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Law & Order SVU - Scorched Earth - Recap

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit poster

Written by : published Wednesday 11th January 2012

In a nice hotel,  a cultivated looking, well dressed man grins and leaves his room while a maid leaves seconds afterward crawling down the hall, upset. One of the other maids stops her. The man who assaulted a maid continues to the rooftop lunch garden and he looks pleased with himself. He greets his guests. 

Kragen apologizes for her birthday but orders Olivia to meet victim at Bellevue. He says to color inside the lines the perp is  Roberto De Stasio possibly Venezuela’s next prime minister. In the limo the laptop is missing. The chauffeur says if we go back we miss the flight.

The hotel yields details. Roberto deStasio checked out an hour ago. But the force finds out the hotel got the call about the laptop and will keep the airplane waiting to delay DeStasio.

Olivia takes the statement of the maid. He pushed her onto the bed and held her arms behind his back. She got away and he grabbed her and she scratched him. She spit out the sperm in her mouth and says “This is the difference between like and love”.

Miriam is her name. Olivia wants to know where he spit it out. The cops search the hotel, including the new cop Amanda Rollins. They look for proof of an assault with his DNA.
At the hotel, they scan for the evidence. They find a sample of his protein.

DiStasio is arrested off the plane. He claims diplomatic immunity. Exley is the lawyer. The man DiStasio who says the man who pulls the strings in his country have framed him and only in America can he be prosecuted.

Amanda Rollins transfers from Dallas. She praises Olivia’s case work. Miriam is terrified to see her rapists again. She is a political asylum refugee. She identifies number four the man DiStasio. Kragen and Exley exchange looks.

The man charges diplomatic immunity. He charged his hotel account to not to the country but the GBT. They escort him to his hospital.

DiStasio says it is the word of a maid over him. Then Finn says my grandmother was  a maid.

We're all under the microscope, Kragen says. Stadler does not know if he is coming back. 

Stasio’s DNA is proven. A world class defense team will work hard to smear the client. Kragen orders “Take him out  side building no press no perp walk.” (the press are everywhere).

Finn says “Freedom of the press baby.”

He says they will find no evidence of sex.  The man has no belief in the science of DNA and they correct his ignorance.

Amanda Rollins comes in DiStasio’s cell and says you cannot get real Italian food here. He says a man is measured by his appetites. Praised for the scope of his passions. Weakness is repellent to success. Amanda Rollins says men are not turned on by weakness but he says the parry holds as much power as the thrust. Man has facts. Woman has words. 

“Sure would like to hear your facts”. Rollins says.

He says he is very tired but thank you for the meal. She says that she will talk later, He says later he will be free and you will be out of a job. He is remanded to Rikers. But the Sudanese maid Miriam is sure the man will punish her.

Miriam says he has agents in the CIA to help him. Olivia tells the kids to go to the snack machine with the officers. The defense is going to say she did this for money.  Olivia sees IAB in Eliot’s office. Kragen says the are investigating his jacket, his past cases in entirety.

She is infuriated that Sadler is going to be the sacrificial lamb. Olivia freaks out and says Kragen is going to let him shake out. If Eliot want to keep his job he will have to do anger counseling and other things and and Olivia gets more upset.

DiStasio has an appellate case hearing on the bail. In front of the courthouse reporters his wife makes an appearance and a statement. They say the witness has serious credibility issues. 

At the cop bar, Olivia says Rollins must have some hooks to get transferred to NYPD. Rollins makes remarks about DiStasio’s state of mind. Olivia says Eliot can talk to her. 

Monk confront Olivia with facts. Sadler shot a teenage girl. He may not come back to the force.

The prosecution team arrives at the bar. The newspapers have stories. They vetted her witness, she is in it for the money. Another maid at the hotel just sold Miriam out.

The audio tape of the co-worker goes on with the news. The prosecutors play the tape for her. The defense tell her she promised that this was not about money. She has not hired a lawyer.

These cases are about perception not reality. it‘s all about her. “What about him”, Olivia says. They search DiStasio’s recent background. Rollins has results. Two months ago in Buenos Aires says DiStasio attacked her and pushed her on the bed.

Cabot argues that the arrangements are being made they are flying in the maid. Exley produce a new wrinkle. Prosecution’s witness has a declaration of rape shield law breaker the accuser was a prostitute. Olivia is sideswiped and doubts the witness. 

The rape shield law does not apply when a violation of prostitution happened within the last three years. Cabot is transfixed. Olivia questions Miriam. The witness says she was gang raped in the Sudan. 

Miriam says a gang assaulted her in her old country. They broke sharia law unless she prostituted herself again. Olivia asks for proof. There is no witness. The Buenos Aires maid has just moved to a gated community and won’t return calls. Finn notices Olivia is losing faith in the victim.

Cabot is stunned that Cutter and Olivia say the new DA won’t press charges on this evidence. Cabot argue if they let DiStasio go the rich and powerful can transgress in New York. They are there to balance those scales.

Exley goes in front of press saying that the witness is suspect. Cabot and Olivia coach Miriam in a the witness chair. Miriam can explain her prostitution by her husband’s killers.

On the stand Exley asks about the soldiers. She says twelve. Her application for political asylum she lied about not being convicted about a felony. Exley excoriate her lying on a legal document.

DiStasio gives testimony. He says she offered herself and he obliged her. After that she asked for money. She said I know who you are. She wanted $10,000. Many have tried to blackmail him and not succeeded.

DiStasio is not a perfect witness. He came back from the spa. He said he would get dressed. He says that women seek power they find it attractive. Cabot asks if those injuries are consistent with consensual sex. Di Stasio says that “The dance is different every time. She asks about the scratch on his neck.”

Cabot challenges his approach to sex. “I knew she did not want to stop.” Cabot asks f he heard the word “No". She asks other questions about the philosophy. The witness is produced from the Sudan. Exley and the defendant have a surprise witness. 

“You can take as long as you want to vet him.” They can wait.

The defense tries to disprove the accuser. He helped Miriam Dang fill out her application. He casts aspersions on her application. He says that the victim was coached about what to say. he says he made up the story about a dozen soldiers t get sympathy to get her her asylum. 

Cabot asks Olivia what really happened. Olivia says something happened in that room. They deliver closing arguments.

The witness says she never lied about what he did to her. The jury remains unable to reach a verdict. The assault verdict is not guilty. On the charge of unlawful imprisonment the defendant is found guilty. DiStasio is furious as he is withdrawn.

Rollins says he will appeal that the perp walk is prejudicial. But Olivia says her perp will do a year in Rikers because the judge is tough. 

Kragen calls Olivia into the office. He asks her to shut the door. Elliott put his papers in. There was nothing he could do.  She says that he earned it. She doesn’t want to talk or take a day.

They call another crime and she says give me five and we’ll roll. Then in the darkness Olivia sobs.

About the author tvqueen


I like to watch TV shows from classic eras as well as contemporary drama and comedy. Science Fiction is fun, and shows like the Cape and Fringe keep hope alive that the medium that produced Space 1999 is alive. Comedy such as 30 Rock is usually, good, but not always. I like Survivor but it has so little to do with survivor skills I am disappointed. Appointment viewing is Grey's Anatomy, NCIS LA, The CSI series for New York and Las Vegas and Miami, with a special shout out for the new Hawaii Five O. Gordon Ramsay's Hells Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares are top of the line viewing for the drama comedy Gordon's character and the business lessons they teach.

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