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Recap / Law And Order S 15 E 19 Sects

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Richard Ranson attempts to commit a murder-suicide but survives, having killed a woman named Dolores Diamond. Ranson grew up in a cult called Children of the Divine, where Diamond was his nanny; his mother, Mrs. Shelby, is its leader. The cult forces children into sexual activity (both with adults and each other), and a large number of former members have committed suicide or become drug addicts because of the abuse. The DA's office attempts to charge Shelby, and the testimony of Ranson's sister is crucial. However, the case collapses when it emerges she swore under oath in a previous trial that there was no abuse within the cult.

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Upon learning that Shelby's teenage son David has recently died from a drug overdose, McCoy becomes determined to charge her with murder. He obtains a copy of the cult's holy book that Shelby wrote, in which she describes drugging Ranson as a child so he'd be compliant for sex. With Ranson's testimony, and evidence from the investigation into David's death, McCoy convinces a jury that David died because Shelby plied him with drugs. Despite Shelby's highly grandiose claims on the stand that she is being persecuted because she is a true prophet of God, she is convicted.

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