Two men sit in a hotel bar discussing their first loves. The bartender tells them that it's last call, and one man decides to hit on a lady sitting at the far end of the bar. She rebuffs his advances, and when he persists, she throws her drink in his face. She gets up to go, breaks a lamp, and is stopped by security. When she gets to the hotel manager's office, she listens to him tell her not to come back, then borrows his phone and calls the police. She says she was raped.
In the hospital, Detectives Briscoe and Logan talk to the nurse. The nurse says that they can confirm the lady had sex, but not that it was rape. The victim's name is Julia Wood, and she says her assailant was famous heavy metal artist C Squared. Briscoe's never heard of him. Back in the precinct, Logan exposits that C Squared, real name Clarence Carmichael, is incredibly rich and has no previous offenses. The doctors found no evidence of rape; while there was bruising, that could just be due to C Squared outweighing Julia by a factor of two. Van Buren plays a clip from one of C Squared's concerts, which contain misogynistic and sexually explicit lyrics. Logan is unconvinced, but Van Buren believes Julia.
"One more time on the kitchen floor./Your tank's on empty, but I want more./I get what I want, it's a one way trip./You ain't my lady, you my bitch."
"Great lyrics. Early Cole Porter."
—C Squared and Lennie Briscoe
Julia says that she thought they were going to go dancing, and she went up to his room because he said he'd give her tickets to a concert. Julia is silent when Briscoe asks if she fought him off, and Logan tells her that this will look bad in front of a jury. She wonders why C Squared did this to her. When they talk to C Squared, he admits they had sex, but says Julia instigated and wanted it. He says he writes what sells but doesn't believe the sexual stuff he performs. His business manager of the past two years, Teddy Wayne, says that she just wants a piece of his latest $20 million contract. Outside, Logan complains about all the groupies rock and roll stars can get. Briscoe wonders why Julia went to a bar after being raped, and Logan, remembering that she had a couple drinks there, wonders if she had liquor beforehand.
Julia's friends Marti and Patti talk to the police. They went to a bar for lunch to celebrate surviving an English exam, but didn't drink anything. C Squared was there with his entourage and joined them. They remember C Squared offering to send the concert tickets over. He came by their room later and said the tickets were in his car; Julia went to get them, and then called from his car phone saying that she was going dancing with him.
In the precinct, while looking at Julia's clothes, Logan is again skeptical that Julia was raped. Briscoe says that Julia may have done something stupid due to C Squared's fame.
"If Anne Margeret had asked me to go dancing when I was on the altar, I would have said 'I don't.'"
Briscoe then remembers that Julia's friends said that she was studying when C Squared arrived and didn't change before going to meet him. The blouse they're looking at is very fancy; Briscoe doubts she was studying in it. Van Buren tells them to see if someone saw them go into the hotel. The hotel desk guy confirms that the two were together going into the hotel and Julia looked happy. Usually, C Squared went to his room with a tall blonde; but that night he was with Julia. After some pressure, the desk guy gives up the phone numbers C Squared called. This leads them to Sheila Pierson, C Squared's usual date.
In her house, Pierson first confirms that they aren't vice, then says that she's 'an entertainer's entertainer.' Teddy Wayne set them up. She got paid for a week to be with C Squared, but C Squared canceled for a night. Later, Logan guesses that C Squared wouldn't have canceled unless he had another date guaranteed; this clashes with the idea that Julia and C Squared only decided to go up to his room later. They decide to talk to Julia at the station. Van Buren handles the interrogation; after some pressure, Julia breaks down and says that, after she went to the bathroom and came out, C Squared was already naked, threw her on the bed, ripped her clothes off, and raped her. She says that she shut her eyes and waited for it to be over. This convinces Van Buren.
Over lunch, Logan still doubts Julia. To see if C Squared's bedroom behavior matches what Julia said, they go talk to his ex-wife. She says that he asked her out that night, but she said no, and he threw a fit. Driving back to the precinct, the detectives theorize that without either the ex-wife or Sheila, C Squared would have wanted to pick up someone else, and may have remembered Julia from lunch. Briscoe realizes something else: Julia said C Squared gave her cab money, but he rents a limo, so it wouldn't make sense to use a cab. The limo driver says that, after dropping off C Squared and Julia, C Squared told him to come back at noon. This means that C Squared couldn't have been planning to dance with Julia — he didn't have a car.
At a stage, C Squared bickers with the detectives. They confront him about the limo. He finally says that he could get thousands of women, so had no reason to rape Julia. He gets on stage and plays a guitar riff to send the detectives on their way. The detectives decide to talk to C Squared's previous manager. Said manager — now bussing tables at a bar — says C Squared abandoned him for Teddy after he got C Squared signed to a ten year contract. He says that C Squared came to see him six months after he got fired; apparently a lady named Tina McCartney accused him of rape and C Squared didn't know what to do.
McCartney says she camped out to get into the concert and was invited to dine with C Squared after the show. He raped her, and the local DA said there was little chance of a conviction. Teddy Wayne gave her $10,000 to pay her off, and she took it.
Van Buren says that the rape of McCartney is inadmissible; it's a prior bad act. Logan is adamant that they arrest C Squared. Van Buren gives the okay, and C Squared is arrested in front of a crowd of fans.
"Okay, you got me. I shot the sheriff. But the deputy, I swear, that was some other dude."
Teddy threatens a false arrest charge, to no avail. Handcuffed, C Squared leaves as his fanclub cheers.
"Oh no, not the lawyers. I'm scared. You scared, Mike?"
"I'm shaking in my blue suede shoes."
—Lennie Briscoe and Mike Logan
In court, C Squared accepts a quarter-million dollar bail. Kincaid talks to his lawyer, Adele Diamond, who has given lectures on feminist theory. Diamond says that the case isn't about feminism, it's about ruining C Squared for money. Later, Stone exposits that she's one of the best defense lawyers in the city. Adele procedes to get Judge Rosalyn Lenz to recuse herself; a distant relative of Lenz's has filed suit against C Squared over a failing restaurant that they're both partners of. Stone objects that Diamond just wants a male judge and that the connection is too tenuous to be reason for recusal, to no avail.
Julia's father, Michael Wood, complains about the tabloids in Stone's office. Michael doesn't want to pursue the case — the reporters are going through his garbage and camping on his lawn. He wants to stop the case and get off the headlines. Julia says she can't continue, despite Stone's reassurances that he'll try to protect her privacy. Later, Schiff says it's for the best — the jury wouldn't have believed that Julia had gone up to C Squared's room innocently. Stone says that mugging victims never seem to need to explain why they're out alone at night. Schiff implies that Julia shouldn't have expected anything else to happen, likining the case to a child, told not to eat candy, being left with a jar of M&M's. Stone objects to this characterization.
"Julia Wood is not a piece of candy, Adam."
Kincaid comes in — the papers are saying that Julia had told her roommates that C Squared's ex wife deserved more money than she got in the divorce. Stone says that, if Julia was raped, he'll get her into court somehow. When Kincaid objects that he'll scare her, he assigns her to talk to Julia. At Julia's place, Julia says that her father had her talk to a lawyer but she didn't hire him. She convinces Kincaid that she was raped, and Kincaid convinces Julia to take the stand.
In court, a doctor says that Julia's physical and psychological demeanor were consistent with rape. Adele questions the 'psychological demeanor' part, and the doctor says that Julia was depressed and listless. Adele gets the doctor to admit that the physical evidence alone is not sufficient to prove that Julia was raped. Next up is Julia. She recounts what happened, at Stone's urging. Adele asks her why she didn't call for help on the bathroom phone, or for that matter scream during the rape. She gets Julia to admit that she had fantasized about sleeping with C Squared. She asks if Julia talked to a lawyer and she says no, contradicting what she told Kincaid earlier.
Schiff gets mad at Stone for letting this happen; Stone in turn gets mad at Kincaid and says she should transfer when the case is complete. In court, Adele attacks Julia's honesty over the lie, then provides a retainer agreement that Julia had signed with a lawyer. Michael Wood had gotten the lawyer involved to fend off the media. Julia breaks down.
"Why are you doing this to me?"
"It's not me, Julia. You sold yourself. For a wink. And a prayer."
—Julia Wood and Adele Diamond
On the stand, C Squared says Julia wanted to have sex with him. He says she dressed provocatively, and says there's "no way" he raped her. Stone gets C Squared to admit that Julia Wood never actually asked for sex, but that he considered coming to his room to be a signal that she wanted it. Stone asks if any woman who comes to C Squared's room can be assumed to want sex, C Squared says yes. Stone introduces lyrics to C Squared's songs; Adele's objection that this is prejudicial is overruled by Judge Andrew Barsky; since C Squared has sold albums with the lyrics on it, he clearly doesn't think they'll prejudice the public against him. The clerk court reads the lyrics from the clip shown in the beginning of the episode.
In closings, Adele says that Julia led on C Squared. She brings up Julia's perjury and says that Julia can't be trusted. Stone says that Julia never asked for sex; she decided not to have sex once she was in the hotel room, and that's all there is to it. Stone says that C Squared didn't care about what Julia wanted and brings up the lyrics again. At the final phase of the trial, C Squared is convicted of rape.
In the evening in the DA's office, Kincaid talks to Stone about transfering. Stone brings up a mistake he once made that cost the office a case; he was forgiven by his boss, and he thinks that Kincaid deserves the same second chance.
"I thought it was a career ender, but they gave me another chance. So... see you in the morning."