“Law & Order: SVU” Season 16 Episode 13 “Decaying Morality” aired on Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015, at 9 PM on NBC. In this episode, a complicated case becomes even more complicated when a father took justice into his own hands after his daughter cried rape against an innocent man who also had a lawsuit pending against the New York Police Department. As they investigated the case, the Special Victims Unit discovered that the true culprit was someone that they hadn’t thought could commit the deed. Read on to learn more about this episode.
At the beginning of the episode, Sergeant Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) met up with Detective Amanda Rollins (Kelli Giddish) at a diner for dinner, where she filled her in on what had been happening at the Special Victims Unit. Amanda then told her that she had gone to a therapeutic yoga retreat, and apologized for what she put them all through. However, Olivia told her that she was sorry about what she had put her own self through. While they talked, a teenaged girl, Jenna Davis (Haley Lu Richardson), passed by the diner, looking as if she was in pain and drunk. She then entered a pizza joint’s bathroom and stayed inside for ten whole minutes. Because there was a line of people waiting to get into the bathroom, one of the workers, Jerome Jones (Kamal Bolden), opened the door and tried to calm her down.
Meanwhile, Amanda told Olivia that she was going to work early the next day. While they were walking home, they noticed that something was happening at Star’s Pizza. Jenna was accusing Jerome of attacking her, while he told her that he was just giving her back her purse. The two then intervened; and when they separated Jenna from Jerome, Jenna accused him of raping her.
At the hospital, Olivia informed Amanda that they had found semen on and inside Jenna’s sweater, and discovered that she had been a virgin and that she had had some drugs and alcohol in her system. They then met Jenna’s parents, Luke (Jamie McShane) and Marci Davis, who informed them that Jenna didn’t drink or do drugs and had been at the dentist’s that afternoon. The dentist, Dr. Neil Alexander (Paul Adelstein), who had consulted before for the New York Police Department before and was Jenna’s uncle, then came in and told them that Jenna seemed fine when she left his clinic. As Jenna had just woken up, Dr. Alexander made sure that Luke and Marci were with Jenna while Amanda and Olivia questioned her.
Inside the hospital room, Jenna told them that she went to her friend’s house to study and had left early because she felt sick, which was why she went into the pizza joint’s bathroom where she had been attacked and raped by Jerome.
At the precinct, Jerome told them that he was being set up again by the police and that he had only been trying to help her. As he was extremely agitated, since he was asthmatic, he took several puffs from his inhaler. Detective Nick Amaro (Danny Pino) and Detective Dominick “Sonny” Carisi, Jr. (Peter Scanavino) then were interrupted in their interrogation by Detective Odafin “Fin” Tutuola (Ice T) as Assistant District Attorney Rafael Barba (Raul Esparza) and Deputy Chief Dodds (Peter Gallagher) told them to let Jerome go as he had a pending lawsuit against the NYPD because of another case in which he pleaded innocence to a gang rape. This infuriated Luke, who walked away from Olivia with Dr. Alexander going after him to calm him down.
Back at the precinct, Olivia ordered them to do everything they could to make the case airtight so that Barba could bring it to court. They then discovered that Jenna had entered the pizza joint and had left after ten minutes, accusing Jerome of rape. However, the only lead that they had for what had happened inside the bathroom was that someone had heard her scream. They had no video surveillance of the area near the bathroom as their tech unit had to work on the video which had a lot of glitches in it. Olivia then was informed that Jerome Jones was dead, as he had died while Luke was trying to force a confession out of him.
They then all watched the tape that Luke had recorded. In it, they saw him threaten Jerome with a nail gun, and Jerome ended up saying that he had raped Jenna. Afterwards, his asthma kicked in and he later on died of heart failure, which was tied to his asthma. They also discovered that Luke had called 911 and had tried to revive Jerome to no avail. Later on, at an arraignment hearing, Luke was remanded to Rikers pending bail.
Back at the precinct, Olivia was informed that TARU had managed to recover the surveillance footage near the bathroom at Star’s Pizza, which revealed that Jenna had been inside the bathroom for ten minutes and that Jerome had opened the door as there was a long line of customers waiting to use the bathroom. He then had left the door open and had followed Jenna out with her purse ninety seconds later. After noting that both Jenna and Jerome were fully clothed, they realized that Jerome had been innocent and had not raped Jenna.
They then brought in Jenna to ask her some more questions without the presence of her mother. Amanda and Nick then told Jenna that they had recorded her conversation with her father at Rikers in which she told him that she knew that it wasn’t Jerome. Amanda then helped her remember what had happened by asking her if she remembered her position when she was attacked. She then remembered that she had been in a chair, seeing a ring that looked like the ring her uncle wore. She then admitted to them that her rapist had been her uncle, the dentist. She also told them that she had a few sips of vodka at her friend’s house because she didn’t feel well.
After informing Barba about this, they all realized that this was going to be a tough case to break, as Dr. Alexander had also testified in various cases over the past years. Olivia then instructed them to put a rush on the DNA and to hold both the mother and daughter longer at the precinct to give Nick and Carisi enough time to chat up Dr. Alexander so that they could get a swab of his DNA. He gave it to them willingly, and the two realized that his wife, the hygienist, knew what her husband had done as she had quickly accused Jenna of stealing drugs from the clinic. This made them realize that this wasn’t the first time the dentist had done this and that she had probably given Jenna the pills before he administered the nitrous gas to Jenna so that she would be helpless to fight back against him. Fin then informed Olivia that the results had shown that Dr. Alexander’s DNA matched with the DNA from the semen found inside Jenna’s sweater. However, when they brought him in for questioning, he told them that the reason why it was there on her sweater was because he and his wife had done it on the chair before Jenna’s appointment.
Afterwards, Amanda discovered that there had been a lawsuit of this sort before against Dr. Alexander, but he had gotten away with it. Jenna and her mother then came in and Jenna told them that she wasn’t accusing her uncle of rape, as the therapist that she had seen, recommended by Dr. Alexander, had told her that she had just been confused and that Amanda and Nick had planted this idea into her mind. Because of this, Olivia decided to leak the story to her tabloid reporter friend so that if there were other victims, they would finally come out.
The next day, they discovered that their plan had worked, as more than eleven women had come forward and told them that they had either been raped or had been fondled while being completely drugged and seated on his dentist’s chair. However, Barba couldn’t really prosecute unless they get Jenna to testify against her uncle. Since they couldn’t sway Marci, Fin and Carisi decided to talk to Luke to make him realize that Dr. Alexander had subtly convinced him that Jerome was the rapist as he had been with them every step of the way. Because of this, Luke ended up on the prison’s suicide watch.
Back at the precinct, they talked to a devastated Marci, who revealed that she had referred many of her friends’ daughters to her brother. She then told them that her brother was too smart to be caught, but they reminded her that Jenna had the power to put him away.
They then had Jenna meet up with Dr. Alexander and told him that she thought she was pregnant with his baby. However, he told her that he couldn’t have gotten her pregnant as he already had a vasectomy. Because of this confession, they were able to arrest him on charges of rape.
Meanwhile, at the courthouse, Barba informed Jerome’s mother that she had been right in saying that Jerome had been innocent. However, Luke was probably going to be freed as he had not been trying to murder Jerome. All he had wanted was justice for Jenna, and the real culprit, Dr. Alexander, had already been arrested. However, this wasn’t really justice for Jerome, and all that Barba could do was to apologize for the difficult position that they had all found themselves in.
And that was all for the recap on “Law & Order: SVU” Season 16 Episode 13 “Decaying Morality.” For more news and updates, including spoilers and recaps, on “Law & Order: SVU” and other television shows, keep on following Movie News Guide (MNG).
Catch “Law & Order: SVU” every Wednesday at 9:00 PM on NBC.
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