunk and walked into the wall.
" Maybe, or maybe that's why Andy wants all this to go away.
We've been here a hundred times.
Our experience, people don't make up stories of abuse.
If a man is the assailant and the woman is intimidated, we believe her.
So what do you want us to do? I want you to fight for the victim.
It may be too late.
There was a 911 call from Andy and Diana's townhouse.
Fin, let's go.
What happened? Diana called 911, - says Andy threatened her.
- He cut my neck.
He went crazy.
Diana, we're gonna take care of this.
- Where's Andy? - In the kitchen.
He's not saying much.
We bagged the knife.
- Take her outside to the EMTs.
- Wait.
Charlie is upstairs.
I can stay with him.
I'll call Lamai.
No, he should be with me.
Diana, get that cut looked at.
Charlie will be fine.
Andy, can you tell me what happened? - Andy.
Andy, I need you to tell me what happened.
I did it.
Whatever she said, I did it.
She's claiming he held her knife to her? Yeah, and EMTs confirmed that she was cut.
And at the house, he went along with that.
Went along.
You don't believe him? My gut tells me that he is the victim here, but now with all of this, - I don't know.
- When I was a detective, I felt like if I put in enough shoe leather, I could solve any case.
But sussing out somebody's marriage What about the kid, Charlie? - Was he in the house? - He was in his room.
He's at Garland's now.
Okay, that's good.
Has either parent said that we couldn't talk to him? No, but he's only eight.
Whatever's going on here, both parents wanna protect him.
Yeah, just not each other.
Yeah, that's what worries me.
When couples get to this point Our next call could be from the morgue.
Abby, Mom's taking brownies out of the oven.
Why don't you go and help her set up? Yes! Mommy, I'm coming! How you doing, Charlie? What's gonna happen to my dad? I know this is scary.
Do you wanna talk about it? No.
Can I have a brownie? [SENTIMENTAL MUSIC.]
I'm more embarrassed than hurt.
I did, or said something that set him off.
Listen, nothing that you can do or say justifies your husband assaulting you.
It's not his fault.
He was drunk.
Okay, can you walk us through what happened? He's still hitting it pretty hard.
I told him that I was worried about him.
He got angry.
And where were you two? In the kitchen.
Andy kept yelling, asking, "What did you say to the cops?" - And what did you tell him? - The truth.
That whatever happened to him, I wasn't judging him.
He heard that - He snapped.
- How do you mean? Um.
There was a knife on the counter.
He grabbed me from behind, he put it to my neck.
He told me that if I left him, he'd kill me.
I got free, I locked myself in the bathroom, I called 911.
That's good.
The call will be on record.
On record? For what? I'm not pressing charges.
And he won't do it again.
The thing is, Diana, in these situations, there's mandatory arrest.
What? You didn't tell me that.
I don't wanna make this worse for Andy.
I think I need to talk to a lawyer.
Look, I'm worried about my son.
He saw police in the house.
Can I just go home? With what your wife is saying, that's not happening.
What's she saying? Why don't you tell us what happened? We were fighting.
Her neck was bleeding.
You remember doing that? Her neck? I I must have, but I - I didn't want to hurt her.
- You must have? Where did you get the knife? From a drawer? I guess I was waving it around.
Look, I'm really tired.
I just want to see Charlie.
So whatever she says, is fine.
Charlie, you wanna try a brownie? How about I cut you a little piece? Be careful with the knife.
I will.
Good looking out.
My mommy got cut today.
- You saw that, Charlie? - Yeah.
She didn't know I was in the kitchen when she had her accident, but she said not to worry.
I got her a Band-Aid.
And where was your dad? Upstairs, in their room.
Okay, who wants whipped cream? I do! She wanted a lawyer because she's making all of this up.
What happened to believing the victim? That only works if she is the victim.
So Andy is still insisting that he did this? He's hazy on the details.
But it's still a mandatory arrest.
So she gets to go home as if she did nothing wrong? Maybe not.
Garland talked to Charlie.
Diana gave her statement.
She'd like to get home to her son.
Uh, well, just a few things to clarify, if you don't mind.
Now, Diana, while all this was happening, where was Charlie? In his room, doing homework.
Did he ever come out of his room, maybe after he heard yelling? Counselor, please don't drag the boy into this.
Did Charlie see you get cut, Diana? What? No.
Of course not.
Why? Did he say something? I'm sure they wouldn't talk to your child without a parent present.
What do you think Charlie might have said, Diana? I don't know.
But I do know that he saw police come, and that he's worried about his dad.
- He wants to protect him.
- My client is a victim.
So unless this is now a custodial situation It's not custodial, but Your client is now the target of our investigation.
She might want to get ahead of that.
There's nothing to get ahead of.
Whatever is going on here, it's a private matter.
It's not a criminal one.
I was in front of her.
I pointed the knife to her throat, like Diana said.
Diana said that you grabbed her from behind.
Well, then I guess that's what happened.
Why are you asking me this again? Charlie saw his mom cut in the kitchen after you went into your room.
He did? Your wife is setting you up, Andy.
Does she know what you told me, Andy? No.
But she said a cop came to the gallery.
She was furious, she said If I kept making up stories, she'd take Charlie.
But you're not making anything up, Andy.
You had serious injuries, and she's the one who gave those to you, - isn't she? - It doesn't matter.
I know she loves me.
She's not gonna do it again.
I can't tell you how many times I've sat here and heard those exact words.
In these situations, Andy, unfortunately, things don't get better.
I know you're worried about what people think, but, this isn't just about fighting for yourself.
I don't want Charlie to know.
Kids know more than you think.
Is this how you want the rest of your life to go? Waiting For her to hurt you again? To take your son away? Andy, that's where this is going.
What you want me to do? She said if this ever goes to trial, the jury's gonna take one look at me, one look at her, no one's gonna believe me.
We believe you.
And juries are smart.
They figure things out.
The alleged victim in this case, my client's husband of ten years, has had a rough road.
I feel for him.
He has struggled with unemployment, alcoholism, self-destructive tendencies.
But blaming his wife is not the answer to his problems.
Oh, my God, feigning sympathy while defaming the victim.
He is smooth.
I'm more worried about Andy.
He should be here by now.
Hold on.
Garland texted.
He's on his way.
The press? I can't do this.
Come on.
You've prepped.
You're ready.
We know it's not gonna be easy.
Is that a flask in your pocket? Yeah, it's just a little liquid courage.
It will set the metal detectors off.
How about I hold onto it for you? There you are.
You ready? All right, let me take you in the side way.
Come on.
- How's he doing? - This is tough.
Lamai and I are still trying to wrap our heads around it.
Spousal abuse is spousal abuse.
The problem is, is that people see these cases through the prism of gender bias.
I'm just hoping Carisi can get the jury past that.
Me too.
Miss Mercado, can you tell us about the day in question, please? Ms.
Diana called me that morning.
Told me to make sure I changed the sheets.
What did you notice when you washed them? There was blood on them.
A lot.
Was there any indication whose blood it was? I saw Mr.
Andy's underwear in the garbage.
Also with blood.
Did you ask them about that? Ms.
Diana said it was not my business.
And you do, what she tells you to? Yes, she's in charge.
If Mr.
Andy tells me to do something, I have to check with her first.
Thank you.
Mercado, you're here illegally? [SUSPENSEFUL MUSIC.]
I am working on my visa.
And Ms.
Diana said she would sponsor you through her gallery? She said she would, but she didn't yet.
Are you angry at her about that? It's understandable if you are.
Look at me, Ms.
You're under oath.
You're angry at Ms.
Diana about a lot of things, aren't you? She's a very tough boss, yes.
As a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner, I've treated male patients in the ER, with objects inserted anally.
Sometimes the doctors even laugh, but these injuries can be life-threatening.
In your opinion, could Mr.
Richards' injuries have been self-inflicted? Not likely.
He had a torn perineum, indicating a lot of force, and there was no evidence of lubrication, which is usually present in a solo or consensual sex act.
Syndergaard, ah, you've been an ER nurse at Mercy and also.
Fire Island Pines Clinic for over ten years? - Yes.
- And it's your testimony that you've never seen a man cause serious sexual injury to himself, especially when drugs and alcohol are involved? I'm not saying it can never happen, just in my experience in all those years Nothing further.
It's very common for domestic sexual assault victims to be reluctant to disclose, especially male victims of female partners.
At the hospital, Andy led us to believe that he'd been injured on the job.
- But your belief changed? - Yes.
After speaking with Andy at his home, we had a new target of the investigation.
- Who was that? - His wife, Diana.
We began to investigate if she sexually assaulted Andy.
And did Andy cooperate with that investigation? Not at first.
Again, not unusual at all in DV cases.
Victims often try to protect their abusers, especially when there are children and custody issues at risk.
Andy did eventually fully disclose, after his wife falsely accused him of domestic violence.
Thank you.
Let me make sure I've got this straight.
Richards initially lied about being assaulted in his workplace? Yes.
And then he refused to cooperate with the investigation of his alleged abuser? - Yes.
- And then, when his wife accused him of assault, he agreed to cooperate with the police rather than be held accountable - for his own violence? - Yes.
- But those charges were false.
- I'm sorry Which ones were false? Never mind.
Thank you, Captain.
This lawyer, Garrison, he's getting his shots in.
Yeah, that's why she went for a male lawyer.
It's easier for him to discredit a male victim.
- Like I did before? - Kat I make mistakes every day.
- That's just part of the job.
- Hey.
Has anybody seen Andy? I saw him in the witness room before I testified.
- He's not there now.
- Maybe he went out for some air.
I'll see if I can find him.
What? You escaped, huh? How'd you find me? I'm a cop.
And you're also testifying next.
We have to get back to court.
Can we get a coffee, please? This just keeps getting worse and worse.
I'm sorry.
Drink that.
My wife has a temper.
Throughout our marriage, she's yelled, thrown things at me.
Plates, a pot of coffee.
Broke a bottle over my head.
In the bedroom, she's always dominated, been aggressive.
- How so? - She likes to be on top, experiment with BDSM.
Like, tie me up, hit me with a belt or a whip.
Use sex toys.
And you went along with this? She's always been more wild than me.
I'm just not wired like that, but, I could go along with most things.
What about the night in question? I told her I was too tired for sex.
I had a long day, I had some drinks.
I must've passed out.
I woke up in pain.
She was Penetrating me with one of her vibrators.
- What did you do? - I asked her to stop.
But she just kept forcing that thing into me.
I passed out again.
When I woke up, there was blood, down there, and on the sheets.
Did you call 911? Did you report what had happened to anyone? I was embarrassed In shock.
I took a shower, went to work.
When I got home, I must have fainted.
I had to be taken to the hospital.
I was trying to deny what'd happened.
I just wanted it to go away.
The next night, my wife called the police and claimed I attacked her.
At the station, I finally told the cops the truth.
That I had been sexually assaulted by her.
I'm sure that was difficult.
Like testifying today must be.
I don't wanna be here.
But I knew my wife would never stop.
I don't want my son to think it's okay to be abused.
Thank you, Mr.
I'm sure this is difficult for you, Mr.
Richards, and I am sorry for the questions I have to ask, but is it your testimony that you went along with the sexual behavior your wife wanted? Yes.
Engaging in BDSM.
Being tied up.
Acting submissive.
- Yes.
- And that can include, anal penetration with an object? [TENSE MUSIC.]
Again, I'm sorry I have to ask this, but, were you ever aroused by that? Objection.
I'll allow.
Did you ever communicate with your wife that you didn't like that kind of sex? - I was trying to make her happy.
- Okay.
And on the night you claimed you were assaulted by her, did you tell her you didn't like it? I said, "Stop.
" - She didn't listen.
- Why didn't you just push her off you, - or off the bed? - I couldn't.
Because you were afraid that she'd overpower you? You're what, 240 and change? She's barely 110.
You don't understand.
I didn't wanna hurt her.
So you made a choice to continue? I didn't want what she was doing.
Why didn't you just leave the bedroom? I mean, you weren't tied up or taped or handcuffed.
Were you? - No, but I was drunk.
- I see.
Have you had a drink today, Mr.
Richards? Objection.
Where is this going, Mr.
Garrison? He testified he's a drinker.
I'm just trying to see if he had a drink today.
I'll allow.
Witness may answer.
Maybe a couple.
And if you wanted to get away from me right now, for example, I mean, couldn't you just get up and walk away? It's not that simple.
I love my wife.
I I don't even wanna be here.
Why are we here? I mean, this sounds to me like a marital disagreement about your sex life, not a crime.
- Objection.
- Withdrawn.
I can get up.
I can get up and leave anytime I want.
Richards, sit down.
Your Honor, we need a recess.
I didn't wanna hurt you.
I didn't wanna make you angry.
- Bailiff! - Andy.
I'll grant you that recess, Mr.
He told me that you dragged him out of the bar.
You couldn't give me the heads-up? - Was that too difficult? - Carisi, he was trying to help Andy.
No, Mr.
Carisi is right.
I gave Andy coffee, walked him back.
I thought if he didn't go through with it today, he never would.
We may have just lost this case.
Hey, you okay? I have to put you on the stand again.
Redirect, salvage your credibility.
No, I'm not going back on the stand.
She's furious at me, and when she gets like this, she can't control herself.
We have to let the jury know that.
It's late, Your Honor.
Richards is not well.
I move we adjourn Mr.
Richards has sobered up.
And it's important that the jury hears him now, today, not after they've had a night to sleep on it.
He is not the defendant, Your Honor.
He's the victim.
Richards, do you feel well enough to testify? I do, Your Honor.
And I apologize for my behavior earlier.
I I'm fine.
We can continue, but keep it brief, Mr.
Richards, can you tell us why you didn't fight your wife off that night? Look at me, look at her.
I'm always afraid that I'll hurt her.
But you could have left the room.
Why didn't you just get up and walk away? I'm also afraid of making her angry.
Why is that? [TENSE MUSIC.]
When she's angry, she becomes like a different person.
Her eyes go flat dark.
It's like she's not even there.
She doesn't care who she hurts.
And that night, were you afraid, that she was gonna hurt you even more than she already had? - Objection.
- Withdrawn.
Richards, do you think your wife is angry at you right now? Yes, I know she is.
How do you know that? She just sent me a text.
Just now? Your Honor, there's a non-contact order.
- She's in violation.
- Objection.
This is the first I'm hearing of a text.
How do we even know it's from her? We can just look at Andy's phone.
Or you can ask her, yourself.
I need a recess, Your Honor, to talk to my client.
I'll let Mr.
Carisi explore this now.
I'll allow a few questions.
Step back.
Richards, your wife just texted you? - Can I look at your phone, please? - Sure.
Can you read for the jury what she texted? "You stupid bitch," "I warned you.
" "You're nothing.
" "A loser.
A zero.
" "By the time I'm through with you," "you'll never see Charlie again.
Thank you, Mr.
There are seven others from today.
Do you want me to read those too? The psychology of domestic violence is complex.
It Ah, it's Scratch that.
The psychology of intimate partner violence, is complex.
It's not just physical.
It's emotional abuse.
Instilling fear.
Controlling the victim.
And Andy lived with his wife's abuse for years because, like most abuse victims, he thought he didn't have a choice.
That was terrific.
I mean it.
But I haven't even made my case.
Are you going to put your client on the stand? No.
That would be a disaster.
But she has expressed remorse.
She's worried about her son.
I think we need to find a reasonable solution.
- Let me propose one.
- I'm listening.
Diana is willing to plead to misdemeanor assault, no jail time.
- Not interested.
- Hear me out.
She'll serve probation, and afterward, she won't fight Andy for custody.
He and Charlie can stay in the family home.
She'll pay support.
Well, there's no way to hold her to that.
I want her on the registry.
So she can't change her mind and ask for custody? [SUSPENSEFUL MUSIC.]
Your Honor, my client is ready to make her plea.
Orsini-Fowler, on the charges of misdemeanor sexual assault and assault in the third degree, how do you plead? Guilty, Your Honor.
I sincerely regret my actions, and I apologize to my husband, for any hurt that I've caused.
I only hope that he can find it in his heart to forgive me.
Carisi? State accepts the plea, Your Honor.
Orsini-Fowler, I sentence you to a year's probation, with the understanding, that you're on the sex offender registry until your child turns eighteen.
Pending checking in with your parole officer, you're free to go.
- We're adjourned.
Maybe we can work things out.
I'd like to try.
I didn't realize that I was hurting you, and now I'm worried about hurting Charlie.
Andy, you don't have to listen to her.
I know.
But there's something I need to say.
I won't keep Charlie from seeing you.
Then we'll both be in his life.
And we will.
But we won't be in each other's.
- Thank you, Mr.
- Yeah.
Captain Benson.
And Christian, I Don't even know what to say.
Thank you.
Let's get you home.

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