“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” Season 16 Episode 2 “American Disgrace” aired on Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014, at 9:00 p.m. on NBC. In this episode, a complaint against a well known public figure and basketball star went out of hand when two other complaints were brought up. However, the Special Victims Unit became even more surprised when they find out the the truth behind the entire case. Read on to learn more about this episode.
The episode began with a video presentation and commercial add featuring basketball legend Shakir “The Shark” Wilkins at the press conference of the renewal of his contract with Orion Bay, a garment line that sells Shakir’s line, Sharkwear MVP.
After the press conference, the CEO of the company, Mr. Orion Bauer (Stacy Keach), approached his daughter, Cordelia (Teri Polo), who was having some trouble locating Shakir’s driver. Mr. Bauer suggested that one of their assistants, Carla Gannon (Kelley Missal), be the one to drive Shakir back to his hotel room. However, in the elevator, she suddenly lashed out at Shakir and attacked him. As she was being dragged away by security, she told the reporters that Shakir had raped her.
Because of this, Sergeant Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) asked Carla to come to the station so that they could talk to her and Detective Amanda Rollins (Kelli Giddish). Carla told them that it had happened after the Summer Kickoff during Memorial Day at the Hamptons. She had driven Shakir back to his hotel, and he had invited her for a drink. The next thing she said she remembered was that she was in his bed, with her clothes off, and was sore, meaning that he had raped her. However, during that time, she did not call a doctor. She had told Mr. Bauer about the incident, and he only told her that nothing good would come out of it. For her silence, he would give her a bonus every time her name came up. She told them that she had received $5,000 as her bonus last week. She also told them that she only came forward now, after three months of silence as the fact that she had to drive him back to his hotel triggered her. However, she could not remember most of the details of that night, aside from what she had already told them.
Because of this, Detective Odafin “Fin” Tutuola (Ice-T) and Detective Rollins paid Mr. Bauer a visit, where he was waiting for them with his legal counsel, his daughter, Cordelia. They questioned him about the extra $5,000 that he had given to Carla. All he told them was that since Orion Bay was a family. They “took care of their own.”
Tutuola and Amanda then asked Shakir some questions, while he was coaching some kids doing basketball at one of his summer basketball clinics. According to him, what had happened during Memorial Day was that they had a drink and something to eat, and then she left. He also mentioned that Carla might be after his money, as he was currently going through a divorce and was also fighting for his son in a custody battle with his soon-to-be ex-wife.
Back at the station, the entire team thought that the case was a little bit shaky, as there was no physical evidence to prove that he raped Carla and because the hotel lobby tapes have already been erased. However, Olivia didn’t want to see it that way, as they were the Special Victims Unit. Amanda then got word from her former captain in Atlanta that another girl had come forward, claiming that Shakir also raped her. Before she left, Olivia reminded Amanda not to let “hero worship” get in the way of the case, as Amanda did admire Shakir as an athlete.
At Atlanta, Amanda met up with Macie-Lynn Pearce (Patricia Noonan), who claimed that Shakir had raped her six months ago. Macie-Lynn was a stylist, and she had been assigned to style Shakir for a shoot. Afterwards, he had invited her to his hotel, and they had a drink. She could not remember what else had happened that night, but the next thing she knew, she was in his bed, with her clothes off, and she knew that she had been raped. However, she had not gone to the hospital after the incident. Instead, she told Mr. Bauer, who told her that nothing good would come out of it and that she kept silent so that she could get the extra bonuses to support her family.
They then brought Mr. Bauer and Cordelia in to be questioned by Tutuola and Assistant District Attonery Rafael Barba (Raul Esparza). What they did find strange in what Mr. Bauer was saying was that Macie-Lynn had told him the same story that Carla did, but Carla’s story only came up recently. Barba then tried to reason with Mr. Bauer and told him that they could charge him with witness bribery. He then remembered another girl who worked in retail, an African American woman named Tiana Raines (Lakisha May).
Both Amanda and Detective Dominick “Sonny” Carisi (Peter Scanavino) went to the Sharkwear flagship store in order to talk to Tiana. Initially, she refused to say anything, as she was worried that it would cost her her job. However, after Amanda told her that Mr. Bauer had sent them to her, she began to talk.
Barba then called up Shakir and his lawyer to inform them that Tiana had saved her underwear from that night. According to her, five months ago, during March Madness, he had raped her, leaving behind a stain on her shirt. Because of this, they asked for a sample of his DNA so that they could match it to the underwear and the dress.
He then told them that he did get together with Tiana once, after hours, in the dressing room. However, everything had been Tiana’s idea. He admitted that he has been known to sleep around and that it was possible that he did sleep with all three of them, but if ever that was the case, he was sure that everything was consensual. He revealed that he had been going through some difficult times, as he was in the middle of a divorce and a custody battle.
At the station, the Special Victims Unit team were surprised that Barba was going to push through with the case, even if the leads were not all solid. Carisi then suggested that the girls might have lied about it in order to extort some money, just the same as a case he had handled before. They then realized that for Barba to succeed, he would need an outcry witness. Since there was a possibility that he might be charged with witness tampering and bribery, he decided to cooperate fully with the Special Victims Unit team.
The team was also given a tape from Carla, which showed her meeting up with Shakir, who told her that he knew that he wasn’t the only athlete that she had slept with. However, he told them that he only met Carla because he wanted to know why she was doing this and why she was lying.
At the trial Mr. Bauer revealed that he had only given the girls the money because he could not believe that Shakir was capable of raping them.
Both Carla and Macie-Lynn took the stand and told the court that Shakir had indeed raped them.
However, things went a little different when Barba and Amanda rehearsed with Tiana. She told them that she had to take two rides to get there, to which Amanda told her that they would reimburse her for that. However, Tiana asked her if that was it. She wanted more money. She then asked them what they and Mr. Bauer wanted her to say. She revealed that she was frustrated because she was only paid half the amount that was paid to Carla and Macie-Lynn because they were white. She then admitted that she was paid by Mr. Bauer to lie and say that Shakir had raped her. Because of this, both Barba and Shakir’s lawyer asked the judge for an immediate dismissal.
Based on this new evidence, the team tried to get Carla and Macie-Lynn to tell them the truth, but both girls still insisted that Shakir had raped them.
Barba and Amanda then paid a visit to Mr. Bauer who became furious and told them that Tiana was lying and was even more furious that she wasn’t satisfied with the $800 that he had given her. He then told them that the white girls’ stories would not change, which made Barba and Amanda suspicious about him as he refused to tell them how he knew that. Meanwhile, Cordelia kept on telling him to stop talking. He then told her that she only started caring for him and the company at that moment, and then he told her that he forgave her for everything that she had done.
Outside, Amanda tried to talk to Cordelia about her father, but she refused to say anything. Later that evening, she came back to her father’s office, who invited her out to dinner. However, Cordelia would not budge and asked her father if he did pay off those women. He then told her that he was mad at her and at Shakir because he knew that the two had a secret relationship with each other. As he knew that Shakir was a player, he had him followed and had found out who he had slept with. Based on that, he paid off those girls. It turned out that he knew that Cordelia was pregnant with Shakir’s child, and he could never accept the fact that he might have an African American grandchild.
This entire conversation was recorded on tape and presented by Barba to the Special Victims Unit Team but told them that he had promised not to use it against Mr. Bauer.
In the end, both Barba and Shakir’s lawyer asked for an immediate dismissal, which was granted to them.
After the trial, Shakir confronted Cordelia and admitted that he had slept around with other women, but he wanted to give them a try. He really wanted to be a part of her life, so they could raise their child together. However, Cordelia told them that she no longer had the baby, which caused him to break down into tears, as the entire team looked on, annoyed that the women who lied would never be tried at court for the damage that they had caused.
And that’s it for the recap of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” Season 16 Episode 2 “American Disgrace.” For more news and updates, including spoilers and recaps, on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and other television shows, keep following Movie News Guide (MNG).
Catch “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” every Wednesday at 9:00 p.m. on NBC.
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