Two theater students are in the stacks, looking for help analyzing a particularly problematic verse. One, Mike, begins to read a book while his friend goes to search for another one. Because the books have been ordered improperly, the friend leaves the isle to look for the book. He finds a body.
Curtis and Briscoe are led to the body by a member of the campus police, who says that the dead person is Bridget Kaylin, a senior. Anyone can get in to the library — all students, all alumni, and anyone in the community who pays a small fee to get a pass. He asks what else his department can do, and Curtis tells him to stay in the area. The ME says that the body is still warm; time of death was an hour or so previous. The officer comments that there were two rapes in the past six weeks.
"Maybe your department could do something about that."
The examiner observes a thin mark around Kaylin's neck and says that she might have been strangled, or she might have hit her head on a lecturn near the body. The campus policeman, asked if anyone saw anything, says no.
The chief of the campus police discusses the rapist's current attack pattern. He sneaks up on women, then strangles and rapes them. Curtis comments that Kaylin had marks on her neck, so this matches the pattern. The chief says that he limited his patrols to just the area near the dorms — he only has about thirty people, and can't cover the whole campus. He sends them to an anti-rape group that does patrols of their own.
Curtis and Briscoe talk to two members of the anti-rape group, who say that there have been seventeen sexual assaults in the last month. They claim that the campus police doesn't want to know about it, and that they classify most of the assaults as consensual sex, flirting, or accidents. After a while, Curtis and Briscoe get them to give them their list of suspicious men that they gathered while patrolling. They say that one of these men, Jack Miniver, was spotted outside the library the previous night.
Miniver says that he was heading to a bar and just didn't feel like telling the patrollers what he was doing. He says he was in the bar until 10. Curtis asks why the group calls him a rapist, and Miniver says that he had sex with a drunk woman.
"...I was supposed to know that when she said 'yes' it didn't count, because her blood-alcohol level was above .085. See, I forgot to give her the blood test."
In the precinct, the cops joke about the case. Briscoe comments on a college where men must get explicit permission for anything they do, and Curtis teases him over his failed love life. Briscoe jokes that Curtis doesn't know what he's missing out on. Van Buren brings them around to the suspect list. Briscoe says that the list has people ranging from a guy who was suspended for assault to a professor who told a sexist joke. Van Buren asks them to tell her the joke.
"Oh no, you, Rey, you tell it so well."
"Why is rape impossible? Because a woman can run a lot faster with her dress up than a man can with his pants down."
"...That is offensive."
—Lennie Briscoe, Reynaldo Curtis, and Anita Van Buren
Curtis says that Miniver was cleared of the date rape charge by a student board. Van Buren asks what he thinks.
"I wouldn't date him."
She sends them to Rodgers.
Rodgers tells the detectives that Kaylin wasn't raped, and no one tried. Furthermore, the rapist leaves large bruises on the necks of his victims, indicating that he has big hands. Kaylin only has a single narrow band around her neck, and the medical evidence shows that Kaylin died instantly from the blow to the head.
Burt and Mary, Kaylin's parents, talk to the detectives in their house. They need clothes for Bridget's burial. Burt says that Bridget was single. Briscoe wonders if Burt would necessarily know, and Mary agrees that Bridget might not have told them. Burt says that she told them about Brent, an ex-boyfriend from the year before. Mary then finds an expensive suit and diamond studs. Burt says that Bridget worked at the campus store a lot, but that wouldn't be enough to pay for the fancy clothes.
The cops talk to Donna Richland, Shelly Taggert, and Lisa — friends of Bridget's — at a coffee shop. Donna says that she's graduating in six weeks and her parents want to pull her from school because of the murder. Shelly begs them to catch the killer. Lisa says that the four of them met every day at the coffee shop. When asked about Brent, Lisa says that he moved across the country. Briscoe asks about an older boyfriend.
"You mean a sugar daddy?..."
"I guess the name survives every generation."
—Donna Richland and Lennie Briscoe
The girls say that Bridget was more interested in guys with good senses of humor, and that she didn't have a boyfriend. Curtis asks about the diamond studs, and Shelly says that's impossible, since Bridget had little money. Donna eventually says that Bridget had step aerobics three afternoons a week. Once the detectives leave, they observe that Bridget couldn't have worked at the campus store after school since she had her aerobics classes. They decide to check Bridget's dorm.
"So Lennie, what do you want to be buried in?"
"My twenty-fifth century spacesuit, on one of the moons of Jupiter."
—Reynaldo Curtis and Lennie Briscoe
Briscoe finds sleeping pills and a champagne cork. Then he finds a credit card bill, with a lot of charges to the Barrington Hotel Grill. Curtis finds some matches from the same place. They conclude that she's meeting her boyfriend there.
The detectives arrive at the Grill, which is an expensive bar. The bartender recognizes Bridget and says that she meets a lot of boyfriends there — she's a prostitute.
Van Buren is surprised to hear the new information about Bridget. The detectives show her an arrest report — Bridget was caught a month ago, but she used a fake ID. She wasn't in the system, so she was allowed to pay her fine and leave.
"What the Hell was this girl thinking?"
—Anita Van Buren
Van Buren tells them to find the arresting officer; they need to track down Bridget's customers.
Detective Scapelli tells the cops that he usually checks into a cheaper hotel than the Barrington. He plays a poor traveling salesman from Omaha. He finds an ad for escorts, calls the number, has someone sent over, and arrests them when they agree to have sex in exchange for money. He remembers Bridget.
"She tried to cry her way out of her arrest."
He gives the cops the ad that he used to call Bridget. The number is untraceable, but is probably still in use, so Briscoe tells Curtis to call them.
In a hotel room, Curtis says goodnight to his kids. The escort knocks on the door. Curtis opens it to find Donna.
"Six week to graduation, right?"
Richland is worried that the cops will tell her parents. Van Buren criticizes her for being a prostitute. Donna says that she, Bridget, Shelly, and Lisa were all involved in the group. Bridget started it — she wanted the money.
"Guys would take her out and spend three hundred dollars for dinner and a show when all they wanted was to go to bed with her. She figured, why not save the time and skip the boring play?"
Donna doesn't know Bridget's customers, but says that Shelly would — she took the phone calls. She's a newcomer to the prostitution ring, but took over the scheduling. Later, though, the detectives catch Shelly outside of school, but she denies all knowledge of the prostitution ring. She says that she has to see a real estate broker; she's moving out of her dad's house. She leaves without giving any information.
Kincaid complains that the cops have asked for an unjustifiable warrant. They want to search her father's apartment to find a client list, but they have no probable cause — they're investigating a murder, and they don't think that any evidence of the murder itself will be there. Kincaid, though, says that they can just get a warrant for the prostitution case. This satisfies the cops.
Barry Taggert complains about the search. He accidentally admits that Shelly wrote bad checks, then demands the warrant. Barry appears stunned by the 'evidence of prostitution' line in the warrant. He says that he's a widower when asked if some things are Shelly's or his wife's. Then he goes to call his lawyer.
Curtis finds fancy clothes in Shelly's room. Then Briscoe finds a box with a notebook and a green cameo. The notebook contains the client list.
Jonathan Freeman complains about the way events unfolded. He's worried that his wife will walk in on him talking to the cops. He holds a toy airplane and says that he hasnít seen Bridget in a while; Curtis acknowledges that Shelly's notebook confirms this. Freeman says that Bridget told him that she was quitting the prostitution business. His alibi is that he was at his in-law's house when Bridget was killed.
"Fellas, if you wanna kill me too, ask them."
"You can count on it."
—Jonathan Freeman and Reynaldo Curtis
They talk to Fred Pappas, a pizza chef, who is more open about his dates with Bridget. He says that he has no wife and that women in their low twenties won't go out with him unless he pays them; he feels it's worth it. He insists that he and Bridget had fun outside of the bedroom, though; Bridget showed him some modern art and they discussed it. Pappas confirms that Bridget said she was quitting a month ago. He took her out fancy as a fairwell present, and shows the detectives a picture. In it, Bridget is wearing the cameo that the cops found in Shelly's room.
Donna remembers the cameo, and says that Bridget had it when they met the day of the murder. When told that Shelly had the cameo, Donna concludes that Shelly must have seen Bridget before she died. She also remembers that they had an argument the day that Bridget was killed; Donna doesn't know what about and Shelly wouldn't tell her.
The detectives tell Van Buren that the cameo is a definite match; the band matches the marks on Bridget's neck. Shelly had access to the library, and her fingerprints were on Bridget's study desk. There's still no good motive, but they have enough evidence that it doesn't matter. The detectives go to arrest Shelly, but Barry Taggert tells the cops that she's gone to Europe.
In a conference room, McCoy tells Barry that he'll settle for arresting him as he can't arrest Shelly. Barry's lawyer, Harry Ralston, says that Barry isn't responsible for Shelly's crimes (and Kincaid, amused, notes that Ralston didn't bother to say 'alleged crimes'). McCoy and Barry bicker about whether Shelly killed anyone, with Barry saying that it's ridiculous.
"Then why don't you tell us where she is so we can all sit down together and have a good laugh about it?"
Barry says he doesn't know where Shelly went after she arrived in Europe. McCoy threatens to charge him with hindering prosecution, but Ralston says that McCoy can't do that unless he can prove that Barry knows that Shelly broke the law. McCoy can't, so Barry and Ralston leave.
Schiff wonders if Barry really doesn't know where Shelly is. McCoy doubts this; Shelly has to be getting money somehow, and Barry is the likely source. Schiff tells them to look at Barry's books. Barry owns his own shoe import store, so he might be charging personal expenses to the company.
"Crack open the piggy bank. See what tumbles out."
Naomi Fleming, one of Taggert's workers, tells Kincaid that Shelly isn't the type to kill anyone. Kincaid doesn't want to listen to Fleming's stories about the Taggerts (which include the fact that Barry is a widower), and insists on knowing the locations of Barry's financial records for the preceding month. Kincaid specifically wants files initiated by Barry that relate to Shelly. Fleming says that these would be in the payroll files; Shelly is a shoe model and has been since the age of twelve. The two argue over which files can be examined, but when Kincaid threatens to have Fleming go over each piece of paper in the office individually, or to have the police confiscate every file to look at later, Fleming turns over the relevant files.
Later, the lawyers look over the records.
"This guy never saw a meal he couldn't deduct."
Kincaid finds records of a wire transfer to Zurich and of a purchase of a plane ticket to that region, indicating that Shelly is in that area.
"[The ticket is] marked 'fashion scouting. This guy even deducts his daughter's expenses as a fugitive."
McCoy sees Freeman's name in a group that went to the Ice Capades during Trade Show week to look at shoes. The two compare the guest lists and dates of certain events in Barry's records and hook-ups in Shelly's notebook, and realize that there is substantial overlap. Barry was having the girls sleep with his clients, and was deducting the expenses. McCoy smiles and says that they can skip the hindering prosecution charge and can indict Barry on enterprise corruption (using a legitimate business to front for an illegal one), which will include the seizure of his assets. He won't be able to help Shelly.
At the grand jury, Richland testifies that Shelly brought in new clients, and that she (Richland) slept with them and was paid by Shelly later. The clients include people that bought from Barry. Barry also took all the girls out to dinner one night and instructed them to wear his company's shoes when they went to sleep with the buyers.
Jerold Spector testifies that he's a forensic accountant and that he went over Barry's books. He found many dubious tax deductions, including payments to Shelly for unspecified services as a 'consultant.' He determined that these payments correlated with 'business entertainment' payments, which were $400 payments by male shoe buyers. The payments were listed as being for 'guided nature hikes' in the records.
Later, Schiff tells McCoy that enterprise corruption charges are generally used against the mob, not people like Barry. McCoy says that it's a valid charge. When asked about Shelly's location, Kincaid says that there's an Interpol alert and the Swiss police are looking for her. McCoy adds that they're blocking Barry from funding her escape.
"A pincer movement."
"Where'd you do your graduate work? Law school or West Point?"
—Jack McCoy and Adam Schiff
Schiff points out that, as McCoy won't actually prosecute Barry for enterprise corruption (because he'll drop the charges once Shelly returns), the defense will say that McCoy is acting in bad faith. McCoy doesn't care. Later, he tells the grand jury to indict Barry for enterprise corruption, and to seize Barry's assets. The jurors are confused, because the shoe company isn't the corrupt enterprise, but rather, the prostitution ring is. McCoy says that, legally, that doesn't matter.
Barry is arrested at his shoe store while talking to a buyer. He seems indifferent, saying that he was expecting this and will be released in two hours. Kincaid informs him that, when he gets out, he'll be reporting to Spector, who will now control all payments made by Taggert's shoe company.
"No payment will be made on any account without the approval of Mr. Spector."
"How am I supposed to stay in business?"
"You know what? I don't think you're supposed to."
—Claire Kincaid, Barry Taggert, and Lennie Briscoe
One week later, Barry and Ralston meet with McCoy. Barry complains that he's having to fire people because Spector won't authorize routine business expenses. McCoy says that Barry just has to prove, for each expense, that the funds will not go to Shelly. Of course, Barry can't prove that she's not, for instance, hiding in overseas shoe factories. McCoy won't back down on the prosecution, despite Barry's protestations of her innocence. Kincaid points out that the Swiss police just found Shelly's last hotel, and McCoy adds that Shelly probably is out of money by now. He offers to drop the charges when Shelly returns. Ralston asks if McCoy told that to the Grand Jury, and McCoy just chuckles and says that Barry can use his phone. He does so.
Shelly pleads not guilty at her arraignment. Judge Andrew Barsky remands her, because she fled the country to avoid trial before. Later, in Schiff's office, the lawyers muse about why the girls chose to become prostitutes. McCoy and Schiff joke about the girls giving up their morals for money, but Kincaid says that some people feel that women should have the freedom to have sex with whoever they want, and for whatever reasons. Schiff thinks this is silly. McCoy says that they're getting off track; Shelly, he says, didn't just sell her own body, but also those of other women. Schiff thinks that the jury will hate her. McCoy adds that they know about the argument between Bridget and Shelly, and they have Bridget's cameo that was found in Shelly's room. Schiff says that they still don't have a good motive, unless Shelly killed Bridget for the cameo, but McCoy doesn't think it matters; pimps are convicted of killing streetwalkers all the time. Kincaid says that the girls thought they were different than regular prostitutes; Shelly, in fact, still maintains her innocence in the murder. McCoy thinks that Shelly had to tell her father what had happened so that he'd spirit her away to Switzerland.
Barry testifies that he had always been honest about sending Shelly to Europe; he never lied about it. McCoy asks why Shelly wanted to go, and Barry says that it had nothing to do with murder. Shelly, he says, had been afraid of being arrested for prostitution. McCoy points out that the police told her they didn't care about those charges, but Barry says that he didn't know that.
"She was scared. She was embarrassed."
"Mr. Taggert, it takes an awful lot to embarrass your daughter, doesn't it?"
—Barry Taggert and Jack McCoy
Shelly's lawyer, Ms. Shore, objects, and the objection is sustained by Judge Margaret Barry. McCoy asks if Barry is sure that Shelly didn't want to flee the country to avoid being prosecuted for murder; he says no and that he wouldn't do that. McCoy says that Barry already sent Shelly to Europe to hide her from the police, spent money to shelter her while she was away, and risked his business, so it's odd that he wouldn't lie for her.
Freeman testifies that Barry provided him with a prostitute, Bridget, at a footware show. He continues that he then saw her afterwards, setting up dates through Shelly.
"So, this was a full-service family business. He provided the shoes, his daughter provided her friends."
Judge Barry sustains the objection from Shore. Freeman then testifies that he is certain that Shelly was the one who set up the dates; he knows because he got Shelly a job at Barry's request.
"She quit after two weeks."
"She preferred selling Bridget Kaylin instead?"
—Jonathan Freeman and Jack McCoy
Shore objects, and Judge Barry sustains. Freeman concludes by saying that he saw Kaylin last a few weeks before she was killed; Kaylin told him that she wasn't in that business anymore. Freeman then told Shelly, who flew into a rage, but assured Freeman that she'd handle it.
As Barry watches from the gallery, Shelly testifies that, when she told Freeman she'd take care of it,' she meant that she'd find him another hooker. She only wanted to help her 'father, she says; she knew that clients at trade shows used escorts, but that most of the escorts started Shore asks her about the argument Richland saw between her and Kaylin. Shelly says that they just argued about clothes and that it wasn't a big deal. She testifies that she didn't see Kaylin the night that Kaylin died, and that her fingerprints could have gotten on Kaylin's desk in the library because she (Shelly) used that desk before. The questions then turn to Barry; Shelly testifies that she saw Barry in the library sometimes, where he would meet her and Kaylin. McCoy looks surprised at this line of questioning. Shelly then adds that Barry has a card to get into the library, since he is an alumnus. Lastly, she says that Barry brought the cameo into the apartment that he and Shelly share. McCoy leaps up with a request to approach. He tells Judge Barry that Shelly is obviously accusing her father of the murder, and he wants an offer of proof before she continues — if she accuses her father and it's not true, even if McCoy objects, he can't make the jury forget what they heard.
In chambers, McCoy is contemptuous.
"It's a desperate act by the defendant to manufacture reasonable doubt. There is no evidence to support the allegation."
Shelly says that Barry told her that he killed Kaylin. He, Shelly says, was having an affair with her. Shelly is sent out by Judge Barry, after which McCoy says that the claim is not credible, and Shore says that's for the jury to decide. She adds that the confession is evidence, as if the cameo found in his apartment.
"It's a nice story. Why don't we just blame it on some random black man, or a Columbian drug dealer?"
"Because they didn't do it."
—Jack McCoy and Shore
Kincaid points out that Shelly's story of hearing the confession is hearsay anyway, and inadmissible. Shore says that an admission of guilt is admissible, but Kincaid says that an admission to a defendant is only admissible if Barry is dead, out of the jurisdiction, or invokes his Fifth Amendment right not to testify. As Barry was in the courtroom, the first two cases don't apply. Shore doesn't know if Barry will testify, so she wants to talk to him. McCoy objects that he's a prosecution witness, but now he's a potential defense witness, so Shore wants to talk to him without McCoy listening in. Judge Barry sides with McCoy; he can be there when Shore talks to Barry.
At the meeting, McCoy mocks Barry.
"I hope you feel rewarded for all your sacrifices, Mr. Taggert. Your daughter says you're a murderer."
Ralston says that he's advising Barry to remain silent. McCoy argues that this will help Shelly blame him. Barry refuses to speak, and tells Shore that he intends to take the Fifth Amendment if asked if he killed Kaylin. McCoy wants to know about the affair, and Barry says that it happened, and he bought the cameo for her. McCoy then asks what floor Kaylin was killed on; he says that, if Barry knows, he (McCoy) will believe him. Barry pleads the Fifth.
In court, Shelly testifies that Barry came home the night Kaylin died and was flustered. He told her, she says, that Kaylin told him that she was breaking up with him, and that he pushed her and accidentally killed her. She continues and says that he grabbed the cameo from Kaylin and forgot about it until he got home, and that he didn't tell anyone because he didn't want anyone to find out about the prostitution ring.
"He was only thinking about me."
McCoy asks why Shelly fled the country if she didn't do anything, and when she says it was because of the prostitution ring, he points out that there weren't any charges about that. She testifies that she thought she would indeed be charged for prostitution, not murder. Asked about the cameo, McCoy wants to know if Shelly wanted it back, and wonders why it was in her desk drawer. Shelly says she didn't want it and was just hiding it for her father.
"I wanted to protect my father."
McCoy verifies that the two Taggerts were close, then asks how Shelly felt about Barry giving Kaylin expensive jewelry like the cameo. Shelly says that she didn't care, but McCoy demands to know how Shelly felt about her father becoming involved with Kaylin, one of Shelly's prostitutes. Shelly begins to cry and asks why McCoy is attacking them; she didn't kill anyone, and her father didn't mean to. McCoy directly accuses her of killing Kaylin, but she denies it. Sobbing, she apologizes to her father.
Later, Shelly is acquitted. Shelly is thrilled, as is Barry, who quietly pumps his fist. The Kaylins are upset. As the Taggerts embrace, McCoy hurries out.
Outside, as the Taggerts leave, McCoy, Kincaid, and the detectives stop him. Taggert asks if he's being charged with murder, and McCoy says that he isn't, because he doesn't think Barry did it. Rather, he's bringing back the charge of enterprise corruption.
"You dropped all that, when I brought her back!"
"That was before you took part in this charade."
—Barry Taggert and Jack McCoy
Shelly says that she'll call Ralston. Kincaid comments that this is nice of her; but Barry's business will be seized and he will go to jail.
"If your daughter's half as good to you as you were to her, maybe she'll visit."
"Daddy. You know I will."
—Jack McCoy and Shelly Taggert
Barry is led off. Shelly smirks as he is taken away.