In the criminal justice system, sexually based offenses are considered especially heinous.
In New York City, the dedicated detectives who investigate these vicious felonies are members of an elite squad known as the Special Victims Unit.
These are their stories.
[DRAMATIC MUSICAL STING]
Noah, I am on my way, and tell Fin, okay?
So, Officer Tamin, your provisional tour starts today.
I'm so sorry that I can't be here.
I'm sorry you had to come in on your Sunday off.
So if you have time, I thought maybe you could catch up on some open cases.
Already did, and I read the files from all the major cases - over the last five years.
- So you're an underachiever.
- You're gonna be fine, and very nice job with Sir Toby.
I'll feel better once he's convicted.
Yeah, you and me both.
- So where should I park?
- We have a few empties.
How about how about here?
- Well, welcome to SVU.
[SOFT ROCK MUSIC PLAYING]
So if you're going through a tough time right now or today's preaching stirred something up, our Prayer Warriors will be down in the front.
So don't be shy.
Come on down.
Have someone pray for you.
This is the day Evangeline.
Have a blessed week, everyone.
This is the day, I'll sing his name Wonderful to see Evangeline here today, man.
So things at home are better?
Yes, they are.
Power of prayer.
Yeah, and then that, um, that poor lost boy, he ran away to New York?
As long as he's nowhere near our little girl.
- Good luck.
Is it okay if I do my homework before I go to the sleepover?
Annie wants me there at 5:00.
As long as your chores are done first.
- Don't forget your toothbrush.
I love you, Mom.
I'm not always the best - Thank you so much, - version of me for picking up Noah.
Is everything all right?
Yeah, 1PP finally gave us a backup.
Now that the godparents are here, let's get started.
- Billie Mabel Rollins I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
I'm trying To not get in my own way again And I'm trying It's not something that I can pretend God knows I'm trying All right, here we go.
One, two, three.
And that's all I can do The only place I find strength is you And I disappoint myself When I know I know better Than trying to please others And there are those days When I'm insecure But you tell me to sigh Say - [BANGING]
- [MOANS SOFTLY]
Hey, Sleeping Beauty.
You're going all the way to New York by yourself?
No, I'm staying with a friend, Isaac.
He's meeting me there.
I'm growing, I'm changing But you stay the same You know who I am and you love me that way I'm trying To not get in my own way again And I'm trying It's not something that I can pretend Sorry.
- God knows I'm trying - No, I'm sorry.
And that's all I can do The only place I find strength is you [DRAMATIC MUSIC]
A teen runaway from Jolene, Ohio?
That's still Missing Persons.
I called her parents.
They think that she was lured here by a boy, Isaac Franklin, 19, from their town.
Jolene sheriff says Isaac skipped out on a bench warrant for a statutory - different girl.
- Okay, so track the boy down, call the parents back, - and tell them that SVU is - Actually, they're here, drove all night.
They're in the waiting room.
The guy with the glasses is their pastor.
Right in here.
Please tell us you found her.
We prayed the whole way here.
Her cell is off, but we're tracking her social media.
Well, track his cell.
Isaac, she followed him out here.
When did Isaac leave Ohio?
About a month ago, after they caught him with a 15-year-old girl.
They should've kept him in prison after that.
Evangeline and Isaac are friends?
Well, she's friends with his little sister, but that would not stop a boy like that.
Are you saying that they were involved?
Like a boyfriend?
Evangeline can be emotional, but she takes her faith seriously.
I'm sorry to say, but Evangeline is a troubled girl, she She saw a lot growing up.
Tammy's ex was a bad man and he had a hold on Tammy.
Evangeline's father, where is he now?
He went home with God five years ago.
I thanked Jesus when James came into their lives.
So James is Evangeline's stepfather?
He adopted that girl when she was just nine years old, and then he and Tammy have two little ones of their own.
Sergeant, found something.
- Excuse me, Pastor.
- Of course.
Going through this girl's social media, it's a mash-up of "Jesus is my boyfriend" songs and kitten videos.
Anything that puts her in New York?
No, but I do have a lead on Isaac.
Look who made it to New York.
That's a fresh tattoo.
So all we gotta do is check out tattoo parlors.
I started with parlor websites near Port Authority, East Village, Uptown, and I found this.
Gretchen, artist-in-residence, In the Heights Tats.
Well, let's go.
Just spoke to her.
She knew where Isaac lives.
Didn't ask why.
Gretchen gave me up?
- The girl's not here.
- I don't know, I - Wrong answer, Isaac.
We know she's in New York, and we know you're the only person here she knows.
I didn't tell her to come.
When'd you see her?
I'm calling the Jolene sheriff.
He has a warrant out for your arrest.
For hooking up with my girlfriend?
So Isaac, you can talk now or pray later.
- Turn around.
- She needed a place to crash, okay?
She's friends with my kid sister, okay?
Where is she now?
I don't know.
We got in kind of an argument.
- She left.
- Why'd she leave?
She needed money.
I told her she could crash here all she wants, but that's all I could do.
And you have no idea where she is now?
I loaned her my dog.
I told her she could panhandle with Duke, by the by the 99Â¢ pizza place.
- Here you go.
- Thank you.
There she is.
- Let me talk to her?
How are you doing?
Duke hasn't eaten all day.
What about you?
Can I buy you a sandwich?
Um, uh, Evangeline, just wait a second.
How do you know my name?
I, uh hey.
Oh, oh I gotcha.
- Is she okay?
- She's okay.
I got her.
Suffering from exposure, exhaustion.
Is there any sign of physical abuse?
Damned if I do, damned if I don't in these cases.
- I know.
- If I report, I can't promise patient confidentiality.
I know, so if I don't report, I'm breaking the law.
If there's anything that you feel comfortable telling us The extent of vaginal scarring, given her age?
She's been sexually active or abused for at least two years.
Since she was 11?
She's also 12 weeks pregnant.
My mom and Jim are here in New York?
They're worried about you.
I didn't want them to find out.
Find out what, honey?
That you're pregnant?
We're worried about you too.
And if there's anything you want to tell us, your parents don't have to know.
They can't know that I disobeyed God's word.
And they can't know why I'm here in New York.
Okay, Evangeline, why why are you here?
To get an abortion.
Next year, I'm supposed to go to high school.
I don't want to drop out.
I'm too young to have a baby.
That is completely your decision, Evangeline.
Okay, we're just we're just trying to sort this out.
Now, can you tell us how you got pregnant?
I turned my back on God.
I didn't save myself for marriage.
So so it was someone you know.
Okay, well, we know that you came here to see Isaac.
I wanted him to help me.
So was it Isaac?
Just tell us what happened.
It's gonna be okay.
I didn't want to say no to him.
Did he force you?
He kept asking.
He said he loved me, that it was our secret.
That if I told anyone, my mom, things would be really bad.
I should've told her, but I was just too afraid that she wouldn't believe me.
None of this is your fault, honey.
You can't tell my mom, or Jim, or Pastor Mark, that I want an abortion.
They would never allow it.
This was just a matter of time.
I was talking to my mom when these states passed the fetal heartbeat laws.
She got a second sight for this kind of thing.
She asked me, "What is gonna happen when some kid" gets pregnant and comes to New York for an abortion?" And what did you say?
We're in uncharted waters.
Evangeline is here now, and New York has full reproductive rights for girls of any age.
That is right.
It's the girl's decision.
Well, she's upset but she definitely wants the abortion.
The parents are fundamentalists.
Once they get here, they're gonna throw her in the car and take her home.
- She's 13?
- She is.
It's gonna be hard for a judge to deny parental custody.
Even with evidence of sexual abuse?
I mean, going back years.
That's a different story.
A family court prosecutor could argue that the parents knew or should've known about the abuse.
That gets you neglect.
There may not be time for that.
The Millers are on their way here now.
We're talking about a pregnant 13-year-old runaway, Carisi, can't we take emergency custody?
I'm going to call ACS.
She's also gonna need her own lawyer.
I'll call Legal Aid.
And they're gonna just send someone who's handling 75 other cases.
Look, I I know somebody who's very good with custody issues.
So, Fin, in the meantime, find out from Isaac exactly what their relationship was and how much the parents knew.
I had a vision we'd find you safe.
I'm okay, Mama.
Your mother's been worried sick.
- What were you thinking?
- I'm sorry.
James, she's here.
- We can all go home now.
I don't want to go home.
- Of course you do.
- They said I didn't have to.
We need to talk about a few things first.
Okay, it doesn't matter.
We're your parents.
You have to obey us.
Actually Evangeline, this is Trevor Langan.
I'm going to represent you.
- Why does she need a lawyer?
- Yeah, what is going on?
An ongoing physical relationship?
My little girl?
It it's not possible.
Actually, it is possible.
Okay, well, did she say who it was?
It has to be Isaac.
That's why she came here.
Have you arrested him?
James, we have to talk to him.
He's the father.
He has to marry her.
Miller, your daughter didn't come here to be with Isaac.
She came to New York because she doesn't want this pregnancy.
No, whatever happened, this baby is a gift from God.
Wait, are you saying that she wants an abortion?
Yes, and in New York State, that is her right.
No, absolutely not.
We're taking Evangeline home right now.
Miller, I'm sorry, but that's that's not happening.
- Excuse me?
- I don't understand.
I know that this is very difficult to hear, but as of now, Evangeline is in the custody of Child Protective Services.
- You can't just take our daughter away from us.
- What about our rights?
- You'll appear before a family court judge.
I can help you get a lawyer.
Uh, our pastor was a lawyer before he was called by God.
I know things are different here in New York, but our daughter is not killing her baby.
The State presents no evidence that there's imminent risk to Evangeline.
She is underage.
The pregnancy is the result of ongoing abuse.
The parents haven't protected her so far.
There's no reason to believe they can now.
We're still looking at an unnamed sexual perpetrator?
We've requested a fetal DNA test.
My client refuses, Your Honor.
She views the blood test as invasive.
She's seeking an abortion.
My client wants to end this pregnancy.
If you return her to parental custody, they will take her back to Ohio, where consent laws and fetal heartbeat legislation will make it impossible for her to legally terminate this pregnancy.
You mean commit murder.
We demand the girl immediately be returned to the parents' custody.
Randall, I'm not ready to do that.
If your fear is failure to protect in the home, I present a perfectly good solution.
Instead of a group living situation with at-risk teens, Evangeline has an aunt.
That's her father's sister.
She drove all night from Jolene to be here, and she is willing to assume temporary custody.
I need a home study and assurances that this court's orders will be respected.
No, she'll take me back to Ohio.
My clients have no intention of violating a court order, Your Honor.
They only want to take care of their daughter.
The Millers' main agenda is to force a 13-year-old rape victim to carry to term.
To prevent her from exercising her right to choose.
Evie would never choose murder.
I don't know who's gotten into her head, but this is not the daughter we raised.
- No, I can't go back home!
I can't, because he put this baby inside me!
I got it.
No, I'm here right now.
I'll tell her.
That was Ms.
The Mercer County DA has promised to open up an investigation, but only after Evangeline goes back to Ohio for questioning.
So they're more worried about stopping the abortion then they are about stopping the abuse.
I have to ask.
You're sure it's him?
Carisi, if she wanted to blame the stepfather, she would've done that in the first place.
This was the last thing that she wanted to reveal.
Do you remember how old you were?
The day after my birthday.
He came into my room, sat on my bed [SOMBER MUSIC]
Said I was becoming a woman.
What did he do?
He took off my pajamas.
At first, we'd just lay there.
He said he loved me.
That if I loved him, I'd do this.
And then he touched me.
Can can you tell us more?
One night, he said I was ready.
He put his thing in, and it hurt.
I said no.
That I was waiting till marriage.
He said it didn't count, though, because he was married to my mom, that we were family.
So, Evangeline, it's okay if you didn't, but did you tell your mom?
I tried once.
She wouldn't listen.
Jim got so mad.
He said if Mama found out, he'd have to leave us.
- [HORNS HONKING]
Now is not a good time, detectives.
I'm taking James to the airport.
We just want to talk to him.
Well well, that won't happen.
Satan is responsible, for what happened in that courtroom today.
You sure it wasn't your client?
Evangeline is a willful girl who often lies.
Well, wonder when that started.
If your client's innocent, we just want him to give us some DNA so we can clear this up.
We won't lend credence to persecution.
What's going on?
We just came here to give you a chance to clear your name.
Just get in the car, James.
What my daughter said was an abomination.
I would never.
And that's why you're running away?
I have two young sons at home who need me.
I've forgiven Evangeline for lying, and I am praying for her to find her way.
Well, you better pray for yourself, 'cause you're going down.
I'm shutting the door, Detective.
You know, the world is watching, and God will not allow you to kill an innocent baby.
Sorry, Sergeant, I kinda lost it a bit.
You did good.
[ENGINE TURNS OVER]
James and Pastor Mark - can't know I'm here.
But I-I want to set the record straight.
My husband is a good man.
A wonderful father.
What Evangeline is saying, it's impossible.
That your boy?
Imagine he told a horrible lie about your husband.
What would you do?
Miller, I've been doing this for a very long time, and sometimes, the unspeakable turns out to be the truth.
So why don't you have a seat.
Has your daughter talked to you about your husband?
He's head of our household, so he disciplines her.
She gets angry.
She's a teenager.
That's what this is.
She's she's trying to hurt him, to hurt me.
That's the only possible explanation.
Miller, the good news is, is that there is a way that we can get to the truth.
And you should know that Evangeline has now agreed to take a fetal DNA test.
That will hurt the baby.
No, these days, it's a simple test of the mother's blood.
Well, isn't that a miracle.
So if we could get your husband's DNA, and if he is innocent Which he is.
Then it could very well exonerate him.
Of course it will.
But we can wait until after the baby is born.
I see you judging me, but however it happened, Evangeline is pregnant.
And I intend to meet my grandchild here in this world, not in heaven.
However it happened?
Put pressure on this.
We don't have your stepfather's DNA yet, but Mr.
Carisi's working on that.
- I'm telling the truth.
- I believe you.
Does my mother?
Do you believe God makes mistakes?
[PHONE TRILLING DISTANTLY]
I don't know.
I definitely know humans do.
If God doesn't make mistakes, that means this baby is part of His plan.
That may be, but we don't always know what His plan is.
Can we pray together?
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you so much for sending Amanda to help me.
Please help me figure out what I'm supposed to do.
Evangeline may be confused.
Her religious upbringing, it's just it's a lot.
So she's changing her mind?
No, she never wanted to have an abortion.
She just wanted to be a kid, have a life.
I should just take her to the clinic myself right now.
Amanda, you know that you can't do that.
She kept quiet for years about being abused, and then she finally gets the courage to get on a bus and come to New York, from Ohio?
We can't let them take her back home, back to that abuse.
Force her to have his baby?
- We can't.
- It's not up to us.
There's a court-ordered stay on the abortion.
When I was 13, I remember being so angry all the time.
I wanted to get the hell out of my house, to be free.
Now I've got two little girls.
I know that it's hard.
No, it's just I [SIGHS]
I worry about them all the time.
Carisi just called.
Family court's ready to rule.
[DRAMATIC MUSICAL STING]
I'm satisfied Evangeline understands the ramifications of her decision, and that this decision is hers alone.
She can't kill our grandbaby.
Mrs. Miller, I realize this is difficult, but your daughter has rights.
We demand an immediate cessation of these proceedings.
- And you are?
- Forreston Graham.
Mercer County DA's office.
I'm here to protect the rights of the unborn baby Miller.
- I have a writ of habeas corpus - I Asserting that the State of New York is illegally holding Evangeline Miller.
I also have arrest warrants for the detectives involved in this case.
On what charge?
Dominick Carisi, Manhattan DA's office.
I have an arrest warrant for you too, and your boss.
Anyone who facilitates the murder of this baby will be charged with causing fetal harm and conspiracy to commit murder, and is subject to immediate prosecution in the State of Ohio.
Here's one for you too, Judge.
So whatever decision you were about to hand down, I'd think twice about making an irrevocable mistake.
I may be just a simple country lawyer in the big city, but I am here to speak for the one who has no voice.
To advocate for the most innocent victim of all this unborn child.
- [CHEERS, BOOS]
Did the stepfather get her pregnant?
Mercer County DA's office intends to conduct a full and thorough investigation, but that has no bearing on this matter.
The baby is innocent of all sin and is deserving of life.
A statute in Ohio guarantees - Hey.
- That this unborn baby Captain.
- is a human being.
- So we're taking on Ohio?
Oh, it's more like Ohio is taking on us, and, by the way, there's an arrest warrant for you too.
The charge is conspiracy to commit murder if she has an abortion, and they're serious.
So am I.
I'm a deacon at my church.
I believe in the sanctity of life, but a 13-year-old girl forced to carry her rapist's baby?
They want a fight, they're gonna get it.
But it's the Declaration of Independence that promises life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, but the first is life!
[DRAMATIC MUSICAL STING]
Let me get this straight, Mr.
Graham the State of Ohio has issued arrest warrants for New York City detectives, and you're asking this court to detain these detectives for transfer?
We ask that the officers immediately turn themselves in to the Mercer County DA's office.
This is unprecedented.
Your Honor, Ohio has no standing in this matter.
It's a family court proceeding.
We see this as a criminal case.
The girl made a premeditated decision.
We have her computer searches for abortion providers in New York.
The detectives, in willful disregard for the Ohio laws, are attempting to facilitate her access to abortion.
According to the Ohio statute, they're accessories to murder.
First of all, Your Honor, that law has not yet taken effect.
There's also the issue of fetal harm.
And we'd also argue, the detectives are mandated to enforce New York law, which requires them to protect the lawful reproductive rights of a minor.
There's precedent for comity, respect for the laws of another state.
We ask that New York give Ohio law the full faith and credit.
And we'd argue that the DA from Mercer County's got it backwards.
Ohio should give New York full faith and comity by respecting our choice to protect the rights of young women.
Simply put, Your Honor, you cannot expect a New York State court to hand over its New York City police officers for doing their jobs.
Yes, our motion is extreme.
But what is happening here is pure evil.
A modern-day genocide.
When future generations look back on this, they will weep.
There will be blood on all of your hands.
That's enough, Mr.
You're gonna hold me in contempt?
No one's holding you in contempt.
Hitler murdered 6 million Jews in the Holocaust.
The United States, since Roe versus Wade, has killed 55 million babies.
I intend to do everything in my power not to see that number rise by one more child.
Mr. Graham, I'm denying Ohio's request for detainer.
In that case, Your Honor, we appeal.
We intend to take this up to the Supreme Court, if necessary.
And that's your right, Mr.
The judge said Ohio was wrong.
So I can get an abortion?
Those are, uh, two separate cases.
Mr. Langan will go back to family court.
Listen, this judge is likely to rule in your favor.
You just have to be patient a little bit longer.
Everyone knows who I am.
The Ohio girl.
My friends keep texting me, and Pastor Mark keeps emailing me, and that lawyer.
They all say murder is never the right choice, that getting an abortion destroys two lives, and it's my obligation to show the world that I choose life.
Evangeline the rest of the world, that's not your responsibility.
What's gonna happen to him?
We don't know yet, but I do know you will never have to live with him again.
My mom say that?
That's also gonna take a little bit of time.
Appeals court just refused to hear Ohio's case.
Even some pro-life groups thought the charges were ridiculous.
- Well, they are.
- So you guys aren't under arrest?
What about the stay on the abortion?
Family court didn't want to make a ruling until Ohio's arrest warrants have been dismissed.
- They're still deliberating.
- For how long?
She's 12 weeks pregnant.
Any day after the first trimester, - it gets more complicated.
- And that's part of Ohio's plan, is to run out the clock.
I'm sorry, what century is this?
All these old white men trying to control women's bodies?
I mean, how far off are we from "The Handmaid's Tale"?
You grew up taking these rights for granted.
My mother, there was a time when she considered abortion, and her only option was was back-alley.
The bottom line is, if you have enough money, there's always a way.
But it's these poor women, these girls in some states, they're gonna see deaths.
That's where this is going.
They think that's what we're going back to.
Fundamentalists, Catholics they see abortion as deaths.
You're Catholic, right?
Is that what you think?
What I think is what I think.
But if a woman is the victim of rape or incest I hear that, and it sounds like you're saying that a woman has to be a victim in order to have control over her own body.
- That's not what he's saying.
Because it's not a decision that should ever be made by a group of men or a prosecutor who's never had to make that choice.
- Guys, guys, guys.
- J-just so we're clear.
My job is to uphold that girl's rights, and that's what I'm doing.
But I'm sorry, I don't see this as black-and-white.
In my experience, no woman wants to have an abortion.
- Fair enough.
But these laws that are getting passed, - they are not the answer.
- No, they're not.
[CELL PHONE CHIMES, VIBRATES]
Text from Rollins.
Evangeline just threw herself down a flight of stairs.
I was on the way back to the squad room, I got the call.
- I never should've left her.
- Hey, y-you didn't know.
She didn't want the baby.
She tried to take care of it herself.
How is my daughter?
She's gonna be all right, Mrs.
And my grandchild?
Doctor says there's a heartbeat.
I'm sorry, Mama.
I'm so sorry.
Oh, my babies.
How are you feeling, Evangeline?
I'll take the child.
All you have to do is give birth.
I'll raise the baby like your little brother or sister.
What about Jim?
I'll talk to him.
Whatever misunderstanding this was, we'll work it out.
He raped me.
Who told you that?
You're putting words in her mouth.
Miller, now is not the time.
This is your fault.
If you had just given her to us, let us take her back to Ohio, she would be fine.
She never would've tried to kill her own child.
I wasn't trying to kill the baby.
I was trying to kill myself.
This is all my fault.
Before Jim, with my first husband, um, Evangeline saw and heard things.
He'd hit me, but what was worse is what he'd say.
That Evangeline was gonna grow up to be a whore, just like her mother.
He's been dead five years.
I can still see his face and hear his voice.
Jim's not like that.
A good man.
A single mother with a nine-year-old daughter?
He adopted her.
He he adored her.
H-he was always so affectionate with her.
You heard your daughter.
I didn't put those words in her mouth.
Even if the DNA shows that the baby is Jim's It's unique DNA.
It's created at conception.
I mean, DNA that's never been on this earth before and never will be again.
It's a miracle.
I can never agree to an abortion.
That decision is out of your hands.
But you do have a choice to make.
You can believe your daughter and leave Jim, or you can choose Jim, and Evangeline will grow up in foster care, until she's 18 years old.
I'm sorry for not protecting my daughter.
What my husband did God tells us to forgive, and I believe in His word.
But I also believe my daughter.
I hope that she can forgive me.
Thank you, Mrs.
You may step down.
The State requests remand to ACS for two weeks to ensure Evangeline has access to the medical care she needs.
After clearance from her doctors, Evangeline will be returned to the custody of her mother on the condition she receive ongoing counseling, and that James Miller has been permanently removed from the home.
Your Honor, I'm in contact with Child Services in Ohio.
If they find out that Tammy Miller has allowed any contact by James Miller with his stepdaughter, Evangeline will be removed from her mother's custody.
Is the Ohio DA going to prosecute Mr.
That's unclear at this point, Your Honor.
Good luck to you, Evangeline.
I sincerely wish you all the best.
Well, Counselor, you destroyed a family, and helped ensure the murder of another innocent child.
I believe in God, Mr.
And I understand abortion causes a death.
My mother got pregnant when she was 45.
This is after having four kids.
An ultrasound showed that the the baby had a fetal heart defect.
Even if she was able to carry to term, the doctor said the baby wasn't gonna live for more than a few days.
My mother decided to terminate.
She never told my father, he she told me.
She said how much she loved that baby, but she didn't think it was fair.
It wasn't fair to her other children, it wasn't fair to that kid.
It was only gonna know pain.
And then she cried for a week.
I didn't know I didn't know what to say to her, but I do know that we both grieved.
Why are you telling me this, Counselor?
Because we're not so different, you and me.
And I can't imagine that you think it's right that a man who has so lost his way, has so abandoned God, that he would rape his own stepdaughter, should get away with that.
Hey, that was Carisi.
The Mercer County DA confirmed through DNA that James Miller impregnated his stepdaughter.
They charged him with 114 counts of rape of a child.
We knew that Carisi wasn't gonna let that go.
Um, and it's, uh, Kat and Fin on the next shift.
Do you mind if I punch out early?
Oh, of course, sure.
Hey, take some family time.
I'll be here, waiting.
Evangeline, are you ready?
- Got it?