Law & Order: Season 2, Episode 8

Out of Control (12 Nov. 1991)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 80 users  
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A co-ed claims that two fraternity brothers raped her at a Halloween party, but finding the truth proves to be difficult when other members of the fraternity stonewall investigators and the woman's sexual history is revealed.

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Title: Out of Control (12 Nov 1991)

Out of Control (12 Nov 1991) on IMDb 7.2/10

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Andrea Fermi
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Gifford
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Corso
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Lawyer
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Ezra Gould
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Gary Burnham
Danny Zorn ...
Joel Holder
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Ted Campion
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Storyline

Detectives Ceretta and Logan investigate when university student Andrea Fermi claims she was raped by two men at a frat party. The case is complicated however. Andrea had been drinking and was quite drunk when the incident occurred. She identifies the two boys who attacked her as fraternity brothers in the house where the party was held and where her boyfriend Gary is a pledge. Everyone in the fraternity clams up tight denying anything happened. Some even question whether Andrea was even at the party. They slowly build the case and ADA Stone thinks he has enough to get a conviction. He knows however that public sympathy is with the two boys and not with the victim. Written by garykmcd

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12 November 1991 (USA)  »

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Hard To Prove.
17 July 2012 | by (Deming, New Mexico, USA) – See all my reviews

A pretty young student attends a frat party, gets legally drunk, and is gang banged by two of the fraternity brothers, perhaps with the complicity of her ex boyfriend, who may have wanted revenge.

The problem is the girl herself. She's apparently generous with her charms and has a history, as they say. Further, she tends to drink more than most and was too smashed during the party to remember the rape except in flashes. However, if she's lying about anything, neither the director nor the actress give any hint of it. Her claims seem genuine, and what physical evidence there is, seems to support them. The defendants, however, are freed. In other words, the law loses.

It's an interesting episode. Rape is an easy charge to make, and a difficult one to convict on. Anyone can holler rape, and for a number of different motives -- revenge, the sympathy of one's friends and relatives, one's picture on the TV news, and all the secondary gains that go with victimhood.

At the same time, community sentiment is solidly opposed to the victimization and brutalization of women and children. It's easy to blame our patriarchal values when rape takes place and the criminals should be punished for it.

The jury makes a mistake in acquitting defendants who are, marginally, shown to be guilty of rape. Why? Stone reads aloud a study that shows women to be unsympathetic to rape victims because they believe that they themselves would never allow themselves to be put into a situation in which rape is possible. Speaking as a sociologist I would also guess that the more conventionally attractive the victim is, the less sympathy she gets from the women on the jury. I'd be willing to do such a study if someone gives me a grant, even though I'd have to find another, more scientific-sounding name for "envy." In any case, this is one instance in which justice doesn't prevail. It's the sort of ending that lifts this series above the average. Perry Mason never lost.


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